Lately I’ve been having a lot of nightmares. Some of these have caused me to wake up having full-blown anxiety attacks. Last night, I had another nightmare. I don’t often remember the details of these nightmares–usually just bits and pieces–but this one was vivid as hell.
It’s dark and the family and I are in the car, trying to make it to the checkpoint. The road is crowded, with many others trying to do the same–that, or just get out.
The Chinese are coming. It was all over the TVs and radios before the power went out.
They were coming to destroy us for reasons unknown. My dream state doesn’t care too much about geography and such, as they were coming across the Atlantic and were headed for my state of SC first.
THIS IS NOT A DRILL. GET TO THE CHECKPOINT CLOSEST TO YOU. BRING ONLY WHAT YOU CAN CARRY. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.
My husband packed us into our Prius. We didn’t bring so much as a change of clothes, and off we went, with both of the kids crying in the backseat.
We headed down the highway. Every so often, military style trucks would go around us, but otherwise, we were in bumper-to-bumper traffic, moving forward inches at the time.
Baby Girl wailed from the backseat. Little Man was sniffling. My husband kept his eyes trained on the road. All of a sudden, the sky lit up and we could hear missiles screaming (I have no idea what kind of sound missiles make in real life, but they sounded like bottle rockets in the dream).
We were all terrified. “This is it, it’s finally the end,” my brain kept repeating. I turned around in my seat and tried to put my hands on my children, to provide them a little comfort, as words simply weren’t happening.
“We’re here, let’s go!” my husband shouted suddenly. I looked out the window. We were at the checkpoint. Ahead of us was a army style truck that had a huge bed. It was almost full.
We got in line. There were explosions overhead and more tears. I overheard one of the soldiers talking about how the Chinese were using heat-seeking missiles and how bad things were going to get.
Finally, it was our turn to get onto the truck. A soldier helped me and Little Man on, and when I turned around to take Baby Girl from my husband so he could get on, the soldier pulled up the gate.
“It’s full, let’s go!”
My heart sunk. “Wait, my husband and baby!”
The soldier ignored me.
I called out my husband’s name. “We’ll get off!”
My husband shook his head no and without any notice, the truck started up and began speeding down the road. I felt paralyzed.
I sat down in the floor of the truck and pulled Little Man into my lap, holding him tight. I wanted to cry, but the tears wouldn’t come. We looked to the night sky above, which was still being lit up with missiles.
All of a sudden, the wailing sound of a missile grew louder. It was headed right towards us–a heat-seeking missile traveling towards a truck packed with at least 100 people.
Tears stung my eyes. I turned Little Man around in my lap and buried his face in my chest so he wouldn’t have to see and whispered, “I love you.”
I looked up again. The missile was so close that I could have reached out and touched it. This is it. This is really it.
And then I woke up, soaked in sweat, heart racing, trembling, struggling to breathe.