sometime in 2000 . . .
A group of aliens was staging an invasion of earth. I learned of the invasion from a report on television, which showed a huge group of people all dressed in white on a beach.
They were some sort of organization that had somehow invited or summoned the aliens.
From a high aerial view, a round stereotypical dark grey flying saucer floated in from the ocean.
It emitted a straight beam of fire that dug a smoking trench as it ran along the sand, the ship swaying from side to side.
The summoners were running around frantically; many had been hit by the beam and reduced to pink and white pieces on the ground.
I learned of a man who could somehow help save humanity.
He was locked in a small cabin in the woods, and I was assigned to go and get him.
I went with someone else to release him from the cabin, which turned out to be some kind of jail.
The simple latch on the door did not even seem to be locked, so we went in to talk to him.
He was a friendly black man, and he seemed puzzled that he was the one called to lead the armies of Earth.
Later, I was up in a skyscraper overlooking the lake that sat in the center of our small town.
The lake had two islands, and I noticed a truck on one of them, trying to drive up onto a barge but having trouble.
I watched the scene out a large rectangular window.
I could sense a lot of tension in the air, but I felt calm.
There was not yet any other news about the aliens.
Outside on the street, a short Asian man about my age walked past me, smiling.
At that moment, I learned a lot about the situation.
The Asian man had given the aliens some sort of advantage, so they would now be able to eliminate all humanity unchallenged.
A baby had just been born, and that was somehow related to the saboteur.
I saw the shocked reactions of the doctors and others in the room wherever the birth had taken place.
In a final scene, I was waiting on the shore of the lake with my family and a few other people.
Virtually all of the people in the world were now dead.
Two large black futuristic military hovercrafts circled on the water; they would serve as our final futile defense.
I looked at various people, all of whom were simply waiting to die.
My parents were about to say something to me, but reconsidered and just smiled.
I was still perfectly calm about the situation.
I didn't feel any emotional reaction to anything that was happening, and was not afraid of nor looking forward to my imminent death.
Standing in the grass at the edge of a lake with several members of my family, I was showing them my new car.
Someone bumped into it, and it began to roll toward the water.
I looked away, pretending I didn't notice, since I had no idea what to say to whoever had done it.
When I looked again, the car was in the water, tail up, but not perceptibly sinking deeper.
Everyone was running toward it, and I followed.
When I reached the car, it was lodged in an underwater cave made of colorful coral.
I couldn't see the car past the dark cave entrance.
Although I was on the shore and the cave was entirely underwater, the opening was horizontal and directly ahead.
I saw a rope extending out of the cave that was attached to the bumper of the car, seemingly made out of a series of rags and towels tied together.
Despite the convenience of it, I expected that I would never be able to pull the car out of the water.
When I started to try, however, the car slowly emerged.
Once I got it out onto the shore, I saw that it was dry and undamaged, except for one wheel that now spun free like a wheel on a shopping cart.
Everyone else seemed to have gone away now, and having no other means of transportation, I had to drive my car with the broken wheel.
To keep it moving straight, I had to drive backwards, and even then it was very difficult to control.
To make it worse, I had to carefully examine the buildings on either side of the street. In doing this, I kept finding myself drifting into the oncoming lane.
This made me very nervous.
Somewhere on the way to my destination (a shopping center), I had dropped my car off at home and taken the old Suburban.
It was not much better, however, since it had no brakes. Any time I had to stop, I quickly looked around for a tree or other obstacle that I could run into to break my momentum.
But at one intersection, I ended up running into a small car, which already had a large dent in its side.
The car appeared to be made partially out of paper. It was mostly destroyed.
I got out, annoyed and dejected that this was my second car accident in the same day.
I didn't see a driver in the small car, but there was a shoebox on the seat with a mouse in it.
Since the mouse was now in danger, I picked up the box and walked toward the shopping center.
I entered a large insurance office. There were many rooms with large wood tables, and all of the furnishings looked very expensive and antique.
Most things seemed to be made of wood, including the shiny floor.
The mouse's box had been damaged in the accident, so the mouse kept escaping.
I chased it around the building through the different rooms while secretaries watched me, some in disgust and others in amusement.
Finally, I found myself in an especially lush office. A powerful man who owned the agency (and the crushed car and the mouse) was seated at a large wood table.
I tried to be inconspicuous as I attempted to grab the mouse from between chairs that lined the wall, but the man started to laugh about the accident outside.
He had some kind of proposal to offer me.
I was living away from home. I was not working or attending school or doing much of anything.
I had a roommate there, though I only saw him in the morning and at night.
But there was a problem with having a roommate there--when two people lived in the same place, there were good chances that one of them would be abducted.
This didn't mean anyone would necessarily kidnap them, they might just disappear.
Afraid that my roommate might be in danger of abduction, I called some other people I knew who were also new to the area.
I asked the guy who answered the phone if they had had any problem with this.
The guy who answered the phone, however, had some kind of severe mental problem--however clearly I tried to explain myself, he just couldn't understand me.
Another aspect of living with other people in this place was that if someone's health improved, the other's would deteriorate.
An old woman and her daughter shared an apartment, and the daughter had a cut on her arm that was almost healed.
The daughter walked happily past the kitchen table, where the mother was seated, her head resting on her arm--on her arm was a scab that seemed to be getting worse.
Later, the daughter was somewhere else, and went to a phone to call her mother.
She told her about a set of new, thicker teeth that she had put in.
It was difficult for her to speak clearly with her new teeth, but she was excited to tell her mother about the operation.
Back in the apartment they shared, which was now a dark blue room, the mother was still seated at the table.
The phone receiver was resting on the table with her daughter's voice still audible and still excited.
The mother was covering her face with her hands, quietly moaning.
When she removed her hands, I expected to see her with no teeth, but instead, I saw only black rings under her eyes.
I found myself out in an area of green fields, with grassy hills stretching out in all directions.
Some of those hills were very high and very steep.
I had to get back to my apartment quickly, but I couldn't see any direct way into the cluster of buildings beyond which was city was located.
A wall surrounded the buildings, extending up to the edge of a cliff.
I knew that I would be lost in the city if I tried a route around an unfamiliar side of the wall, but I had no other way in.
I entered through a barn, and I sensed that some people were after me.
I left the barn and wandered, lost, until I found a familiar building, the hospital.
From there I knew my way to the city.