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Dream of the End of the World - Random Ramblings [...]

Dream of the End of the World - Random Ramblings [...]

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Published by Michael V. Waechter
"Dream of the End of the World" is an excerpt from my memoir novel "Random Ramblings [...]" that documents my trip across the country and the 7 years of events that led to my running away. Throughout the novel I document strange visions, dreams, and feelings that have been guiding me. This dream sequence takes place late in the novel in the months before I leave.
"Dream of the End of the World" is an excerpt from my memoir novel "Random Ramblings [...]" that documents my trip across the country and the 7 years of events that led to my running away. Throughout the novel I document strange visions, dreams, and feelings that have been guiding me. This dream sequence takes place late in the novel in the months before I leave.

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Published by: Michael V. Waechter on Oct 18, 2010
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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Random Ramblings […]: Day SevenI open my eyes and discover that I’m laying face down in an empty and very wetalleyway. I pull myself up, first onto my elbows, and then push into a crouch with thepalms of my hands feeling the sting of grit and dirt stabbing into the skin. The entireeffort of returning myself into an upright position produces an echoing series of crackingand popping noise as this same grit crunches below my Nike tennis shoes which look alot more torn and ratted than I remember them being. I notice the stink of mold andgarbage before I catch sight of a mini-fridge, grayed from filth and setting on an angleagainst the brick wall as though dropped there from a window several stories above.The door is slightly ajar and it’s humming despite not appearing to even have an
electrical cord. The light inside flickers off and on; a moth and a handful of pin-sizedinsects fly around it being tricked by the constant flicker.After a brief moment of crouching in the alley, I finally stretch out my bones andmuscles into a full standing position complete with more cracking noises, although notall of them coming from the crunching grit in the alley. My body is sore in places I didn’teven know could be sore, and I feel famished. I look down at my stomach and discover that it has shrunk at least another couple inches. My jeans are so dirty I can’t evendecide what shade of blue they originally were. I don’t recognize the shirt I’m wearing atfirst, and then my brain starts piecing together the remains of the screen-printedlettering that appears to be peeling off either due to extreme age or from a constantscraping against the front of my torso; the second seeming more likely as I feel asplintery sting across my entire chest. My brain quickly finishes cracking the code on myshirt and turns it into thought: “Alumni.” A small strip of smaller lettering is scrawledbelow it: “Th niversit ledo.” I’m wearing my Toledo alumni shirt, now in tatters.The smell of mold increases as the mini-fridge hums louder; a fan blowing staleair throughout the alleyway. The thickening air stirs up moisture from small puddles of slime along the ground making it so hard to breath that I feel as though I’m being force-fed a bathtub full of water that has already been bathed in repeatedly for several weeks.A sudden flash of light flies down the alley at the sound of a loud, mechanicalclick. I experience a brief moment of blindness as the clicking completes its echoingcycle and returns to its source. The moment my eyes finish readjusting to the darknessof the alley, another clicking and flash of light are sent out. I squint my eyes and attemptto focus a good 10 feet in front of me, past the mini-fridge, where the alley opens onto asecluded street. I can briefly make out the silhouette of a human figure, and as my eyesadjust again, I notice that he’s a black man. He appears to be around my age. Before Ican make out any more details, he lifts a camera to his face and sends off another echoing click and a blinding flash.At first I think he’s taking pictures of me, but as if on cue with that thought, myears pick up a sound of rushing water just behind me. I glance over my left shoulder anddiscover a stream of rainwater splashing out of a broken gutter along the roof of abuilding enclosing the alley. The stream is bouncing off the bottom step of a fire escapebefore falling to the pavement below. A waterfall. The camera clicks again causinganother moment of blindness. In that blindness my ears pick up another sound, albeitvery faint and in the distance. It sounds like marching.My eyesight returns to normal, and I discover that the man has vanished. Ishuffle to the end of the alley, the mold smell becoming stronger around the mini-fridge,and collapse into the street. Once again I’m pulling myself up just as I had in the alley,
pain shooting through my body as I do so. I’m standing again. For the first time, I noticethe sky… it’s gray. Black smoke seems to be swirling across the rooftops of thebuildings lining the street so softly that I originally thought it to be low clouds or fog, butthe color is all wrong. I smell dust and stagnation. Everything is silent except themarching sound that is getting louder.Looking toward the end of the street, I notice a patch of grass surrounded bymore streets which would lead me to believe it’s a town square of some sort. I take adeep breath attempting to draw in some strength and begin moving toward it. To my lefton the opposite sidewalk I see a line of silent people waiting to enter a vacant andrundown building. A crude cardboard sign that reads “Soup” is duct-taped to the left of the open door. As I look closer, I notice that a large amount of these people are wearingdesigner clothing. Some of the men are wearing suits from Ralph Lauren, and there’s aCalvin Klein jacket. A lot of them are wearing shirts that say Aeropostle, I noticeAmerican Eagle emblems on some of the jean pockets. Despite these labels, theowners of such fine clothing look dirty and homeless which is reflected in the now-tattered condition of the jeans, shirts, and suits that had once cost them considerablymore than comparable clothing from Wal-mart or Burlington Coat Factory. A young manwearing an Abercrombie t-shirt in which the “A” has been scraped off notices mewalking toward the town square and stares at me. His eyes burn right into my soul andwhisper, “You’ll end up exactly like me.”I finally reach the town square where the sound of marching now echoes loudlyamong all the buildings. To the right, a homeless shelter closes its doors as it has filledto capacity for the night leaving at least a hundred more people in the streets to fend for the warmer spots in the park. As I gaze into the crowd, I swear I see my mother, father,and Kerie. I begin walking in that direction until a shiver suddenly runs through me. Ilook at the buildings surrounding the town square, each one empty and dismal againstthe gray sky which is deepening into nighttime. A rush of understanding explodes withinme as I immediately recognize my surroundings. I’m on Market Street in Canton. Mostof the buildings now look burned out, but in front of me still stands the Ophelia, a historicghost hotel that has been empty since the mafia left in the 1970s. Gazing back at thehomeless shelter, I now notice the shadows of lettering that once hung on the glassdoors spelling out “Quizno’s.” All the restaurants, shops, and businesses have beenconverted to shelters and soup kitchens. The fountains that use to run through thegardens of the town square are now dry and cracked.I’m witnessing the end of the world.I’m now standing in the city of a country weak from debt, ripped apart by thosewe’ve made stronger. We’ve been thrown into poverty, famine, and war. We’ve beenraped of all the things we’ve taken for granted. No more franchise restaurants and

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Shyam Adrift added this note
yes, it is legible now! an interesting dream sequence :)
Michael V. Waechter added this note
Let me know if you can read this. I changed some formatting as it wasn't viewing correctly on some people's computers.
Shyam Adrift added this note
I suggest you change the font..it is not legible!

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