This is Peyton Fahrquhar, he is standing at the edge of the Owl Creek bridge in Alabama.
Greetings sir! I'm awfully thirsty, would you please fetch me some water?
Sure, I'll be right back!
I have no regrets.
Looks like I'm next.
This is where most of the story takes place.
Peyton is visited by a federal scout disguised as a confederate soldier asking for a drink of water. The man tells him about Owl Creek Bridge, he explains that the Yanks had rebuilt the bridge and were planning to advance. There is a sign warning people not to mess with it, or be hanged. The man makes it seem that there is no security, Peyton goes to the bridge to try to mess with it, he gets caught and gets ready to be hung. Time seems to slow.
Thank goodness I made it out of there alive! Now off to my family!
The climax occurs when the final man steps out. Peyton falls having no support. It is the moment that we transition from the real world to the world that Peyton makes up in which he escapes. The world seemed to slow down around him before the man stepped out. He was processing everything. In a sense it was like his version of your life flashing before your eyes when you are about to die.
I'm home honey!
Peyton's mind weaves a story in which he escapes, the rope snaps and goes underwater. The soldiers miss all of their shots at him, He gets caught in a current and is whisked away, he walks a long way to get home, but falls asleep and wakes to be at home.
Just before he embraces his family, everything goes dark. It is then revealed that Peyton had never escaped and was in fact hanged over Owl Creek Bridge. Peyton's death marks the end of the story and the end of Peyton's grand escape.
Oh honey, I thought you were dead! I'm so glad to see you!