The Charred Tree

I Dream In Static

I dream in the static. No, not fantasies played out or surrealism run amok; mine are glimpses into the near future through the eyes of those who will destroy us

—fleets of ships raining down a myriad of death and destruction on humanity, armies of alien and robotic troops effortlessly sweeping aside the best we have to offer, the reason they are coming here in the first place. I see their plans and there’s not a goddamned thing I can do about it.

I’ve been this way since they took me back in 1972. Similar stories have been out there through the years—we were camping out in the woods on a hunting trip, bright light from the sky, lots of weird poking and prodding by little gray guys with big heads, waking up to find Jimmy’s body blasted into so many chunks of charred meat.

Don’t bother looking it up ‘cause the spook who handled the government coverup was especially gifted. He had a finesse that usually demands fees with large numbers in Swiss bank accounts. Not sure how Uncle Sam managed to have Darien Blake’s services; probably had him under the old gentleman’s manicured red-white-and-blue thumb. He did his job with no nonsense like the professional he is. Blake stopped by my place after his work was done to give me the straight scoop—physical evidence stolen, destroyed, or manipulated to make it look like a hoax, the only eyewitness dead, and I had been discredited in so many ways that even my wife would have testified that I was lying.

I don’t know if the big-eyed freaks left something in me or if what they did changed my brain. The doctors ran all sorts of tests and took x-rays and stuff when I first got out of the woods but they didn’t find anything. None of them will talk to me now—half think I’m a brutal killer and the others are convinced I’ve gone round the bend thanks to Uncle Sam’s smear job. Damn you, Darien Blake! Even if you had little choice in what you did to me, I hope you burn in hell right along with the power brokers from DC. Our extinction is on your heads!

I guess it doesn’t really matter. They know more than they tell their people, much less the public. Your average Joe on the street laps up the lies and half-truths like it’s some kind of ambrosia from the gods. And that’s the world we’ve made—gods with clay feet and the manners of a greedy and ill-mannered toddler being served by the naïve, blind, and voluntarily stupid who subsist on a diet of sugar-water, handouts, and so-called “reality” television shows. Neither the gods nor the supplicants have the faintest idea that their world is about to end. I am the only one that knows but they’ve made me into Cassandra, doomed to know the outcome but never believed.

It used to only happen occasionally—mostly when I’d fall asleep watching Carson—but now the signals through the air brings the static to me wherever I go. I scarcely close my eyes before I see what will soon happen. I almost welcome the end; at least these visions will stop.

Author’s Note: I wrote this vignette in response to an Inspiration Monday prompt.

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13 thoughts on “I Dream In Static

  1. Very cool. I like the straightforward tone. No conspiracy theories, no trying to get the reader to believe, just stating facts. That, along with the references to mythology, etc., lend the narrator credibility and make the story feel believable anyway. Nice work!

  2. Pingback: Inspiration Monday: heart manual « BeKindRewrite

  3. This is finely crafted and I loved how you left us guessing at the end whether this guy was right, or just delusional and paranoid. You walked a fine tightrope well.

    Just one question (and I’m not sure if I’m right about this, so it’s a question not a crit!). I always thought “myriad” was plural (eg a myriad possibilities) and you’ve used it with singular nouns (death and destruction) which looks wrong to me. Kind of like the technical difference between less and fewer. Now I’m not sure I’m right though – any ideas?

    • First, thank you so much for the comments.

      When you asked about “myriad” my first thought was “Hmmm…. I’m not sure which is correct.” So off to the research department! (Luckily, Lovely Wife is driving on our way to the beach.) I used “myriad” in the story the way I had heard it used in the past (not always a safe assumption). From what I’ve found, “myriad” is a strange word–it can be either a noun or an adjective and can be either singular or plural. The closest I found to something definitive on its usage was that it is more a matter of stylistic choice rather than one of correctness.

      Again, thanks for the comments. They’ve helped me to do a better job of editing/rewriting in the future. It never crossed my mind to question “myriad” despite my not knowing for sure if I had used it correctly.

      • Fascinating. It’s one of those words I’ve always had this feeling was designed to trip me up. Now I see that I’m right! Anyway, I’m grateful that you did the research I didn’t have time to do, and didn’t get mad when it turned out you were right all along!

      • 😉 It would be silly to get mad over something that helped make me a better writer. Thank YOU for steering the conversation that direction with your question.

  4. Nicely done. A great cover-up story, this guy gotta be strong not to be driven nuts by the static.

  5. Definitely an interesting point of view story! Nicely done. I felt it was a little rocky at first and for just a heartbeat the rant felt a little too rant-y, but all in all, an enjoyable read.
    Nice work.
    Cheers.

  6. Glad to see your return, sir.

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