I had a nightmare last night. Well, not so much a nightmare as a bad dream. It wasn’t scary or anything, it just wasn’t … fun. Or good.
I was at my folks house, helping out with some thing that needed to stay submerged in the pool. It obviously wasn’t an injured animal or anything, just something that needed to stay submerged, and would surface if left unattended for more than a minute or so. My sister and I were taking turns underwater for x-minutes of time, each with our own set of scuba gear (it had to be closer to the bottom, so snorkels were out), and it just so happened that we’d surfaced at the same time – I think we needed to communicate something a little more intricate than standard underwater signals would convey.
We surfaced, removing regulators and masks, and happened to catch her husband and son just as they were going inside, closing the door behind them. Whatever it was, it involved them. So, she took off her gear and joined them inside.
As she closed the door, I could sense fire, in the distance. The scent/taste of far off smoke, then I saw the fire and felt the heat approaching. And it was approaching fast.
By the time I had reached the edge of the pool, it had seemingly covered far too much ground – where it might have been a few blocks away a moment ago, it was now at the front of the house.
All I could do was to yell at them – my sister and her husband and son, my parents, and my grandmother – to get out. Two words, that’s all I had. This wall of fire in that short space of time had advanced all the way to the back of the house.
There was no chance to save them. All I could do was fall back into the pool, replace my mask and regulator, lie at the deepest part, and watch the surface turn orange and just hope there was enough water to protect me.
The fire passed, and I got out of the pool as quickly as I could.
Everything was scorched, barren. Barely any structures still stood, and while I saw the fire continue one way, I could see unimpeded in the other direction. Nothing was left. Just me.
It left me not feeling pained, but numb. Maybe not numb, but more like that tingle that you feel when hungover. It’s not a difficult dream to dissect, by any means, especially considering I signed what are most likely the final papers for the divorce yesterday.
Either way, it’s safe to say my day didn’t start out in the best manner.