Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A time to panic



Jacob awoke suddenly, just before six a.m., gripped by a panic that was the direct result of a nightmare.

In his dream, he'd been in a shootout for his life. That's all he really remembered, the details were fuzzy; gossamer threads still hung around his mind, but unlike spider silk, they broke quickly, leaving more questions than answers.

In the dream, after his gun emptied, his pursuer had dropped her gun, then walked over to him and kissed him on the cheek. Already the face of his pursuer had gone, his fear-drenched mind worried about a real-life threat instead.

But who kisses someone after a gunfight?

Jacob glanced over at his wife, who seemed to be breathing heavily. His immediate reaction was guilt—he was married and shouldn't be kissing other women in his dreams—but then he realized she wasn't privy to his nightmare.

He listened closely, and as he did, he became aware of a another sensation. The bed he was lying in, the air around him...the entire room seemed to be vibrating. It was as if something was producing the exact resonance frequency of not only every fixture in the room, but of his body as well.

His wife's breath quickened and took on a whimpering quality, and Jacob thought for a moment maybe she was aware of the vibrations as well, but she slept soundly. Jacob found pride to be an effective blockade; he couldn't reach out for her, and he couldn't call her name. He was afraid that any movement or sound would wake him further, and he would discover he was still dreaming, and would look foolish for waking his wife for something as simple as a nightmare.

Besides, she'd only make him go get a glass a water, and that would mean getting out of bed at six a.m.

The vibration intensified.

Jacob lay there, unmoving, in a paralyzed panic, while the pulsing vibrato in his ears reached a feverish level, drowning out everything, reducing his world to a staccato timpani. Anxiety took hold. Short, ragged breaths escaped him. His temperature rose and his sweat turned icy.

For whatever reason, Jacob decided The Rapture was happening.

He had no idea why his thoughts led to The Rapture. Having been raised in church, he was no stranger to the concept, and he believed it fully, knowing one day it would happen. But on a Wednesday morning in August? And just before he was about to start a new job? Surely not.

His mind raced to pull up the details of The Rapture and what he'd been taught. Wasn't there supposed to be a trumpet? Where in Revelations was the part about weird dreams leading to vibrations? Maybe he'd slept through the trumpet. Maybe he was left behind. But why was his wife left behind too?

He'd played poker the night before. Was that a sin? Did that cost him his soul? Surely not. Would his Internet history give him away? That gave him a nasty knock. Was it too late to ask forgiveness for a few things? How did Kirk Cameron handle this? Wait, how did Nic Cage handle this? Would he be able to get his hands on a copy of The Omega Code?

The last thing to go through Jacob's mind—besides a blade from his malfunctioning ceiling fan—was that maybe he was being silly, and nothing was wrong after all.