I had the most vivid dream last night.
Maybe it was the beer.
Or the leftover Hamburger Helper I warmed up too late and then forgot about and left sitting in the microwave where it cooled down so much that I had to nuke it again. How many times can you reheat Hamburger Helper, I wonder, before it becomes just a rock of something unrecognizable and then sits in your gut all night while you try and get some sleep.
I’ll blame the Hamburger Helper.
I had taken a job at a child care center shaped like one of those A frame houses with the loft at the top where the toddlers have plenty of room but we had to duck to keep from banging our heads.
We were playing some game with little plastic blocks that were all the colors of the rainbow and shaped like squares and circles and rectangles and stars. There seemed to be no rules but little Johnny won every time and the other kids were getting pissed off and screaming at him and trying to hit him with the blocks and crying when we told them it was just a game and to not take life so seriously but they weren’t having it and so they started to run around the room and kick stuff and throw Cheerios.
And so I decided to take them all outside into the fenced in backyard for some fresh air. The sun shone brightly and there was no breeze to speak of and so things went well for a minute or two. Then overhead a mass of clouds formed and out of them dipped the most perfectly cylindrical tornado I had ever seen, like God took a straw and stuck it through the sky and just started sucking.
And the kids started screaming again and trying to run away even though I told them it was no big deal, that this sort of thing happens all the time and is actually kind of cool to witness. But they ran toward the fence, which was an electric fence for some reason, and they all stuck to the fence and stopped screaming and began writhing and a few caught on fire.
It was like that scene in The Green Mile when that asshole Percy Wetmore tricked everyone and didn’t get the sponge wet and so Eduard Delacroix caught on fire and the flames from his eyes burned right through the sack over his head and all that was left was a charbroiled Cajun who had once gone so far as to love a magical mouse. It was like that, and so it wasn’t really frightening or all that gross to watch.
But Johnny hadn’t run. He had stood there in the middle of the backyard and stared at the perfect tornado even as it ripped apart the fence and the kids that were on fire and sucked them up. Even as it came right up to him, sucked him up, and then just like that swooped right back up into the clouds and then the clouds vanished and there was sunshine again.
And there were no kids left to care for and so I went home for the rest of the day. And that’s when I woke up.