An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
Ambrose Bierce paints of picture of the mind that shows how an altered reality can change circumstances for a moment. A Southern gentleman, Peyton Farquhar, has been condemned to death for espionage. His crime was trying to blow up a bridge during the Civil War. A much needed bridge that is being used by Union troops. Any terrorists caught were to be hanged without a trial. The military was judge, jury, and executioner. Farquhar is an unfortunate soul who has strong sympathies for the South, a system that has served him well. There is actually more than one war that is being fought, Farquhar sat out this physical war so far but he has engaged in a war in his own mind, which led him to become an active participant as a civilian. He watched his way of life come to an end which was the catalyst for getting off the sidelines. Farquhar attempts to destroy a union position and is caught. His guilt was not proven in the story but the facts speak for themselves. e
He now finds himself bound with his hands behind his back; rope securely around his neck standing on a railroad bridge. Now with only moments to live he generates an entirely different scene in his mind. He imagines that it is possible for the rope to break and he is able to escape to a waiting river of rushing water and shortly the scenario that he was dreaming in his mind comes to life. As he is hung the rope breaks causing him to fall into the waiting, rushing river. Farquhar is in terrible pain. His neck is hurting and pains are radiating in his back. While all this is happening he is then shot at by the soldiers that just attempted to hang him. He swims just as fast as possible. His captors are now shooting at him. As he swims for his life he keeps a watchful eye on the troops that are shooting at him. Farquhar uses the smoke release from the guns as his cue to dive back under water where he has been successful because the troops are shooting independently. He...
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