It was very difficult because I could not tell if I were in a train or a train station, a train station or a train. It was World War II which is often my setting in my dreams. I was in the army, some women's area I suppose because this being World War II they were separated. The uniforms were very olive green like the pants I wear every day but had all the billion army flaps and buttons you get everywhere, very tailored and ironed and tucked in. I believe I was in a skirt. I had a friend with blonde hair cut a little longer than the chin and curled under, that very 1942 style, and a wide mouth and wide blue eyes and very beautiful. This being my standard of beauty which differs quite a bit from the current regular. And we both had the uniforms and the little two-corner hats like the guy who drives the ice cream truck wears nowadays but at the time they were strict army issue and very official. And your hair very neat under it.

We went across the bridge across the water to work. It was a regular road but we were walking because this was the war and you walked. We were in Europe but somewhere you didn't need coats or at least that season because Italy doesn't seem like the right location in my head. There was a lot of water to negotiate, and the train depot where we worked at the moment. It was long and shone waxed wooden under your feet, with cast iron armrests on the benches. We were being deployed somewhere else. We were not yet on a battlefront. This explains how tailored and neat we were.

I had been back and forth. For some reason I could go and see my mother. On leave I suppose but we were after all in Europe. I don't know how this could happen. It was not my mother anyway and not her house. But I still went. There was a lot of time. I was in the army for a long time.

So there were several people who I had to escort elsewhere. Small people, children. I don't know exactly who they were but we were taking them away from the lines, heading west apparently although I don't know the actual battle lines enough to know if this is plausible. We were still going west. The train we were going to board certainly faced west. Each of us had x y z number of people under our jurisdiction (although no one had small people but me) and had to get them out to specified location. Which location however was not clear. But we had to wait and so we handed out blankets and slept on the floor, heads on our rucksacks, all in uniform and ready for deployment at any second. I had six or seven small people with me and we all slept in a line like we were already on the train, in pairs. They were mostly five six seven year olds but one baby with very black eyes who stared at you in a round manner and silent. She was pale and shallow and blue. And we didn't have anything special we could do for her but I made sure she was right in front of me. At my feet.

I believe this then was in the station. But waking up you could not tell whether you were in the station or the train or maybe it was changing on you. And the reason you woke up was that suddenly there were other soldiers. They had clearly just come in off the lines so we must not have been that far. Not far at all because they were enemy soldiers and how else would they be there. It was a train station. Who knows who was controlling the rest of the line although it must have been both sides at this point because otherwise how could you. Could they.

We weren't exactly trained for this type of combat, but we weren't quite captured. There was no time to do anything and by the time we had reacted we all had to stay still, since clearly, although the threat had not been literally made, we would be shot. I looked over my shoulder at my blonde friend, on the other side of the aisle and three or four seats back. She was hideously cheerful and charming and still very beautiful and I could not look any more.

One soldier came up the aisle grinning. They were all smiling. Everyone was smiling. We were all tense but still a little smiling in that tense way you do. And this soldier came slowly up the aisle, and he picked up the baby in front of me. And he said "hello, baby!" in the very soft and bright tone you use to talk to babies. He picked her up in his left arm and then his right hand went around the back of her neck and he wrenched her head very deliberately and coolly sideways, full to the left. I was staring at them, at her back, and her bones all crushed out of alignment and then she was only a head and a spine, stuck in a tiny body. The full spine blue and pale down her back.

When they were done they just left.

I was back in the station. Nothing had gone as planned. "As planned" was a joke at this point. Later at my mother's I discovered that something had happened and the pendant I always wear was broken. This is an octagonal unglazed porcelain piece the color of bone, with a world tree on it. A narrow piece was gone, like you can break a tile, sheer off the back. The front was still intact except for a tiny corner. I could still wear it. I had it in my hand.

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