I was standing next to my car, which was parked in the driveway of the Denver townhouse. I have no idea why we were there, because we don't live in a townhouse and we don't live in Denver, but there was my car and there I was next to it. Was I getting in? Out? Grabbing some forgotten thing hidden within its depths? I don't know.
I do know, however, that I was slightly turned away when The Flash went off. I looked up to see the end of it and knew instinctively what it was. I started running into the open garage to get into the house. Deep inside I thought it would be safer inside the house than outside in my car. Safe from what was coming. I didn't know how long I'd have, but it wasn't going to be long and that distance, from the driveway into the house via the garage suddenly stretched into forever.
I was a bug trapped in amber. My legs were moving, but I wasn't making any headway. Finally, time sped back up and I lunged into the house and slammed the door shut and then the giant sucking wind began. The crashing and screaming began. I don't remember what happened next. Did I make it up the stairs? For a house I've never been in before, I know exactly how it's laid out.
Dreams are funny like that.
In the house, my family waited for me. The Hatchet Five. Plus, my mother-in-law and Grampy Jim. Was this their new place in Denver? Maybe.
It was dark now. There was ash all over the windows. We couldn't see the capitol building from here, but my instincts were telling me that we'd never see it again. That it was Ground Zero for the bomb that went off.
Was it an accident? An attack? No one knew.
There was a flower with yellow petals and a green calyx that Linda kept throwing out and that I kept pulling out of the trash and sticking back into a cup of water. She grew frustrated with me and asked me what I was doing. I replied that it may be the last bit of green we see for awhile and that we shouldn't throw it away.
It was a symbol.
People began flowing past the house with assorted belongings clutched in their arms. Confused. Despairing. Where do you go when Armageddon begins? What do you take with you? Is any direction safe? Is anyone safe?
We needed to go. Where?
I think it was summer or at least spring. There wasn't any snow and it didn't appear to be cold. I wasn't wearing a coat, at the very least.
Outside, a group of five or six men walked past, loaded with weapons and gear piled high on the back of a single bicycle. Survivalists. Everyone gave them a wide berth. One of the men tripped over his own feet and fell to the ground. Stupidly, his finger had been on the trigger of his Very Large Gun. It went off, long and loud with a ripping noise, pointed at the sky. Then it was time for Screaming and Running. People scattered.
That's when I noticed the trucks.
Enormous white semi-trucks, with Wal*mart inscribed in blue on the sides. In the trucks were hundreds of animals: dogs, cats, cattle. They were screaming and tearing at one another to escape. I think they were open sided, like cattle cars, so that we could see what was inside. They were meant to terrify. A war waged with animal fear, adding to and enhancing our own.
It was clear now that the Glassing of Denver was no accident.
We had to leave.
I remember thinking, No! Not Denver! It's dangerous in the city. I think it was related to conversations with Misty about where to live. For me, the city is right out.
The looting would start soon and with it would come predators looking for me and my children. I had a sudden visual of the scene in 24 where the mom sacrifices herself to protect her daughter from rape. And there I was with two daughters and a tiny son. We needed to go now.
We gathered up some things. I remember taking my seeds because where ever we were going, if we were to survive we would need to eat. Soon the only food available would be that which we produced ourselves. We started walking.
What had happened to my car? Perhaps it had been destroyed in the initial blast.
Suddenly things shifted and I was no longer the current time version of me. Instead, I was a teenager and I was running alongside my father and asking him where we were going and how we were going to get out of there.
Was it still Denver or was it now NYC?
I don't know. I'll never know because then? Emma woke up.
But the nightmare won't fade.