Prompt: Write about your worst dream. Write it in second person, present tense.
It’s a Friday afternoon and you are quite excited. There is still an hour or so left of the school day, but you and several other students in the school are getting the chance to leave early.
With any age and any school it’s going to be a great thing to be able to get out early, but you are in high school and nothing beats a day where you can cut out early and leave everybody else there to rot for the next hour.
The reason you get to leave early is because you are a band student and it’s Friday night, which means…. yes, there is a big football game about to take place. The football guys have already left, you and all your fellow band members are headed down to the band hall to gather up everything you are going to need.
You do one final check: you have your instrument, uniform (making sure of course that every piece of your uniform is there. You don’t want to be like that one kid who forgot his pants.), hat, shoes, wallet. The director is giving a last minute lecture… blah, blah blah…. and you are loading up the bus with some of your closets friends and you all settle into the most comfortable positions you can possibly achieve while riding on a school bus for the next couple of hours.
The ride to the game is always fun and today you are in great spirits and you have a good time playing in the stands, the half time show goes really well, nobody forgot a big chunk of the music or fell and you personally get through the show feeling like it was your best performance of the year.
Your team loses the game, but you shrug it off, your team hardly ever wins the games anyway. Everybody is a little tired, but still excited for the bus ride home. So you all help load up everything and then settle in for the trip once more.
Forty minutes into the trip everybody quiets down and settles into a restless sleep or silently staring out the windows. You are tired, but have never been one to be able to fall asleep on a bus very easily, so you take to watching the road ahead. For the next quarter hour everything goes smoothly until your director/bus driver gets a call from the head director pulling the band trailer in front of you.
You only hear part of the conversation, but you understand what’s happening anyway. You hear your director say,
“A short cut, are you sure? Well, if it will get us home sooner lets do it.”
You don’t think much of it. The directors have to get two buses full of students back to the school safely, so you know they won’t put anybody in danger. Within the next quarter mile the band trailer pulls off into a side road and the bus you are on and the bus directly behind you follows. Three other buses who had been following continue on the first route, those are the football players and a bus full of cheerleaders. Your band director chuckles as he watched them continue down the highway. He loves a good race.
You are now more awake and more attentive to where you are going. Something doesn’t feel right. You sit up in your seat and take a look around the bus, everybody is sleeping, well, at least it looks like everybody, it’s quite dark.
Actually, now that you look closely, it shouldn’t be this dark! A darkness, a terrible bad omen, other than the cover of night was surrounding the travelers. The bus’ headlights were barely even making a difference. Your bad feeling becomes stronger.
You hesitate a moment, but then you move up to the directly behind the driver and see that he is finding it hard to make out the road. He glances at you a moment, but says nothing to you. This isn’t the first time you have helped him concentrate, or stay awake, or even helped keep a second set of eyes on the road.
“Where’s the trailer?” you didn’t want to ask, but the curiosity had gotten to you. You hadn’t seen the band trailer in front for a while.
“I’m sure it’s just further up than we can see.” you director explains.
You are not quite convinced, but he gets another call and this time he pulls off to the side of the road. You listen in not even trying to hide the fact, your director is quite used to that too.
“What do you mean, ‘where are we?’, we are right behind you. Really? Yes, but we were… I see. Alright.” he hangs up the phone and sits back down in the driver seat. The rest of the bus is still asleep.
“That was the head director. He says he saw us pull off the highway on our own and that he never said this was a shortcut. He doesn’t know where this road leads.”
“Well, we can just turn around, right?” you both don’t dare to mention that you saw the truck pulling the trailer turn down this road.
” I haven’t seen any place to turn around at. In fact, I haven’t seen a house or any type of driveway since we turned onto this road.”
You sit back in your seat, knowing the only thing that can be done is find out where this road leads. An hour passes this way and then another. You should have reached the school thirty minutes ago. Hours upon hours pass this way and soon the darkness lifts and it’s daylight, but somehow that makes it worse. The scenery looks wrong, more creepy in the daylight than when the darkness shrouded over it. Whatever it was that you were looking at was never meant to be seen.
Days pass this way, by this time everybody is scared, but learned not to ask question a while back. Pretty soon, you are not sure when it happened, but the second band bus is no longer behind you. You all mourn the loss. You know you’ll never see them again.
Time goes on this way and eventually an eternity passes. People used to say that as an exaggeration of time because nobody knew exactly how long that could be, but you do. You just lived it. None of you have gained a day older, but an eternity has passed.
Another eternity passes and your bus driver pulls over the bus, gets off, sits against the tire and never moves again. You are terrified, but you keep everybody else clam. They’ve all excepted their fate by the time the third eternity passes.
It was soon after that that people start wandering off the bus. Most follow the actions of the driver and sit down and never move again. Others die right there on the bus. One by one you watch them slowly all die. You are the last. You close your eyes.
The next thing you are aware of is how heavy you feel. Everything feels heavy. You open your eyes and realize you are in bed, and everything is stiff like you haven’t moved an inch all night. You pull it together though. You sit up and try to understand what happened. It was just a dream, but you remember every feeling, every detail. You check your phone and realize it’s Friday and you have an away game tonight. The same game you went to in your dream. You lose your breath with fear, you are terrified to go to school, but you do it anyway.
“Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.” ~ Mother Jones