I always have crazy dreams…almost always bad ones. Last night was no exception.
The first thing I remember is beating a guy senseless in a big empty room. The background is hazy and I’m not sure how it got to this point, but I know this guy needs to be unconscious – my life depends on it. It’s an out-of-body (in someone else’s body) dream. I’m the character, but the character isn’t me. The character is doing a much better job than I would at beating this guy to near-death. The guy is laying on the ground, presumably in very bad shape. After another kick in the ribs, I step over him to leave. He stirs and groans and I realize he’s not all the way unconscious. I should lay into him again, but I just don’t have that much of a stomach for violence and I figure he’s incapacitated enough to no longer be a threat.
I walk out of the room and into a newsroom. Out comes my editor with a heavy-duty rifle. Apparently he’s had his own tangles with the guy I just pulverized and he intends to finish the job. My editor is a man I’ve never met. He’s stout, heavy but not fat, late fifties to early sixties and very strong. He’s a man’s man and a good friend of mine. I know who he is in the dream even though he says almost nothing. Another man comes from an adjoining office with a shotgun to back up the editor. This is apparently a rough day in the newsroom.
Then our antagonist marches in. He’s like super-human because I really knocked the snot out of him and he should not be walking, much less swaggering like he is. He’s like a comic book villain that will not die. He’s toting this really large gun. It looks like a water gun, really unrealistic, and I can see that there is water in it. But I’m scared and sidle up to a pillar off to the side. My editor faces him head-on but suddenly seems to lose all of his intelligence. The danger was palpable in the air, but for some reason the editor lowers his weapon when he should have opened fire.
The editor starts to speak. The antagonist shoots him several times with the “water gun.” Something like grappling hooks with trailing ropes embed in the editor’s chest. He should fall over in agony. Instead, he looks down at them, bemused.
“What are these?” he asks.
“Just press that button on the top,” says the antagonist. My now-complete-idiot-editor does what he’s told. The grappling hooks and rope explode into a direct spray of machine gun fire and the editor is not only killed but totally vaporized. I’m not sure what became of his backup with the shotgun because I didn’t stick around to find out.
The instant the machine gun fire starts, I make a run for it. I don’t want to meet the water gun. I’m trying to bolt as fast as possible while remaining stealthy and unnoticed. There’s an elevator with a bit of protruding wall I can press myself against to be concealed. I desperately press the elevator button several times, hoping against hope I’ll have enough time to get into the elevator and close the door before he gets to me. I never actually look to see if I’m being pursued. I’m too scared. The elevator opens. I’m in and smacking the door close button. Come on, come on, close!
The elevator takes me to the basement. I realize there’s no way out and it’s only a matter of time before the antagonist comes for me. I could hide, but being a sitting duck waiting to die seems the worst fate. I decide I must go back to the second floor, where he is, and somehow get around him to the only exit. I really should have stomped that guy’s head in when I had the chance.
Somehow, I escape. Outside is surreal. I’m in some big city and Meredith is my cab driver. There’s snow on the ground. We go by a big church and my aunt and cousins are coming out of it. I’m explaining to Meredith what happened; she wants to know how I got out but I’m not sure. For some reason, we end up back in the newsroom and I have to do it all over again and get Meredith out, too. We’re hiding by the elevator and waiting with the same terrified tension as before, and then my phone rings (in real life). It utterly terrifies me, then wakes me up. My heart nearly beat out of my chest and I was probably halfway across the room before my mind was fully awake.
I went back to sleep after talking to Michael and started another dream. I was riding my bike from my dad’s house to WalMart to buy something. It was hard to control the bike because of all the snow. It was also dark outside. I realized I shouldn’t have left without telling anyone, and now I was lost and couldn’t figure out how to get back. The familiar roads changed and I had no idea where I was. I was biking on busy streets alongside cars and pedestrians, many of whom were running and jogging. Occasionally, I’d come up to a roadblock made of a giant mound of snow. I’d try to ramp it with my bike and I would get good air and then fall off and wreck. But the wrecks didn’t hurt and I thought it was fun, despite a relative feeling of crisis in the dream. I found myself atop a big cliff looking down on The St. Louis Mills mall. And I thought, man, how in the world did I get here? I wanted to call my mom to ask directions home from the Mills, but I was embarrassed that I got so lost and I didn’t want her to get upset because I was in a bad neighborhood so far away in the dark on my bike…in the snow.
It was getting harder and harder to ride the bike. It no longer had wheels, just metal on the ground and I had a lot of trouble getting started without falling over. Things outside were getting more surreal. There were people everywhere walking and jogging in the streets, and I had to weave in and out of them and the traffic. There were a bunch of boy scouts standing on a loading dock behind a warehouse doing some sort of ritual. Eventually, I found a girl I knew at the high school she went to. I asked if I could look up directions on her smart phone, but she said she didn’t know how to use it. She took me into her school and down into the basement to use the computer lab. Everything was chaotic and I was afraid if I went in, they wouldn’t let me leave. But she said it’d be OK. Once in the lab, I started worrying about my bike getting stolen. I didn’t remember locking it up or where I had left it. How would I get home? But then my suspicions were confirmed; they weren’t going to let me leave.
There was a teacher presiding over the computer lab and she was preparing us for some sort of emergency lockdown situation. My friend showed me a satellite map on the computer and explained that there was some sort of phenomena occurring in a clover-shaped area that seemed to be highlighted on the map. I didn’t recognize where we were at all, and wanted to know if it was happening on Mid Rivers. They couldn’t tell me, but assured me there was no chance of me making it if I left and tried to get back to St. Peters. I think the scenario was supposed to be like something I read a while back in the book One Second After about what would happen if America was hit by an EMP attack. But it wasn’t really that, because cars were still running and computers were still working. With an EMP attack, surges would theoretically destroy all of our electronic devices, including cars with computer chips. At any rate, I felt like that was what was happening in the dream.
Although it wasn’t nearly as scary as my first dream, it was very confusing and gave me a sense of helplessness and vague dread. Then I woke up again. Weird dreams.