[I had a dream the other night. It was memorable and it left me feeling off-kilter. I'm still impacted by it, three days later. I've written the contents of the dream here for you to experience. I hope I've adequately captured the dread, immediately followed by terror, that I felt. The dread is still kind of there, under the surface. Remembering my dreams is a bit of a feat for me in the first place, so it's weird that this one has followed me so far. I welcome comments, questions, and criticism in the comments -- LJ]
I sat in my van and looked at a clear, blue, noon-day sky. I didn’t know what I was expecting, but the air was pregnant with expectation.
My wife beckoned me to drive on. My youngest child cried for a toy.
“Wait. Just wait. Look,” I said,, pointing to the sky.
There hadn’t been a cloud. Nothing but azure in the slice of the sky that we could see.
Clouds gathered, suddenly. That was odd in itself. Clouds aren’t sudden. But, impossibly, they were. They appeared and began to swirl around, converging on a spot in the sky. And that’s when I saw it.
“Is that lava?” I asked my wife. It looked like it. It looked like the clouds were swirling around an inverted pool of lava. The clouds thickened, dimming and then concealing the glow. But the lava look came back, brightening, even through the heavier clouds. The swirling took on even more urgency, as if it fed energy into the ever-increasing glow.
Night fell. I know night could not have fallen. It was noon. But there was no other explanation for the complete blackness that suddenly – that impossible word again – enveloped us.
For all that I felt like I should have been terrified, with sky-lava, impossible clouds, and a noon-time night that descended in an instant, I wasn’t scared.
Or, well, I was scared, but it was a quiet fear. A dread that lay in the bottom of my stomach. I knew, somehow, that whatever was happening was not immediately dangerous, but would change everything forever. How could it not?
The light in the sky, the thing I’d identified as lava, grew brighter. Not bright enough to illuminate anything. It was too faraway for that. But bright enough that it was all that could be seen.
It flashed a brilliant white and then it did illuminate something. A mountain. An impossible mountain that did not exist. I told myself it must be a trick of the light because there was no mountain there — there had been no mountain there. But then there must be, because I could see its silhouette, plastered against the night sky.
The lava pooled, sharpened into a point of brilliant light, then it poured straight down into the mountain. Giant chunks exploded out from the mountain, clearly visible now, as what had been lava but was now some kind of bam, tore into the mountain.
The sunlight returned, the lava/laser beam disappeared, and the quiet feel of dread transformed into one of claustrophobic terror. I had to get away. Those pieces of the mountain could land anywhere and I had to get my family and I as far away as I could before everything came down. That mountain felt as big as everything and the fallout from this — what was it, an attack? The damage that those pieces could do in collision, I was sure, could unmake everything.
I slammed the van into reverse and whipped around. Something didn’t feel right. I glanced over my shoulder to look at the fading mountain.
Its landscape had been completely changed. Everything was coming apart on the mountain; it had cracked in two. The pieces that had been forced out by the beam were obviously flying through the air away from the mountain, but they were moving so slowly. That wasn’t right.
I knew with an absolute certainty that those pieces of the mountain were moving faster than I could even comprehend. How far away must they be to seem so slow? And how big the mountain, that it dominated the sky from such a distance? But the mountain faded away, and the terror subsided.
“What did I just see?” I asked, shaking my head. My wife turned toward me and indicated, with a nod of her head, that I should keep driving. My youngest continued crying for a toy.
Nobody answered my question. Had they seen what I had seen?
What had I seen?