When you buy a house, you acquire a number of mysteries. I’m not talking about doors closing on their own or thumps in the night or unclaimed boxes in the attic. No, our house mystery came in the form of a single light switch.
Light switches themselves are not mysterious. Flip the switch, a light turns on. Not complicated. (Assuming you have enough bulbs.)
Except this switch–a switch in our bedroom that didn’t seem to control anything in our bedroom, oddly enough. We joked, as we flipped it on and off repeatedly, that somewhere a light was flashing like an S-O-S signal. Or maybe a garage door was flying up and down. Who knew? Not us, clearly.
What was even more baffling was that it was a 3-way, meaning somewhere, presumably, another switch controlled the same thing. But we couldn’t figure it out. So we shrugged it off as one of those things, one of those mysteries that you acquire.
(You know every good story has an “until.”)
Just a few days ago, my husband was playing with the light switches in the kitchen, noting which ones turned on which deck lights. And then he noticed… one of them was a 3-way.
I bolted upstairs to flip the mystery switch. (Thankfully, my husband knew what I was doing, instead of assuming I had lost my mind.)
Yes, ladies and gents, for some reason unknown to me (or probably any architect or builder) our bedroom contains a light switch for the deck. Why we would need to see the deck in the darkness from our bathroom windows, I’m not entirely sure. But there it is.
I… have incredibly strange dreams. It’s not a new phenomenon. I’ve always had intense, action-packed dreams. Often more interesting than the last book I read. I have no idea why, but I have to admit–I kinda like it. (I’m a story-teller; would you expect any other reaction?)
One of my latest ones really takes the cake for suspense dreams so I thought I’d share it with you. Are you ready for this? (Probably not, but here we go…)
It opened in some kind of recreation/community center. I was in a room that might hold banquets or other gatherings. It wasn’t formal, the ceiling was standard height and the carpet was older. But it functioned as a space for large-ish gatherings.
Except for that day. That day the room was dark. The rest of the building was empty but there were two other people in that room with me. One was a guy I think I was meeting with to discuss the specifics of an event. His name was Eric, a friend or at least acquaintance (in my dream, anyway. I’ve never met him in real life.)
The other was a man holding a gun.
We’re not talking a handgun here. It was more like an automatic rifle. He was ranting and raving about something and it was obvious he was a member of some kind of militant group based in the U.S. He looked like any other American male except for the gun.
For a while, we attempted to talk to him, calm him down, but eventually I realized he hardly noticed we were there. I knew the police were outside and if we could just get out there, we’d be safe. Eric wanted to keep talking to the guy but I convinced him making a run for it was our best option.
We managed to get out of the room unnoticed and made it to the hallway. For some reason, the glass doors were locked or bolted, so we broke through the glass to get outside where a SWAT team was waiting. As soon as we broke through, they pulled us away from the building.
Once I finally stopped for a moment, I realized there was a lot more going on than a single shooter in a mostly-empty building.
Gunfire echoed in the distance, punctuated with explosions. It was an uprising, an officer informed me as he bandaged my wrist. (Apparently I had cut it breaking through the glass door. I hadn’t even noticed, so much adrenaline was pulsing through my veins.)
“You’ve got to get out of here,” he told us when he finished with my wrist. “Now.”
So we ran, Eric and I, dodging bombs/grenades that were set to explode randomly. We realized after a few explosions that the range of the devices wasn’t as far as we thought, and they would light up several seconds before exploding. As long as we ducked behind something right before they went off, we were okay.
Somehow, we ended up in a house. We saw a bomb right outside a sliding glass door and ducked into a bathroom just before glass shattered everywhere.
“We can’t keep running,” I said. “We’ve got to find a place to hide.”
When I said that, I realized my house was nearby and it had a solid basement. (Side note: it’s not actually the house I live in now or have ever lived in, for that matter.)
So we ran, one final time until we reached my basement. I was glad we hadn’t fixed it up yet. It was solid concrete, a little dirty but a good substitute for a bunker. We’d had drills of some kind in the past, enough that the neighbors knew our basement was the safest place to be. They ran over, flocking to the basement. I realized we didn’t have any food down there. If the fighting lasted for a while, someone would have to go upstairs to grab food and water.
A lot of the neighbors had spouses at work, and they were worried their loved ones wouldn’t know where they were. I promised I would keep an eye out. So I huddled by the door, watching. When I saw a car pull up, I recognized a few of the neighbor spouses. Shoving the door open, I motioned for them to take refuge with us, and they ran in to join their families.
I wish I could bring this story to a fabulous conclusion, but sadly my alarm went off at this point. How does this story end? An excellent question. Any suggestions?