War Dreams and Sad Decisions
Dear God, the dreams last night were something else.
I was not an adult in these dreams but I was thinking as I do now, just in a child’s body. I was in a war of some nature, bigger than anything anyone could stop…almost as if aliens had come down from the black of space and took over with technology and numbers we’ve never seen the likes of, although they were men, not aliens, when I saw them.
The area of town was familiar to me, as usual, and I knew the layout well. The buildings there are mostly commercial in nature, banks, shopping centres, factories…all abandoned and dead quiet. We were not allowed to occupy the area so movement between the buildings had to be done under cover and very carefully; anyone caught was taken prisoner, hauled away in a re-purposed city bus driven by a soldier and we never saw them again.
I was hiding in the ceiling of a factory with several other people, mostly adults, and we had not yet been discovered, but, we knew the forces were planning to use the building as a base, of sorts, and knew we had to leave. Several of us, maybe 20 in total, watched the skies for airplanes and the ground for troops through the cracks that had appeared in the walls after years of neglect. Windows were to be stayed far back from as it was not unusual to suddenly have a volley of bullets explode the remaining glass when the slightest reflection was seen from the outside. The adults were kind to me, planning where to put me so I would be safe and one mentioned a bank with a sealed vault where many other children were said to be hidden away.
We left the building in daylight because the streets were routinely combed in the dark, the most obvious time for movement and escape attempts. I was terrified but tried to stay calm, trusting those around me to help keep me safe. We moved through alleys and covered pathways, trying to reach the bank but a sudden rumbling engine made us all freeze in our tracks, right out there on the main street. I backed into a the corner of a covered store entrance but I was right in the open, vulnerable and easily seen. Two of the men in my group stood in front of me, hoping to hide me from the forces but a city bus rolled up and stopped directly in front of us, soldiers (sort of) getting out and beaconing us to board. They were not cruel to us but very direct and everyone obediently formed a queue and climbed aboard, myself included. I stood in the aisle trying to decide where to sit. The last time I had been on one of these buses it had exploded mid-trip (another dream from weeks ago) and only the back half where I was sitting survived. We escaped with ease and ran from the fireball, terrified but free again. I chose the same seat as last time and hunkered down, trying to make myself as tiny as possible.
The bus made many stops, forces getting out and banging on residential doors, smashing windows and hunting for people to capture. On one of these stops all the troops exited the bus upon hearing a struggle going on from a back yard area. There were feral dogs everywhere and they often attacked on sight out of fear and hunger….the noise sounded like one of the troops had been attacked by a whole pack. We all looked at each other, on the bus, and someone put their finger to their lips and motioned for me and several other people to follow…we silently crept off the back of the bus and, removing our shoes to not make any noise, beat a path back to the safety of the city centre….I can’t remember ever having run that fast in my life. We made it though, to safety without being seen. My heart was thundering in my chest with terror, adrenaline and blissful relief.
We came upon the bank, our group now much smaller, and one of the adults picked me up and held me up to a night deposit slot that opened from the outside. I was so little I could fit through so I scrambled past the metal grill and plopped down onto the tile floor. It was dark inside and I couldn’t see for a moment but I felt the presence of others around me. Quietly, an older woman approached and, finger to lips, led me through the dark hallways to a small room with a day bed and curtains on the window.
“They do not know we are in here,” she whispered, “so this is where we keep the children, like you. Do not make any noise in here and, if we are discovered, you must lay down on top of the sheets in this bed and fold your arms over your chest; Pretend to be dead, as if we all committed suicide rather than be taken as prisoner. If you are convincing enough, they will leave you here and move on.”
I wasn’t sure I’d be able to act dead in the face of such fear. I would tremble and maybe even cry…they would never believe I was dead, but I said nothing, nodded solemnly, and sat quietly on the quit covering the bed. The moment the woman was gone I began hunting for a more effective hiding spot. There was no room under the bed and although I tried hard, I could not get between the mattresses flat enough to make the bed look empty. There was a small attic hatch in the corner though and I set about getting myself up there, recalling, distantly, a story of a girl I had heard who hid from the Nazis in her attic for a good long while. Plus, I’d already been hiding in the ceilings of factories…it had become to feel like the safest place to be.
