Nightmare #270 – The End of the World Wasn’t Bad

“…Our old lives of electronics and amusements and the stupid jobs we did to pay for them was all gone. Just like that…”

(Male, 30’s) This dream was disturbing if for no other reason that it was very very clear. I was living in the house where I live now but my room mates were all college students and I was a good decade younger myself – but the strangest thing was it was during the early 60’s, like Kennedy era, maybe Cuba missile crisis, maybe Cold War. A real sense of world-wide tension. Too much Mad-Men before bed, I guess.

Except we had home computers! There was a black, rack-mounted server that we’d been using to play WOW (World of Warcraft) all afternoon. Then all of a sudden the screen goes black. Not the BSOD (blue screen of death.) Not video gray but black. And then row after row of text – white letters on the black screen. And they were weird messages, like it was doing the POS (power-on self-test) but mixed in with weird bits of advice and advertising. For instance, it noticed how many empty slots there were for memory chips and then quoted a price for chips to fill those slots and the website where they could be bought. All in these tight rows of white lettering.

And then things started to get weird. The lettering stopped being normal computer print and started to look like handwriting. Very precise printing as if it had been done by a human hand. It tried to keep up with the refresh rate of the screen but the “hand” could never get to the end of a line before it flipped off the screen. Pretty soon it seemed like the hand was getting tired because the letters themselves turned to scribbles and became hard to read. Then the screen went entirely blank.

We had been listening to the radio and while all this was happening, crazy things were happening on-air too. It started out like just a few bizarre ads, like a bar that advertised you could drink “brand name liquor with no ID” then it went on to list a bunch of these “brands names” and I’d never heard of any of them. And another one for a dirt bike drag race that would be happening on Saturday – at midnight! And then when the music came back on, it was just noise. Crazy people smashing things and someone blowing on a tuba who didn’t know how to play. Hippies had taken over the station is what it sounded like. Stoned out hippies and no one seemed to care. For that matter, we didn’t even seem to care. We didn’t even change the channel.

Electricity went out so we had to switch to our little hand cranked radio. It was over. Our old lives of electronics and amusements and the stupid jobs we did to pay for them was all gone. Just like that. And it wasn’t too bad. It was night and inside the house it was very very dark. Pitch black. We couldn’t see a thing. But bleeding in around the drapes there was a strange kind of illumination coming from outside. That’s where we were heading. Outside.

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