Our dreams were their dreams. The fabric of reality ripped to shreds on the backs of flaming rockets and replaced by a new one, one with no sunlight, no vision, recycled air and a darkened skyline.
Everything society has worked for came apart at the seams at the start of a warm day in the warm month of July. Awakening to get ready for work, sirens called out louder than anything I’d ever heard before. Outside the window sunlight was casting its blanket over the landscape, when something far brighter, yet somehow far darker tore through the sky, piercing the horizon like a needle through silk, coating everything as far as the eye could see in a brilliant, deadly white light. I closed my eyes to save them, knowing that this was the day my father and grandfather feared, the day we all hoped would never come. Destruction was mutually assured.
Out here in the sticks the world always turned slowly, but now it ground to halt as cities came unstitched across the globe, and were burned from the world. Nothing could prepare you for the sound – a crack of thunder exploding in an echo chamber, followed by a rush of fire, whooshing everywhere at once. Out here in the sticks we were lucky, nothing but the seam where the sky meets the land burned from here but even so, windows exploded, buildings buckled and car alarms sang out in unison. The chilling sound of dogs barking, cats meowing and babies crying joined the unholy chorus, sounding like a choir from the depths of hell.
Then, silence. A cloudburst that seemed a million miles high, ensconced in fire rose up into the sky, piercing the cloud cover above. I stood transfixed at this – a beautiful monstrosity in red and black before daylight vanished, unsure of when it would return. Jolted from my apocalypse I reached for the phone – nothing. Attempted to switch on the television – empty. I ran to my computer and tried to power it up – dead. The radio? Silenced. A lightswitch? Clicks but delivers only darkness. A knocking at the door as my neighbour, looking incredulous, invites himself in. He says nothing. I say nothing. We both know what’s happening.
We walk into the street to get a closer look at the scene, oil black sky hangs its self up as far as the eye can see. Ash starts to drift in from the east. We go in doors, feeling older than we’ve ever felt before, and contemplate what to do next. Paralysed by silence, by fear, by mourning.
Our dreams were their dreams, and now we shall have dreams no more.