Once I had managed to climb up I was stunned to find a huge network of rooms and another large group of adults hiding out up there. There was a huge, half moon, stained glass window that we could peek through without giving off a reflection or image to alert the forces of our whereabouts. I peeked constantly, looking for danger and terrified of being caught again.
I could see the old factory where I had recently stayed and my stomach lurched as I watched it get bombed by a strange hovering aircraft (where the alien pulse came from in theme). The explosions rattled the building I was in and was so deafening we had to clamp our hands over our ears, even from such a distance. Silent tears slid out of my eyes because I knew there were still a lot of people hiding in there, too afraid to move or get caught and taken prisoner. I knew they would have died quickly but it still made my heart ache for them. One of the women I had been close to was nearly 9 months pregnant and had been so worried about the life she was bringing into the world. I was sort of relieved that she no longer had to worry. A crying baby would have put everyone in the building at risk…which no longer mattered, but still… I couldn’t stop crying anyway.
The aircraft, having destroyed the upper floors of the building, then began to fly in a slow circle, surprisingly close to the windows of neighbouring buildings, probably looking for more hidden citizens. I jumped back from the window and crawled under an old wooden chair in the corner of the room, velvet seat having long since disintegrated, but it had gold tassels hanging from the bottom which provided a bit of cover making me feel safer. I curled into a tiny ball and tried hard not to shake although I was scared a sudden explosion and bright white light would end me where I lay. None came though and after a while I relaxed a little and uncurled enough to relieve the pain in my muscles.
Movement around me caught my attention and I crawled out from my hiding stop to see what was going on. Many of my hidden room mates seemed to be excited over something and their voices didn’t sound fearful. I waited to see what was going on without asking.
“Look! Someone is fighting back! I think they’re on our side!” a stranger said far above the usual whispered conversations.
We all moved to the stained glass window and peeked through the little spaces between the lead and the colour to watch as some sort of force battled the aircraft that had just recently destroyed my old protectors. It was disintegrating it somehow without any firearms…like acid….very reminiscent of those huge white glowing balls of destruction that vaporized trees and vehicles and buildings in a dream of the woods I had not even a month earlier. A quiet cheer went up as the aircraft fell from the sky, finally exploding in a ball of flames when it hit the ground.
We knew we weren’t saved but just to have someone fighting on our side made everyone so happy..it was the first time I relaxed since arriving. Maybe things would work out after all…in the end. I hoped.
I woke here, my face and pillow wet with tears, adrenaline flowing thought my veins. I have no idea where my brain is going with this but I do hope it gets there soon. That sort of terror makes me feel like I’ve lost time in life, somehow.
Weirdness. Thanks for reading…needed to get that out before I start work for the day. Big decisions to make this weekend after talking to my current boss. She’s told me that she has no trouble going to bat for me…wants to fight for me to get this job in the end, however, the union is not flexible when it comes to the rules. If someone with more seniority applies, I’m out, no matter what she wants. :S She told me to shop around. Told me to cover myself and make sure I had security…as much as she’ll hate to lose me. Kind of makes the decision for me eh? One thing I didn’t know was that there is an “accommodated” list of union members who must be considered first, then regular union members, of which I am at the bottom of the seniority pile. She did say that this department has a terrible reputation of being difficult and exhausting to time keep…might help some, but nowhere near enough to be sure I’ll even have a shot. 😦 Looks like the security of a full time permanent job is going to have to win out and I will have to leave this place that makes me feel so happy and fulfilled. It’s pretty much par for the course in my life though..I never quite get what I want. *sigh* Lots in my head today.
The pain is pretty bad too. Thumb is getting worse by the day and my back is right messed up. God eh? Looking forward to the weekend big time.
Take care friends. Will write again soon. xx