How It Could Have Been



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Scene Title How It Could Have Been
Synopsis Angelina dreams, and sees history in a different, frightening way.
Date December 12, 2009

An Abandoned Warehouse

It’s been a long day for Angelina. Life on the streets is far from an easy one even on the best of days, and today was hardly the best of days. Carrying her guitar case over her back she creeps into an empty building, one that’s been condemned and is, blissfully, free of other squatters. She sets her guitar down and settles into a pile of empty boxes. It’s softer than the floor, after all. Her hood is pulled up until it all but covers her face, and the coat pulled a little more tightly around her before she closes her eyes and wills herself to sleep. It doesn’t come quickly, but all must succumb to it eventually.

When the dream comes, it doesn’t allow Angie to sink into it, to be comfortable, but rather, she’s thrust right into a world of pain and destruction. And she stands atop it all, on the roof of a building, staring down over New York.

She is as she was before she closed her eyes. She hasn’t changed, but the city, it has. It’s not the city of December 12, 2009, but November 8th, 2006. The city is whole, but it’s not safe. Angelina’s hands are clenched until her nails bite into her palms and threaten to break the skin. The rage she feels daily is present, it’s building, growing, threatening to erupt. The whispering in her ear feeds it, nurtures it like a beloved child.

Behind her stands a twin of herself. Physically they are identical. But the other woman, the duplicate, she isn’t dressed in clothes that haven’t been washed in weeks. She doesn’t have the piercings that were gained on the streets, with dirty needles. She’s clean, well-dressed, and elegant in her movements. All except for that wicked smile that curves her lips, that cruelty that shines in her eyes like some dangerous beacon.

“See them down there? All those people who have what you want, Angie?” she whispers against Angelina’s ear. “Selfish and ignorant. What do they care for the problems you face, when they have plenty of food? Soft, warm beds, filled by their lovers? Their mates?” she nearly hisses, before shifting to Angelina’s other side, hands resting on the woman’s shoulders, turning her slightly. “And look, there are your parents. Do you really think they looked for you? Their rebellious daughter, who never did anything right? They don’t care. They never did. You were a burden. An accident they were afraid to take care of properly.”

Angelina cannot close her eyes, cannot block out the words of the other woman. Is it her inner voice? It very well may be, as the thoughts, the anger and fears are Angelina’s. Thoughts she buries deep in order to make it through every day. She’s hardly innocent, but shutting these things out keeps her from becoming a monster. But this woman’s words…today they hit directly at Angelina’s heart. They sneak through tiny chinks in her armor and strike true.

Before long the inner rage, the pain, simply can’t be contained any longer. Angelina throws her head back and screams. It’s a primal, wordless sound, that only hints at the emotions she carries, and holds none of the human side of her. It’s animal. Instinctive. As she screams there’s a soft rumble from below, like an animal growling softly before it roars. Everything is still for a moment, then the world explodes. Here, in this dream, it was Angelina who devastated the city.

She stands in the middle of fireballs and burning shrapnel, unharmed by it, even when half-molten glass flies just by her face. She watches it first with a hot satisfaction. They got what they deserved. How dare they walk by and not care. She watches as windows blow out of skyscrapers. As cars are thrown up and all but disintegrated before they have time to fall. She hears the distant sounds of terrified and pained screaming. Of car alarms and emergency sirens. It all sounds so clear, so close, despite the true distance. She sees each bit of horror as perfectly as though it were right in front of her.

It’s not until the initial blast clears. Until the fires burn and the dead lay still and quiet that it begins to sink in. But still she’s forced to watch, while the darker half, still at her back, laughs in joy and vengeance.

Angelina begins to shake her head as tears begin to fill her eyes, then slide down her cheeks, leaving clean trails through the soot that now stains her face black and gray. “No,” she whispers. “I didn’t want this.” Suddenly the world freezes. It looks as though a movie put on pause. There’s no heat or wind, no screams, no movement from the fire. Everything is still, but not calm. Nothing can be calm within that image.

The Nightmare Angelina moves around to stand in front of Angie, without blocking her view of the city. “You did. You did want this. You wanted them to stop not caring. You wanted them to see you as important. You wanted to /matter/ to someone.” She shrugs and looks down at a building halfway collapsed. “Well, you matter, now. Everyone who survives this, they’ll remember this day, they’ll remember what /you/ did, forever. History will mark this day as one of the worst disasters to ever occur.” She looks back at Angie and smirks. “And all because you lost control of your emotions, and through that, your temper.” She starts to walk, pausing to pat Angelina on the shoulder. “Good job, Angie. You got your wish.” She leans in close, close enough that her perfectly styled hair brushes Angelina’s cheek, and whispers into her ear, “Don’t you know you should be careful what you wish for?”

Angelina wakes with a start, sitting up straight, the last words of her dream double ringing in her mind. She looks around, realizing that she didn’t, in fact, blow up the city. A moment later she lifts a hand to her cheek, and realizing that they’re wet with her tears. She closes her eyes and rolls onto her side, arms wrapping around her, trying to comfort herself. It could happen, she thought. Things do explode when she loses her temper. And she did want to matter, for someone to care. She would have to be careful.

Very careful.

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