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Jeff sat in an endless field of orchids in his wife’s favorite wooden rocking chair. He was wearing the blue button up shirt she bought him on their first anniversary, along with the pants she gave him at Christmas, the shoes for his birthday, and the watch she got him for the hell of it. A cold breeze blew the field of orchids in unison like that of a synchronized water dance. They brushed against the back of his hands, and a sensation of serenity fell upon him. He closed his eyes and surrendered himself to it.
He awoke to the thunders of explosions. The field of beauty was now a field of blood and death. His attire was a soldier’s uniform, and the gentle touch of orchid pedals against his skin was the splatter of blood and the trickle of sweat. Bullets whizzed past his head; so he ducked into the cover of the trench. He surveyed the world around him and extended his hands out, palm down, praying to feel the orchids again.
A man with a dirt-crusted face slammed into the wall beside him and yanked hard on his shoulder, jarring him free of the elusive daydream. “Time to wake up, Jeff. If you didn’t notice, there’s a war going on.” The man stood up out of cover with his rifle, aimed, and fired a few rounds. The familiar clang of an ejected cartridge was a signal for him to return to the safety of the trench.
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