Time went all wrong.
For some reason, Don and I were standing in my parents’ kitchen. James, Jacqui, the girls, Don, Soni, Noel, Jamie and I were staying at my parents place near Chicago in the US. Don and I were up early and I was showing him where to get breakfast. The clock on the microwave read 7 something in the morning.
My hand opened a cupboard to reveal cereal boxes when I looked at another digital clock my Mom has hanging in the corner of the kitchen; it reported 10 something in the morning.
“Something must be wrong,” I told Don when I turned around to check the first clock, but it also said 10 something in the morning. Scratching my head, the clock adjusted itself again. 2 something in the afternoon. Our dogs (Jenah, Levi and Nyota) who had somehow accompanied us back to the US, whined to go out. The clock was now 6 something in the evening.
Opening the back door, the dogs ran out to do their business. On the patio, a paddling pool with crystal clear water quickly then slowly then quickly changed, the water muddying, the pool’s sides growing moss and mould. A pork chop I had in my hand for the dog — God knows where it came from — rotted away, and I tossed it, the chop’s flesh peeling away as it rotted mid-air.
“There must be pockets of super-accelerated time,” I told Don. Jacqui, James, Noel and Jamie were awake now and wondering what was going on. I stepped outside.
The sky was a dark cornflower blue, the stars hanging large and bright. The moon was accompanied by several other planets, all so big I could make out features on their surface. A cartoon-like asteroid stood still to their left; it looked somewhat like the Man in the Moon with the rocket poking out his eye, sans the man and the rocket.
Inside, the others were discussing breakfast, or was that now dinner? Time was now sped up. Did anyone think, I asked, about the repercussions? That fresh food — lettuce, meat, that sort of thing — would decay at a quicker pace? What would we eat?
The ground suddenly shook. I pulled myself into a doorway, but everyone else seemed less worried. “It’s a timequake,” Jacqui explained calmly, a smile on her face. “We’ve been having them for months. Everything is okay; they’re not as damaging as real earthquakes.”
The news was on; CNN reported yet another plane had fallen out of the sky. This time, its pilot and co-pilot hit a pocket of accelerated time and aged so quickly they died. People were ransacking stores, mobbing in the street. Others gathered at churches and mosques and other places of worship, to pray; was this the end? And other people gathered at airports, trying to get back to loved ones and family before the end.
The waitress who served us a Portofino in Auckland appeared. “Don’t worry… time will start to return to normal on 25th of April,” she said in her eastern European accent. After I asked who told her that, she replied, “My husband Vadim of course. But everyone’s saying it.”
Time jumped. I was in traffic, waiting to get to a store at Woodfield to get some non-perishable or long-lasting food, like cookies or something similar to keep us going. A trip normally taking 15 minutes was crawling along. The sun was rising and setting quickly. Police were trying to control traffic but had pretty much given up. I thought about how long I had been gone in our new time: days? a week?
I picked up what I could get and suddenly I was back home again. The sun was rising, the sky a pale yellow colour, ablaze in light. A girl named Jessica turned 13, and, for some reason, her parents left her presents across the street from my parents’ place. Her parents brought her to our neighbourhood, someone explained, with other children as the effects were less severe in Mount Prospect. Besides Jessica being excited and tearing open her large mass of presents, the scene remained very quiet. No birds twittering. No planes flying overhead. No sound of cars or horns or anything.
Another quake hit and kept shaking the ground. Everyone else stood around as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening. A jolt struck, and the quake grew more intense…
And I woke up. My rational mind had woke me up in the middle of the dream (the part before I went out to get groceries), thinking, “But digital clocks wouldn’t be affected by an increase in time, would they? And how would time increase like that? Was it the Earth spinning at a faster pace? Was it our perception of time — time being a man-made measurement — that was altered?”
So… now those of you who don’t know me very well know I have a very very overactive imagination. I get dreams like this on and off all the time!