From far away, she heard the mournful appeal of the conch shell calling her to join the battle. She knew she had to answer. She knew she had to leave her predictable life, her safe life, and be part of this fight. She had no choice. It was fight and die. Or die anyway.
But when she tried to step forward she found herself bound to the wall by a thick sheet of plastic that covered her naked body. The more she struggled, the tighter it held her. She felt helpless.
The call of the conch shell, closer now, filled her with dread. The battle was getting closer, inching toward her. She could hear the cries of the dying now. There was no mistaking the fear in the voices that speared her heart, no different than the sharp blade that would surely reach her soon enough.
“I’m coming,” she shouted over the growing din and pushed harder against the restrictive plastic. It did not give.
Desperate to save everyone, she started tearing at the sheet with her finger nails. Every tiny tear she managed to make, instantly healed itself. She tried to pull the pins out of the wall. They held fast.
This makes no sense, she thought. It’s just plastic. I’m stronger than plastic.
The fighting grew increasing louder and closer. Panic started to eat away at her mind. She could hear herself screaming in frustration and fear. Any minute now, the enemy would find her. And kill her.
She had to get free. She had to. But how? If only the sheet was paper instead of plastic… If only she had the conch shell. She could call upon Peace. She could save the world.
With a fierce heave, she threw her weight into the binding sheet. Unexpectedly, it started to give. A small tear opened up just above her breasts. She pushed again, harder. The binding tore a little more.
If only it was paper…
She realized that the plastic was changing. It was transforming a little more every time she thought about it being paper.
“It’s only paper,” she said out loud. “It’s only paper.”
And with a final thrust the sheet tore away and she was free.
The conch, she thought. “The conch,” she said. “I have the conch.
Like magic, it appeared in her hands. She lifted it to her lips and blew into it. A long, doleful resonance filled the air. She blew again. And again. And again.
“Peace,” she called. “I call down Peace!”
After a while, she grew tired and with tears in her eyes she let the conch shell fall to the floor. It shattered on impact into a million glistening shards that flew up, forming a cyclone. The spinning shards, like miniature razors, soared up and outside into the midst of the battle.
The enemy grew fearful and began to fall back. A few who thought they could stop it, ran toward it only to be cut mercilessly down.
She stepped outside, too, and looked out over the battle field. The destruction was horrific. The people were nearly defeated, but the enemy was retreating. The cyclone of conch shell shards continued to spin wildly, forcing the enemy back ever farther until, at last, there was silence.
The silence turned to darkness. The darkness turned slowly to light.
And as the light grew stronger, so too did the people heal.
And she woke up knowing that transformation comes from within. There is nothing that she cannot overcome.