Author’s note: for best reading experience, pull up the album version of Franz Ferdinand’s “Lucid Dreams” and listen to it as you read.
I’m stumbling down the street, hearing the sirens raging in the background. I risk a despairing look at the boarded-up buildings, abandoned apartments and tenements that lined both sides of the street, but I know that they wouldn’t be any help. The doors would be bolted, nailed shut, and I’d waste valuable, precious time. Time that I don’t have.
“Shit!” I curse to myself. When I glance over my shoulder, the street looks clear for the moment. But I know better. The velociraptors are closing in.
As I run on, the street never seeming to end, I try and remember how I got into this situation in the first place. Wasn’t there something about a lab accident, about some sort of containment breach? My memories felt so fuzzy.
I try to pump more energy into my sagging, flagging muscles, but it does nothing. I’m feeling as though I’m running in quicksand, or tar. I’m slogging through three feet of syrup. This is like struggling in a dream.
Wait a minute!
Something about that last thought digs at me, worries away at my brain like a rat terrier with a toy. Wasn’t there something about dreams? Some sort of drug, or treatment? “Lucid dreams.” Why did that sound so familiar?
I lift my head up, looking around the curiously deserted street. This couldn’t be a lucid dream, I tell myself. If that was the case, I’d have some sort of weapon, something to defend myself against the surely oncoming horde.
My hand falls down to my belt, where such a weapon would be. Sure enough, there’s nothing there. But I’m suddenly aware of something else – something long and hard, bouncing on my back as the strap looped over one shoulder digs into my chest and armpit.
I reach back and pull the item around. My eyes go wide. In my hands is an AR-15, sleek, black, and looking deadly! I swear that the weapon hadn’t been there a second ago, but I don’t want to question it too much – in case, at my doubting of its existence, it vanishes back into nothing.
The velociraptors are growing closer. Their cries, reptilian and filled with unfeeling rage, are getting louder, echoing off the buildings. But now, I have a weapon. I have a chance.
To be continued!