TRAVELER — PART 1
By T.A. Saunders
I was cold, but I had no idea why. It had been a balmy summer night and I had fallen asleep with just the top sheet of my covers on me. Maybe Donna turned the air conditioning on full blast again. She can’t sleep unless it’s like a refrigerator in our bedroom. I didn’t want to get out of bed or stop sleeping but the cold was biting at me. I could feel it in the core of my being.
When I opened my eyes I smiled a bit at what I imagined must have been a dream. I was floating free in space, with all the stars gleaming in the heavens. I was adrift amongst them, swimming in them. No matter which way I turned my head, I could see some part of the cosmos shining there for me. The whole galaxy lain out before me, only limited by my will to reach any certain point gleaming in the eternal dark of space.
My reverie was disrupted by a bright, orange-white light. Rapidly flailing aside, I narrowly missed a hunk of burning rock that flew right by me. An asteroid perhaps? I floated in a circle to get a better vantage of where it came from. As I turned, I was greeted by a blossom of flame that spanned in every direction for as nearly as far as I could see. More slabs of spinning, molten rock were sailing from this impossibly large explosion, one flew over my head and I could see the rivulets of what I surmised was liquid iron scattering outwards like fireflies in August.
Yet, despite all this heat, I wasn’t hot, or even really warm. I was still fiercely cold and stranger still, I also wasn’t shivering. I found it peculiar, but no less odd than the rest of this dream about being in space and fiery rocks. Of course the wildly spinning tail end of a Buick that just passed through me while I was pondering my dream-state brought the truth of it to the forefront.
“Holy shit! Is that the Earth?”
I was dreaming about the destruction of the Earth? I felt a little let down to be honest. There have been enough bad sci-fi movies about aliens blowing up the Earth, or asteroids smashing it into a pulp to fill a library. But to actually see it was breathtaking. Everything we know, everything we are as a people, obliterated in flame. Wonder was replaced by fear that welled up in my stomach and settled there like an angry little shrike poised impale my hope. This had to be a dream. This had to be, because I ‘m floating here in the vacuum of space and a piece of a damned Buick just sailed through me.
The worst part was that I couldn’t force myself awake either.