A dream of an alien invasion in London. About 1800 words
An unfathomable darkness inhabits The Texas Lone Star in Gloucester Road of London. An unnatural darkness that light is unable to pierce to any degree. This is the beginning of the dream I’ve been having: a dream without variation. In my dream...
I’m in London on vacation dressing to go out. I hear a heavy freight train approaching which is ridiculous since I’m in a hotel far from any railway. Then, I realize the hotel is swaying. The freight train is an earthquake. Praying to get some protection from anything that might fall, I drop to the floor to hunch next to the creaking bed. The rumbling peaks, quickly weakens, and finally stops. Earth is again terra firma.
Proceeding to the window, I’m shocked to see the street filled with crashed cars, trucks, and buses. Some of them are overturned, with smoke rising to mingle with the dust from a collapsed building. In the distance, there is what appears to be a huge fountain of black shapes rising into the sky from Gloucester Road which makes me think there’s been a rupture on an oil pipeline. I immediately take the stairs to join the people who are already helping the injured in the streets.
Stepping into the street, I feel a powerful gust of wind sweep past from the direction of Albert Hall, carrying a large amount of debris. Looking up, I see what I first think is a large flock of birds, scared by the events, blackening the sky. Soon, there is a great clamor of shouting and screaming, for the “birds” have swooped down upon the people in unison.
Hoping to hide, I dash toward a jumbled mass of wrecked vehicles. There, a group of people, perhaps a dozen, are huddled in the spaces between and under the vehicles. One of them, a very pretty young woman, is shaking from fright, and I introduce myself to calm her. She says her name is Eleanor, and that she believes the black forms are from Hell and intend to murder us all. Then, someone shouts, “They’ve seen us. Run!”
The group scatters, however, Eleanor faints. I scoop her into my arms and put her into the open trunk of a car that has been rear ended. I squeeze in with her and close the trunk as much as I can. Through a gap, I watch and study the black shapes, which I later call the polygon men. The majority are triangular with one peak straight down, and the next most common, in the proportion of one to six, are diamonds. I also see one pentagon floating above the rest. Later, I come to believe the shapes denote rank. All of them are flat and a dull black in outline with a center of multi colored lights which flash on and off. They have a mirror image on the other side with the effect that they don’t seem three dimensional. As to how they propel themselves I have no clue, for they have neither wings nor feet.
I hear a heavy keening, then our car is jarred as a powerfully built man slams into the side. I see him scrambling away into the street. He doesn’t get far. A triangle falls upon his back, and as he rolls over another one falls on him so that he’s sandwiched between them. He grabs the edge of one, yet he can’t budge it at all. Soon, his hands fall to his side and he moves no more. Peeling themselves off, the murderers fly away side by side a few meters off the ground.
A series of bright flashes attract my attention upward; I see a pentagon finish the last of its signals. Soon after, the others rise, and fly in the direction of Chelsea Bridge. I gently wake Eleanor and relate what has happened. Taking my hand, and managing a pitiful smile, she says, “Thank you for saving my life, Wayne. I feel I should say more, but I’m too confused.” Not knowing what to say, I squeeze her hand to show I understand her.
I suggest that we get away from the city and find a place to hide. She nods her agreement, and we set out for Westminster Bridge. There are dead people everywhere in the streets and even in the vehicles, with faces looking as if they’d been soaking in bleach. We skirt Buckingham Palace. From the road we can see the bodies of soldiers in their red uniforms who died defending it, but there is no trace of the polygon men; apparently, bullets have no effect. We cut through St. James’ Park, using the trees there for cover. We can see that the bridge is clogged with wrecked vehicles, some of which are burning, and we decide to cross the Thames at the narrower Hungerford Bridge. As we cross, I glance at the river, but quickly turn away from the sight of drifting boats parting the mass of floating bodies.
