A YEAR UNDERFOOT – entry #4

A Year Underfoot

July 3rd, 2033

Three days – no sleep – no visions. I’m going out of my mind. I’m on edge and crawling in my skin.

Time is running out. They’ll be here soon.

God, how I wish I were wrong.

For me, the nightmare began six months ago with a crazy “dream” I had nine nights in a row, – and a few dozen times thereafter. It’s always the same, – exactly the same.

It’s 3 a.m., and I’m here in Los Angeles. The sky is clear, the stars are out and bright and the city below is fast asleep. A cold chill wakes me from a deep sleep and I rise up from my bed and walk over to the window, as if in a trance. I’m gazing up at the moon, staring out at the stars shimmering in the glow of a full moon when a strange flicker of light draws my attention to the horizon and the empty skies out over the Pacific.

I watch as the flicker of light grows brighter and brighter, – drawing closer and closer toward the sleepy coastline.

At first, I’m fascinated, but my fascination soon turns to fear as the one light splits off into fifty-one identical spheres of glowing red light, which move quickly and quietly to encircle the Greater Los Angeles Basin.

Starting with the sleepy city of Gorman in the north, the red lights form an arc, fanning out eastward to the desert cities of Lancaster and San Bernardino before swooping south to the San Onofre nuclear power plant north of San Diego on the coast.

And, there they sat, fifty-one red beacons, hanging in the night.

Does anyone else see this?

Does anyone else see the fleet of alien fighters screaming in from the west? I see them, hundreds abreast, all with a singular purpose, to destroy everything in sight.

Their weapon of choice – the plasma cannon.

From the underbellies of the alien crafts, red-hued pulses of highly charged matter sliced through the sleeping metropolis, incinerating everything in their path. And, whatever the plasma cannons didn’t directly destroy, fell prey to the raging fires left in their wake.

In a matter of minutes, a large portion of Southern California was ablaze.

In the dreams the attack is well coordinated and relentless. It lasts for three days and nights and later, when the fighters are gone and the skies have cleared, I find myself staring down into the massive craters where homes once stood, wandering silently among the shell-shocked survivors, – collared at the neck and shackled to each other as they are loaded onto alien transport ships, never to see the Earth again.

After the first nine nights the dreams came sporadically, but as time passed I experienced them more frequently and they grew more intense. Each passing episode went a little further, showed me a little bit more, and gave me a better understanding as to what lay out on the horizon for us all.

And, like a fool, albeit a well-meaning one, I tried to warn others. I shared the dreams with family and friends alike. I told them what I knew was coming down the pike. I told them I had an absolute and unshakable belief the visions were real, – and that they were more than that, they were a warning and we had better get prepared.

But, no one would believe me. Not with my shaky past. Still, I tried. I reached out to anyone and everyone I could think of, until it became clear that everyone thought I was back on drugs and avoided me like the plague.

Once a junkie, always a junkie, I suppose.

Then, three days ago, the dreams stopped. Cold turkey. No more fear, no more fires, no more death. I felt better than I had in months. I was beginning to breathe again. I thought I was free. But, my serenity was short-lived. Deep down I know why the dreams have stopped.

They’re close.

I can feel it.

They’ll be here soon.

amazon.com/a-year-underfoot

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About paul nevins

Fiction writer, reader and baseball fan.
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