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Something disturbing this way came

I sometimes have what I suspect are what people call lucid dreams. These are little snapshots that are distinctive for the following reasons:
  • They started when I was doing night shift, but they haven't gone away since.
  • They are irregular. I can have two in a week, or none in a month.
  • They always happen just at the point of falling asleep, so I am aware that I am entering a dream. Or maybe a dream state? Whatever it is, I'm aware of it happening.
  • They are usually very short.
  • I don't have control over what happens, it's as if I'm seeing through somebody else's eyes.
  • As such, I'm aware I'm not me. I don't know who I am. The one time I tried to look, I was not able to (remember, I'm not in control of whoever I am).
  • They are extremely vivid with oversaturated colours. This is the primary thing that differentiates them from my normal dreams - the colours are so strong.
  • Afterwards, I am usually awake, and there's a peculiar sensation that my body is shaking and vibrating from my heart running flat out at some insane speed. The one time I was with it enough to poke my finger to my phone, it registered a slightly elevated heart rate (compared to normal resting) but nothing out of the ordinary. So, uh, what?

The bit in italics is important. In my regular dreams, I'm not me. I've been male, I've been female, I've even been what I think was some sort of tree dwelling rodent (that was actually quite fun). But I'm not me. And the people in my dreams? Range from next to nobody to crowded cities. And it's nobody that I consciously know. I say it like that because the memory is a weird thing, and it may be that the weird old lady that I caught out of the corner of my eye in the supermarket three months ago is one of the NPCs in the dream. But those people I interact with? Don't know any of them, yet... I do. It's like this entirely different life with friendships and relationships and such. Because, did I mention, I'm not me...
(and who I am usually seems to have a much more interesting life! even the rodent!)

I've probably said enough already for a psychiatrist to say "hooo boy!" and leave their contact details in the comments. ☺
So let's continue...

A couple of weeks ago, I got a message from mom. This one was extremely brief, just a few seconds. She was sitting on some concrete steps leading down to the sand. The steps had a metal handrail running down the side closest to me. The other side was a sort of wooden slat fence with upright slats that looked like it had been made out of driftwood. Behind were sand dunes with grass growing in them.
The beach was short, with some sort of body of water beyond (to my left). Bright blue and sparkly, so I'm not sure if a sea or an ocean, but something along those lines. The sky was a deep blue, and completely clear. The sun was overhead, so I cannot place it either as East Coast America or Spain or what. Hell, mom's been around so much in her life that it could be pretty much anywhere (and everywhere) from the East Coast to Israel. It wasn't north, not with a sky like that. So not Vancouver or Iceland. Not Cornwall. Not northern France... not any place I recognise.
Mom was looking out at the sea and smiling. She was very obviously herself. And she looked good. Pretty much as I remember her (so maybe just turned 70), but without the walking stick.
It was extremely jarring to have a 'dream' appear like that with somebody that I actually know. So I'm taking this as a little sign from mom just to say "I'm okay".


Which brings us to last night. What happened last night was much longer than usual.
And... disturbing.

Okay, how do I start? Well, there was a two lane railway and it was sort of raised up slightly from the surrounding fields. Up and down the railway (left and right), it went to embankments on either side with the railways sunken relative to ground level. To the left it was forested. To the right, I think it may have eventually gone into a tunnel, but I don't remember that part.
At the point of where the principal activities were happening was a railway station. It was pretty much a sort of wooden shed with overhanging roof. There was an old brick looking bridge, for a narrow road but it was also used to get from one platform to the other.
Just beside the bridge was a light for the up line (the one that the trains were going the wrong way on). I noticed that it was green. I figured that it probably ought to have been red. This might be an important detail.

