Last night I dreamed an apocalypse. I dreamed I walked along a sandy edge. The path fell away to the west, but not far, only into a small ditch or culvert like that which runs along a highway. The path gently curved, hiding the small cottage I knew I had come from behind a dark rising cliff. Beyond the collage I knew, in that way of knowing found only in dreams, began the fringes of a great city whose glow lit the southern sky. Before me was also a light, small and intensely bright, as if from a rest stop with cars parked beyond.
My feet were bare upon the sandy ground, on a path not marked by anything more than its flat nature or sparse vegetation. It held a narrow place between the drop and a rolling hill country beyond and the sheer sand cliffs rising to my left. It was a landscape reminiscent of other places, but like nothing I have ever seen. It was dusk, with the last pink light of the sun just vanishing beyond the hills, the glow of the city behind me and the true darkness of night before me shielded only by the lights of the rest stop.
From that direction came two women. They were older than I and friendly, with bleached blond hair and business suites with short skirts. They were lost, being guest of the Philip Johnson Hotel. I knew the hotel was just beyond my own cottage and offered to show them the way, picking up their two tote bags. They walked along the path before me, happily chatting away.
We had only gone a few paces when our eyes were drawn to the sky and we exclaimed as a thousand white wisps fill the sky – falling stars traveling a path from the cliffs over the rolling countryside. In the distance to the west there was a faint boom, almost like a pop, though deep and resonant but without the lingering roll of thunder. We stood and watched a light grow, as if from a great fire just beyond the horizon. It lasted just a moment and then a great cloud arose, not black with dust or smoke, but white like steam or like a fire just quenched with water.
Then we noticed a hazy yellow form coming over the land, like a creeping fog, but traveling the miles in seconds. It came to the edge and I realized it was water and yelled at the other two women to run, dropping the bags. First we ran along the path, for the safety of the buildings I knew to be just beyond the curving cliff. As the water covered our ankles, I knew we would not reach it and veered towards the cliffs. Seeing the soft sand face no one could climb I turned back, the water now to my knees and saw that first spit of sand crumble as the water washed into its base. Looking back I saw the wall approaching, tinged the yellow color of the sand. It was quiet, merely the whisper of a swift flowing river. I was uncertain, but not afraid. I counted the seconds, timing my breath, and as it swallowed me I exhaled.
I did not swim; I waited in the murky water, but realized only that I was still breathing deeply and evenly, that I could feel my chest rise and fall and that I was awake.