We were in this fancy hotel thing with hundreds of people–it was supposed to be a UN meeting, but there were families there, and courtyards. It was more like a fortified housing complex but the front looked like the Schonbrunn. Everything was very international and polite, some sort of negotiation was going on, this was supposed to be temporary. As nice as the building was, I was looking forward to going back home when this formality was all over with.
Then, outside the gates, I saw an dented, dingy white semi-truck drive up to the gates with the North Korean symbol painted on it, I was rolling my eyes about how hipsters romanticize communism and think they are edgy for sporting symbols of actual oppression—-when out of the truck jumps some REAL communists, with a ray gun bomb detonator that they had obviously rigged already inside the complex. I realized this had all been a trap.
I tried to sound the alarm but no one believed me over the phone. There were a lot of polite blonde people who thought I was just being dramatic, and “it can’t possibly be that bad.” So I was driving around, desperately trying to find some law enforcement or allies to help me, but I kept running into communists blocking me in with their cars, stalling me while pretending it was all in my head.
They succeeded, and the bomb went off in the Schonbrunn building (I could see the smoke from where I was at, and the ground shook) and I knew they were taking over the citadel. So I tried to flee, and even though I knew my family was still in the building (the cell phone calls weren’t going through) I abandoned them to their fate and fled into the woods. I ran and ran and found a mossy bank, and an old house full of ancient books (damp and cold now, with no heat). There were about five other refugees there and a crazy old professor who kept his goldfish in the toilet bowl. No one spoke (they were shaken up), and we hid under piles of old papers scattered about the study (things were in disarray, all damp and wet with the windows blowing open). I didn’t realize his goldfish were in the toilet, so I used it and then accidentally flushed and so all the goldfish died and they were beautIful — deep red and orange and gold and purple. They died in so much pain, twitching little things, and I felt so bad. Then the communists showed up and went after us. They knocked me down—and I never saw what happened to the other refugees, or the confused old professor. I never saw them again.
I was back in the compound, it had been a year or so, and they had mostly brainwashed all of us, especially all the blonde UN people, who were now chanting slogans with frozen smiles and glazed eyes. The Schonbrunn was now shabby and full of war damage but we were making do. Everything was ashen and grey, and bits of falling plaster. The bits of sky we could see through the boarded windows and the holes in the walls were grey and overcast. And there were overseers everywhere. There was alot of marching and chanting. My sister was there with her five kids and her husband. They wanted to escape because their little bright-eyed son — so earnest and forthright — couldn’t navigate this thought-controlled world with all its nuance and obeisances, and so he was in danger.
I found a hallway that they could run away from the commies but then our old brainwashed blonde UN friends showed up to stop us. One woman with a bob was particularly insistent, speaking in a flat tone, “this is what the whole world is like, it won’t be any different anywhere else.” I screamed for my sister’s family to run, and I grabbed a brick from the rubble and stared smashing the UN brain-washed people on the heads, clubbing them to knock them out as they tried to stop us. My sister and some of her kids had already climbed through the rubble to the hallway, I was trying to stop the UN friends from catching them. As their bodies fell unconscious around me, I didn’t check if they were still breathing — I didn’t care. I got about 12 of them, and it felt so natural. I wasn’t angry, I just felt numb, left with no other choice. My sister and her little son and daughter had gotten away, but then the guards closed in on me. I didn’t know what happened to her husband or the other kids and the baby.
I was hoping they would kill me but they didn’t. They took me back and reeducated me. I became obedient. The years stretched on, everything was grey and rigid and cruel— and then we heard the sound of singing. There were pro-freedom Koreans on boats sailing up the river and surrounding the compound (a deep blue river was suddenly all along one side in the back of the Schonbrunn-building). The Koreans on the boats had guns bigger than our side. The sun was gleaming on their overwhelming force, the wind was blowing their hair. They were singing to us. Our side surrendered. I just started crying and crying, as the numbness started to thaw, all kinds of feelings returned to me. Suddenly everything was in color again.
And the people on the boats were the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.