Author's Notes: This story is based partly on my dream and partly on one of my favorite movies, Red Dawn. I chose the title Silent Night to make it ironic because it happens in December, around Christmas time. Silent Night, when bombs are exploding everywhere?
"Addison?" Jeremy said, taking Addison's hands in his and looking her in the eye.
"Hm?" Addison responded.
"Tell me something—because I am... I'm majorly confused." Jeremy said, holding her gaze.
"Um... About...what?" Addison asked, not sure.
"I... I remember you saying we're not friends," Jeremy said, starting to get nervous. "And I realize you're right. As much time as we've spent together over spring break, we haven't become friends. I just... I thought maybe you'd like to do something about that."
"I do," Addison said quickly. She wanted to say more but decided against it.
"So... You want us to be friends?" Jeremy asked, looking away for the first time. He wanted this girl so bad. He was so close—and still so far.
"Yes!" Addison said quickly, her voice strained as if on the verge of tears. "Well... I mean... I..."
An awkward silence seemed to fill the whole upper deck of Seward College's cafeteria like a vacuum. Despite the people around them, Jeremy Friesen felt as though the normal cafeteria noise was distant. Barely audible. After a moment, Addison spoke again.
"Dammit!" she swore. "No wonder you're confused."
"Addie, I still feel the same way that I did back in the fall of last year," Jeremy said, drawing a deep breath. "And it's just getting stronger. So if you just want to be friends—"
Jeremy was interrupted by the sound of Addison's chair screeching against the cafeteria floor. She stood in an instant, pushing her chair back and flying to him. Their lips met. Students and professors alike clapped and cheered. Jeremy's roommate David, who was sitting one table over, whistled Here Comes the Bride.
"Woo! Ring before spring or your money back, guaranteed!" a student shouted, laughing.
The happy couple ignored them.
"Still confused?" Addison asked, smiling, panting. Their kiss left them both breathless, their hearts racing.
"Not really," Jeremy said, his voice quivering. "However, you can help clarify a few more things."
With that, they kissed again, Jeremy initiating the kiss this time. Their second kiss was more passionate than their first and Jeremy had to undo another button on his shirt. It was as if there had been a fire in the cafeteria kitchen and the whole building was now burning. He was perspiring.
When they finally finished, Addison giggled and said, "Just so you know, you're not the only one who's confused, Jeremy Friesen."
But Addison didn't get the chance to reply. Explosion after explosion rocked the area.
"Jesus!" David exclaimed.
"What the hell was that?" a professor asked.
"What in the world—" Jeremy said, stunned. Confused. Nobody knew what was going on. Everyone was in a state of panic.
"Jeremy! Addison!" David shouted. "Let's go! Let's get outta here!"
"Good idea!" Jeremy said, dragging his newfound girlfriend by the hand, David leading them both.
"I think I beg to differ," Addison said. "We should stay inside!"
"Are you crazy?" David said. "The building's bound to collapse from all this explosion!"
And as if to validate David's point, a huge chunk of the ceiling, with dust, came hurtling to the floor, almost crushing Addison. Luckily, Jeremy pushed her out of the way to avoid an untimely death.
"We have no choice!" Jeremy said, helping Addison to her feet. "Let's go!"
Addison tried to walk, but as soon as she put her right foot down, she screamed in agony, tears stinging her eyes. She winced in pain and shut her eyes tight, letting out a muffled "Fuck!" as she bit her lip. She was wounded, one of her shoes missing.
"Here," David said. "Let me help. Stay on her left and I'll stay on her right. That way we can support her. Can you hop with one leg with us supporting you?"
"I think I can," Addison said through gritted teeth.
They made their way out of the cafeteria in that fashion, slowly but surely. They had a few close calls with falling beams, chunks of ceiling, light fixtures, and flying glass. But they made it safely outside. Once there, however, David realized how stupid it was to have gone outside. The roar of planes could be heard overhead, and on the ground, there were explosions which could only have come from the planes soaring above them. America was under attack. This was war. Far above, Jeremy saw what looked like jellyfish coming down from the sky.
"Son of a bitch," David said.
"Shit," Addison said.
