A story about a graveyard dream
|Maybe "All quiet on the Western Front" is not the best book to read just before bedtime I reflected. I should have read some boring technical manual instead. The scene was all about German soldiers in the trenches near a French graveyard in the First World War. They came under intense fire from a British artillery bombardment during the night and the explosions tore the place apart hurling freshly buried corpses in pieces through the air. |
Tired I put my book down and switched off the bedside lamp to sleep. Sleep came quickly and then the most vivid of dreams. I was standing in that WW1 graveyard with severed limbs and heads flying past me and the concussive force of explosions buffeting me. My face was splattered with blood and mud and I was terrified. I could not move, though I tried to with all my might. The maelstrom of devastation flew all around me, mud and body parts, pieces of stone or wooden crosses in the worst of storms.
When I looked down I realized that I was not human at all but rather a blackened burned Yew tree with roots deep in the ground. A body hit me and I felt my branch snap then another cracked my trunk and then finally an explosion of a direct hit right on top of me ended it all. I woke with a start.
I was sweating but I checked, my limbs were still attached and I had skin, not bark. I felt the space for my wife next to me but then I remembered that she was dead and buried and that I must visit her grave. As I rose out of the bed I was still a little shaky on my feet. The picture of her grave entered my head, with Yew trees all around and a church in the background. I slumped and started to cry as the grief overwhelmed me yet again. Then I grew angry at myself for my weakness in the face of a loss still too near and dear to me to face head-on. The violence of my dream returned full force to my heart and soul as I contemplated my loss. I screamed as I saw a picture inside my head of my wife's exploding grave and her dismembered body flying in pieces through the air. The dream was all too real and I collapsed to the bedroom floor.