We come to Southwark Cathedral and meet a group of six adults who are heading in the direction we have just come from. While I’m trying to persuade them to join us, a small force of polygon men appears overhead. I grab Eleanor’s hand and run for a stout tree a few meters away. Putting her back against the trunk, I press myself against her with my arms around the trunk of the tree as she embraces me. In this way I hope to protect her. I soon feel a cold shock on my back, followed by a hot sucking sensation from head to foot as if the feverish arms of a giant octopus were there.
I cry out in fear, and I hear, as if from far away, Eleanor shouting that I mustn’t give up. I lose track of time. At last, I’m released, and nearly fall except Eleanor holds me up. When I regain the strength of my legs, I turn to face the polygon men, and see a pentagon standing behind a pair of triangles and a diamond. I yell for her to run, and stand my ground to delay them. Then, Eleanor does something that tells me she is not the helpless women I thought she was. She takes my hand, and steps toward the polygon men.
In a brave voice, she says, “Take us to your leader.” It seems preposterous, even funny in an insane dream way. Yet, it works! After a series of blinking lights between the pentagon and the diamond, the pair of triangles prod us to move forward, which we hesitantly do.
Taking us to a small house, the pair of triangles stay a moment. They follow us into the kitchen, and seem to be curious at what we do, for they stand motionless as we drink some water. Afterward they leave, and stand outside the doors.
Across the street is a large park, which seems to have become a headquarters, for various polygon men come and go. At times, a hexagon and once an octagon appears. There is always a great deal of activity, as if they are making important plans. There are two curious events. A triangle man approaches and stops in front of a hexagon. The hexagon flashes in vivid red, and the triangle becomes a diamond! In the second event, a triangle man is led to the center of the park and half a dozen of his fellows surround him. Soon after, I see it trembling before it disappears in a blaze of white fire.
I’m excited for here is proof they can be destroyed, and perhaps, some were by the palace defenders. Eleanor, however, says with a tremor that we shouldn’t expect any humane treatment, for they execute even their own kind. I think, but don’t say, it’s not any different from what we do.
Then, a series of thunderous explosions nears from a far distance and rapidly increases in volume. Eleanor yells to get behind the sofa in our room. Just as I dive next to her, ear-splitting booms shatter the windows. Then, the roar of a jet flying over the house. We peer out, and see clouds of dark smoke and fires flickering in the park. Seeing no polygon men, I shout, “Eleanor, let’s get out of here!”
We dash across the street and into the park. Around the uprooted trees and the smoking gouges of upturned earth we run crouching. I turn my head back to see if we are being pursued when I feel a cool hand grab my arm, “Wayne!” I jump in fright and turn, a scream in my throat, but Eleanor clamps her hand across my mouth; an aviator is swinging in his parachute a few feet off the ground. His face, slack and colorless, tells a sad tale of a life stolen by the polygon men.
I am about to leave when Eleanor says, “Have you got a knife, Wayne?”
I must look puzzled for she says, “We can’t leave that brave defender here, hanging like this.”
I feel shame. “I’ve got a lighter. I’ll burn the strings off and bring him down.”
Eleanor holds his head as we slowly release him and lay him on the grass. I turn away and go to yank the parachute down, thinking it might come in handy. When I look back, Eleanor is still kneeling beside the pilot. I feel we need to hurry and am about to say something, when without looking up, she says, “I’m putting some color into his face with my makeup. There, I’m done. Now, he looks like he’s sleeping.”
I offer my hand. Taking it, she stands and looks into my eyes. I suppose this is the moment for me to bring her close and say the words, but the words lodge in my throat. Instead, I take a deep breath and pull out an envelope from my jacket. Then, I see them; a squad of polygon men have dropped from the sky and have encircled us.
Bringing her to my side, we face our end. A pentagon glides forward, and lights up like a slot machine hitting a jackpot. I feel that he’s trying to tell us something. Then, he rises into the sky, and flashing again, beckons to the others. We watch as they fly straight up and disappear into the distance.
Just before the dream ends, I give Eleanor the envelope which contains this story. Crazy, huh?
Well, I’m catching a flight to London tomorrow, and I’ve got the envelope in my jacket. I’ll be looking for her.