Jeremy couldn't see well. In the chaos and confusion, somewhere along the way, he had lost his contact lenses (which he needed badly right now). What looked to him like jellyfish in the sky were, in actuality, parachutes. Enemy paratroopers jumping from the planes.
"Go! Go! Go! Go! Go!" David shouted. "Let's go, dammit!"
Before they could advance, however, a missile struck the crumbling cafeteria, sending Jeremy, Addison, and David hurtling through the air.
"Aaaaaaahhhhhh! Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh! Aaaaaaaahhhhhhh! Ahhhhh!" Jeremy screamed, flailing his arms and legs. He had ended up on the floor of the dorm room he shared with David. Being a good friend and roommate, David shook him awake.
"Yo! Wake up!" David said. "Jerms! Wake up, man. You're dreaming."
"Aaaahhhh!" Jeremy screamed one more time, sitting up in terror, his shirt soaked with sweat despite the cold wintry Vermont air that seemed to penetrate the room even with the closed window. He was breathing heavily like someone with an asthma attack.
"You're alright," David assured him. "You're alright. You were dreaming."
Jeremy took a deep breath, then said, "Sorry. Did I disturb you?"
"Not really," David said. "I'm still up doing accounting—as usual."
"Not your forte, I take it?"
"Never in a thousand years."
"So what was I screaming about?" Jeremy asked. "Was I talking in my sleep?"
"Yeah," David said. "Can't get over Addison friendzoning you, huh?"
"Shut up," Jeremy said, shaking his head. "Daisy did the same thing to you—even worse, she led you on."
"Touché. So... You were also saying something about having no choice? And that we had to go?"
"I guess I was... Now I remember what it was!" Jeremy said. "I was dreaming America was being invaded."
"I dunno. I couldn't see their faces clear enough to guess their nationality."
"I think we better lay of the C.O.D. and movies."
"You actually fell out—no, flew—out of bed and landed flailing on the floor."
"That explains a lot."
Before Jeremy went back to sleep, he got up and went over to the window and peeked through the closed blinds.
"Trust me," David said. "There are no planes, no nuclear warheads, missiles, bombs, or paratroopers jumping out of planes. No explosions either. All you'll see is snow."
"Let's hope it stays that way," Jeremy mumbled.
"Relax. It was only a dream," David reassured him. "If we were being attacked, we'd know about it for sure."
"You're right," Jeremy said, sighing. "By the way, get some sleep yourself."
"I will," David said. "When this accounting class finally kills me."
Ak-ak-ak-ak-ak-ak-ak-ak-ak! Machine gun fire could be heard everywhere. The once-peaceful streets of Vermont were now a warzone. Jeremy bravely approached a soldier. Inside the pocket of his parka, he cocked his pistol, ready to use it if it came to that.
"You! You stop immediately!" the soldier said in Arabic. Jeremy slowly backed off, then began picking up speed.
"Get back here!" the angry soldier shouted. "Get him!"
Jeremy felt as though his lungs would burst as he ran through the icy streets. And the cold air wasn't helping either. He felt like dying. But running was necessary. He was luring these bastards into a trap. Five soldiers were after him, including the one who was trying to stop him earlier.
He reached the spot he and his friends had agreed on and took out his pistol from the pocket of his parka. Suddenly, a hail of bullets rained down on the enemy. Jeremy's pistol was the signal to fire. The men had no chance to fight back. They were dead in minutes, their blood spraying the snow red.
"Mustangs!" David shouted. "Mustangs! Mustangs!"
The group burst into cheering "Mustangs" over and over. Suddenly, Nate Hughes, a mutual friend of David and Jeremy's, silenced them with a wave of his hand and a whistle. He was the leader of this resistance.
"Take their weapons and uniforms!" he instructed, like an officer in the military. He may as well have been. He and his brother Mark had been raised around military men. They grew up in bases all over the country. Their father was a retired colonel in the army. And now he was dead. Those were the last instructions Jack Hughes gave to his boys and their friends—fight. For freedom. To the death.
"Mustangs!" David Cranmer (not Jeremy's roommate) shouted, raising his rifle in the air.