Behind the railway station was the end of a town. The houses were brick and wood with red tiled roofing. It looked... German? Maybe some sort of Eastern European.
What was happening was a procession of steam trains. They were on both sides of the railway, having apparently secured and closed off that section of the railway for their procession (which is why I imagined the light ought to have been red). I don't recall if there were eight or ten, but the ones in front were only the engines and the two at the back were pulling carriages. The engines themselves were all sorts of bright glossy colours - red and black, green and blue, royal blue and black. Immaculate. The carriages looked to be wooden frame and a mixture of dark stained wood and dark red (almost crimson) paint.
The bridge was full of spectators, as were the platforms. Loads of people taking photographs, videos, and do on. The trains were moving slowly and in sync with each other, all to give the audience the best possible view and photo opportunity.
It was, obviously, a nice sunny day. Really made those engines shine. They were mostly being run by old guys - probably the people who maybe started on steam engines, and kept these ones operational as a point of pride.

As the carriages were passing the station, I heard the lead engines start hooting. Then all of them started hooting incessently. I didn't really have time to turn my head to see what was going on, it was extremely quick.

It was not an Intercity, a TGV, or a Shinkansen. But it was something of that ilk. A high speed train, coming up the line. Coming up the supposedly closed line. At high speed.

Talking of high speed, what happened next was extremely rapid. In movies, train crashes always happen in slow motion, such as the comically slow mega-crash in the movie Super8.
Well, the oncoming train ploughed directly into the steam engine, and bits of shrapnel of both went as far back as the wooden carriages. Of course, there were the carriages of the oncoming train that buckled, split, burst and raining people all over the place (was it a school train? they mostly looked like children wearing some sort of leaf green uniform), and showering everything with pieces of metal at the same high speed. Enough that one partial incoming carriage took out the bridge and most of the wooden carriages below and behind. The people on the platforms weren't spared either. I'll leave that to your imagination.

The whole thing took place in maybe twenty seconds. What remained was smoke, steam, and a notable absence of anybody screaming. Apart from various unhappy noises of what remained on the steam engines, it was almost totally silent. A woman to my right threw up over herself.

And that's when I woke up. At quarter to five. I went into the kitchen, sunk an entire can of San Pellegrino Limonata in one go (much burping followed!) and wondered what the hell just happened. I don't have violent dreams. Usually the only person I'm ever aware of dying is, well, me, and let me tell you - dying in a dream doesn't cause you to die in real life, and continuing dreaming after death is really trippy.

But last night? Well, yeah. I think the death toll of that is going to be measured in the hundreds. A lot of children. And maybe I'm an insensitive bastard, but I can't help but feel sadness for the demise of those beautiful machines.


Well... I've published this now. So you can tell me in the comments if this is some sort of weird prophecy (though, I'm not sure I'd want to know) or if I'm just really farked up.

Either way, that light being green really bugs me. The oncoming train looked modern and teched out enough that it would probably have been able to brake itself in the case of passing a red light. But if the lights were green all the way along...

As you can possibly guess, I didn't go back to sleep. So, uh, I'm kind of shattered right now.



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Ally, 15th March 2021, 19:44
Flip... I am staying up tonight ......
David Pilling, 15th March 2021, 23:10
Charles Dicken's ghost story "The Signalman" picked up on what the Victorians discovered, you may know the train is going to crash but there's nothing you can do to stop it.
Rob, 16th March 2021, 08:30
That sounds freaky. If you're a superstitious person, you might want to double check at green lights before proceeding fire a while.
GAVIN CHARLES WRAITH, 17th March 2021, 18:23
Well, hooo boy there! I am no psychiatrist but I do find dreams interesting. I usually remember mine for a short while, and often years later. But I have always been me. My dreams usually come with a sense of where I am; they have a geography, but not necessarily one that ties in with real places. I have also had very vivid, indeed shattering, waking dreams. I think they might be classed as religious experiences. I cannot explain why, but I suspect that they have been, are, very important for me. But I also think it is a mistake to chase one's own tail in such matters. We are far more than what we are aware of, so trust yourself.
Pieter, 19th March 2021, 05:00
Next time you're aware, try and ask other people there who they are and where they come from. You can also ask things what they are doing there. What they tell, with or without a voice, may help you understand why you were there.

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