Nightmare

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Author's Note: I got this idea after recently experiencing an episode of sleep paralysis for the first time. Elsa's episode is an altered version of mine.

Elsa leaned back against the doors of her newly constructed ice palace in relief. Finally, she was free. Away from Arendelle, so she'd no longer be a threat. Sadly, also away from Anna, the one person she loved in this world more than anyone. But Anna's well-being meant more to Elsa than her own feelings. Whatever was necessary to keep Anna safe was what Elsa would do.

As she walked throughout her new palace, gazing in awe at the fact she'd built this construction, she imagined all the other things she could finally do with her powers. "Perhaps starting with some furniture," she mumbled amusedly as she remembered she hadn't exactly built her palace furnished. Just then, Elsa let out a large yawn. The euphoria was beginning to wear off and replace itself with exhaustion.

Too tired to exert much more energy, Elsa settled herself in a corner and rested her head on her knees. It wasn't the most comfortable position, but she became numb to the discomfort as she drifted off to sleep. Within a matter of seconds, the snow queen had fallen into a sound slumber.

It didn't feel Elsa had been sleeping for long when she awoke, but she spotted something standing several feet in front of her. "A-Anna?" Elsa murmured groggily. The figure appeared silhouetted, but seemed to have the form of a person. Even as it began coming slowly toward Elsa, she couldn't make out who it was. "Anna?" Elsa tried to lift her head, but she couldn't. Her legs were also immobile. Elsa couldn't move any part of her body an inch nor could she speak. She could only murmur, yet even that was a struggle.

Elsa began to panic, but somehow, her powers stayed contained, perhaps due to her immobility. But how did she get in such a state? She looked ahead of her again, but the figure had vanished. Her palace, however, had gone from its bright blue to a menacing dark and the silence became eerie. Elsa tried again to stand, but she remained perfectly still. Why wasn't her body cooperating?

Just then, Elsa heard soft rumbling. Was her palace beginning to crack somewhere? It stopped, but quickly started up again, and repeated itself several times. Yet Elsa didn't feel the floor move the slightest bit beneath her. The walls and ceiling, as far as she could see, were also intact. She then spotted that same figure again, only it appeared somewhat smaller. "A...nna?" she struggled to murmur. "A...nna?" It was all she could get out.

As suddenly as it had started, the rumbling stopped. The palace lightened slightly, but remained dark. Elsa was still immobile, but she saw the figure kneel down and motion her to come forward, as if it wanted to speak to her. Elsa didn't know if the figure was truly Anna or not, or how she got to the palace if it was Anna, but all Elsa wanted right now was to understand what was happening around her. What had immobilized her, who this figure was, and why her palace was rumbling moments ago.

While she was deep in her thoughts, the figure vanished again. Elsa opened her eyes to see her palace back to its bright blue and white colors. She sat up in shock and confusion, taking a second to realize she could move again. She ran quickly throughout her palace in search of any cracks, but found none. It seemed to her things had finally become normal again.

"Anna!" she remembered, and this time, she heard her voice. "Anna! Anna!" the queen shouted, but the only answer she received was her own echo. So Anna wasn't here. Elsa was certain she'd seen somebody, yet there seemed to be no one in her palace except her.

Relieved, Elsa let out a heavy sigh and fell to her knees. "A nightmare," she told herself. "That's all it was." Although it didn't feel like one, that was the only conclusion Elsa could come to, as she saw no evidence it could've been anything else.

Somehow, Elsa was more tired than she'd been when she fell asleep before, but she didn't want any more nightmares. She returned up to her balcony overlooking the North Mountain. In the distance, she could just barely see Arendelle. Her thoughts immediately shifted to Anna.

"I'm sorry, Anna," she whispered solemnly, "but you are safe now."

After a few more minutes, Elsa returned indoors. "Hmmm. Maybe I'll get started on that furniture now."

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