i've been having some pretty bizarre dreams lately. most of which i can't remember, but last night's dream stuck in my head pretty fiercely.
we were sitting inside, having dinner, and it was somewhere around dusk. i was staring out the window as i ate, admiring the view over the mountains, when there was a eye-piercing flash of light. we all covered our eyes and rubbed them hard to block out the afterimage, but even the purplish floating blocks that were swimming in our eyes couldn't keep us from seeing the giant mushroom cloud swelling upwards near the horizon.
in a moment of panic we jumped up, grabbing the kids and running towards our room. hurriedly we stuffed backpacks with clothes and food, and as is usual in my dreams i felt weighed down by a muddled ineptitude. i stood there staring at the open backpack, wondering if it was more important to bring cans of food or clean underwear. art was yelling at me in slow motion, and my brain felt like it was coated in fuzz. the kids pulled at me, crying, and yet even the sight of their tear-streaked faces couldn't break me free from my torpor. another brilliant flash lit up the room, and everything was contrast; the children and art looking like paper cutouts with crazy exaggerated shadows flung huge behind them. that seemed to snap me out of it, and i picked up xander and ran out the door.
time blurred by, and we found ourselves lying quietly in a cold, dripping forest. the kids were blue and shivering, weak from hunger and exhaustion. at that moment i prayed that God would take them and spare them the agony of life, and spare me the agony of watching my kids suffer. i didn't feel guilty for such a prayer, i could only fervently hope that it would be answered. i knew that the radiation would start to affect us soon--i'd already begun to feel a deep, gnawing nausea that had nothing to do with stress or hunger.
time blurred by again, and this time the kids were not with us. we were gray-faced and slick with sweat, fighting the tremors as we trudged onward. our clothes were rags, our feet bleeding and torn because our shoes had worn out long ago. on and on we went. i couldn't say why. it just seemed the thing to do.