I am walking home from work, and am very close to home, at the top of the hill after
. A boom echoes across the valley,
and I turn to my left; where usually there is a drive leading to an orchard and
a few more houses, I have a clear view of Stroud & Stonehouse in the bottom
of the valley, and a huge orange and black mushroom cloud emanating from there.
I run home, tripping and struggling against the blast wave. When I get in, the
house is bare wood, with rain coming through the roof, inevitably radioactive.
My parents are slow and solemn. I look out the window at the field opposite my
house, and see the sky turning orange, the mushroom cloud reaching the wood
atop the hill there. A family from down the road are scaling the field to the
woods, where they probably intended to survive. I racked my brain for somewhere
to shelter, and conjured images into my dream of white painted tunnels and
basements underneath the place I worked in at the time. I suggested this to my
family, but they said there was no point; at best we could live a few weeks
more here, at the bottom of the hill. Gastrells School
I am in an old sea town, all cobbled roads and old pubs. It is a secret place, and I immediately feel under threat as an outsider. I can’t remember how I got there, or how anyone could; I had a sense that it somehow existed underneath the sea. I tried to escape, and was apprehended by an enemy that I couldn’t see or grasp in the dark, but every now and then I’d feel my outstretched hand touch warm flesh. A larger threat froze me in suspense as it loomed out the water.
I am a Vietnam war veteran, struggling with Post-traumatic stress disorder. I stroll around my large garden, with an old war buddy, both of us smoking cigars, drinking brandy, wearing lumberjack shirts, blue jeans and pork-pie hats, rolled up sleeves.
Later, at a ceremony or some event, I keep seeing things differently; dancers suddenly appear as a black man in an evening suit, perhaps an adversary or even comrade from the war. I have outburst and collapse. The whole event stops, with people staring. I am taken to hospital.
This NHS hospital has green, peeling paint on the walls. I am upstairs, and look down on a street corner in Stroud I’ve known all my life, but know it looks like a 1700s German fairy-tale city, but somehow modern.
Maggots cover my glasses but I pour some potion over them to get rid of the maggots. There is a town in
regularly visited by a troupe of giants, which has become a tourist attraction.
It culminates in a ritual needing to be enacted to save the town, maybe even
the world. The ritual is complete apart from the last part- an “open man.” Upon
hearing this, a man stabs himself, and throws himself at the feet of a
giantess. She picks up his corpse, and holds it to her face like a telephone,
and she gains an expression of soft understanding. The giants leave.
A virus spreads across a seaside town. The infected go mad, and attack each other, spreading the virus more and more throughout the town, which is a mixture of St. Ives and
Brighton. A fair few infected
simply fall ill, and eventually die. I am in a hideaway with four ill women,
trying to survive the entire ordeal.
I have now travelled to the town pre-outbreak. I befriend a child, and remember some underlying mission I have, and discretely prick him with a needle without the child or anyone noticing, trying to hold back my obvious sadness; the needle contains the virus from whose results I was earlier hiding. Before this, the virus was caused by a wasp-like insect with slug-like larvae that came out of the sting.
A zombie-like creature follows me from room to room. At one point, most of his body is missing, leaving a bloody, gory hole. People call him Bob.
A horde of T-rex like creatures devour all life on an alien planet. I survive by hiding in my friend’s bathroom.
A very posh woman down on her luck in a musty, useless vintage shop on a cold and rusty beach creates short-lived and fanciful perfumes from animals. She assesses the animal almost hypnotically, automatically, the knife in her hand becoming more elaborate and long and beautiful, until she finally kills the animal slowly, as it lets a horrible, human scream cry out of the animal. The perfumes become more popular, and people queue up along the beach with unsuspecting animals to be sacrificed, the air filled with the constant screams of dying beasts.
I enter the black door of
10 Downing Street.
Behind it is another black door, number 38; behind this one, a yellow door,
number 68. These numbers appear logical and related to one another,
multiplications of one another. I enter an L- shaped hall filled with pairs of
people, the same person, a young self and old self, interacting, playing. I
approach a pair that are me, young and old, but now there are three of me; a
fourth version of myself enters, aged seventeen, confident and angry; I feel
pathetic against the old, wise me, the child me, gleeful and innocent, and the
younger self, cock-sure and coolly glazing over the world.