Prelude — Occasionally, I’ll have a wild dream that rocks me to my core, enough for me not to want to sleep again for the next several days. This is my first real effort to start documenting these nightmares. I do not yet know what I hope to accomplish by publicly sharing these aside from telling the tales of the abstract that are vivid, sleep-depriving dreams. I hope you enjoy.
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It’s a relatively quiet afternoon, all things considered. I’m standing outside my home — normally in a dense, urban neighborhood — out in an open field of tall grass and sparse oak trees. It’s nearing dusk, and a dangerous storm is on the horizon. Despite this, there’s a relentless calmness in the air. The wind of the approaching storm is steady, quite contrary to the sight of the pitch-black clouds blocking most of the setting sun, sans a few beams of light. The sound was a constant, high-pitched whine and static, almost as if the sky was bellowing a war cry.
“That’s going to hit us,” one of my visiting friends says.
There’s no arguing with him. What started as a small funnel is now a super-massive column of dirt and destruction barreling towards us. Finally, I tell everybody to get inside, then I wait until they are all in before I run inside myself.
But I stay outside, frozen in fear. My legs won’t run. Oh god, why can I not run?
There’s no other option but to crawl underneath the small elevated porch and hold on for dear life. I peer through the gaps in the boards up at the sky. There’s no rain, no blinding flashes of lightning, no hail falling sideways; just wind. Lots and lots of wind.
It’s all over in a matter of seconds. My home is badly beaten, but still standing. There’s no more siding, no more windows; it has been striped naked.
“Tim, you need to get over here,” someone yells.
I finally have the strength to run inside, where I see flood waters steadily creeping up from the floor. There’s nothing else to do but to start peeling back the floor boards in the kitchen to expose the water, hoping to find where it’s coming from.
I tear a big hole in the floor, enough to exposing the foundation, where the water is now three inches above the top-most brick. Rolling up my sleeve, I stick my arm into the frigid, dark water, feeling around in hopes of finding something. What that something is, I don’t know, but I know I’ll find it whatever it is.
My cat Lily starts asking for my attention by rubbing up against my other arm that his holding my torso over the surface of the water. She’s been traumatized by this whole ordeal and just wants to be held, but now is not the time. I love that cat to death, as I always have with all my pets. They’re my little family, and they look up to me for care. But I don’t have the time.
“Not now,” I say to Lily, nudging her away with my elbow.
Except I nudge a little too hard. She falls into the water and gets pinned in the voids of the cinder blocks. Her baby-blue eyes — quickly shadowed by her pupils filled with terror — nearly vanish under the surface of the water.
I panic and start desperately trying to move the bricks. “Help me,” I cry. No one around me knows what to do. Giving up my futile efforts to move the bricks, I instead reach down the void to try to pull her out, or at least just enough to get her nose above the water so she can breath. I pull and pull and pull and pull, but she keeps getting sucked further down by the now-rapidly moving water. No longer can I hold her, and right before I lose my grip on her shoulders, her eyes glaze over as her lungs fill with water.
I killed her.
* * *
I briefly woke up to find Lily sleeping at my feet between my legs. It truly was a dream. She’s fine, I promise.