Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lost Convoy, Part XIV: Clive Lockwood

Clive fell asleep. It happened so suddenly, he wasn't able to appreciate that it was the first time he'd done so in more than forty-eight hours. When he woke again, he realized what'd happened, and it jostled his memory, back to another night, maybe twenty years earlier, to a dream he'd all but forgotten.

In hindsight, it was almost like a prediction, because the dream was about the end of the world, and everything that happened then, in the restfulness of sleep, had played out exactly the same in the grim reality of the waking world. Clive had never been prone to interpret his worst dreams as nightmares. While he experienced them, and he could always remember the tone rather than the texture of a dream when he woke, they felt almost exactly like real life, perhaps with an added dose of anxiety, just something his mind was working through. He could never and in fact never did try to explain what he experienced, and so that dream in particular had just been one in many others. He'd gone to his church early that morning, and sat in quiet prayer, even though he had nothing much to pray for. Clive never asked much of anyone, much less of any divine being. It simply wasn't in his nature.

But now in the reality where his dream had come true, he couldn't help but wonder what it meant. Why had he dreamed of the destruction of the Earth? Had others, and they, too, hadn't realized it? Was that the basis for every doomsday prediction, a half-remembered interpretation of a real dream, a real vision of events they couldn't understand, let alone grasp? He didn't have a Bible anywhere with him. He had in his youth memorized much of it, and he always had one when he was a priest, but not personally. He relied on his memory, his thoughts and ideas, and whatever was prompted of him. He had long ago thought to have left the actual book behind. He wished he had one now. What form of comfort might he have found? He almost thought to ask if any of the other passengers had one, and again struck on the thought that it would be Gabriel who would turn out to be provide the answer. Except this Gabriel was no angel. As far as Clive could tell, far from it.

He tried to think of his dream again. How much did it really match up to the events that had recently concluded? How much was just his imagination connecting invisible dots? He simply couldn't concentrate long enough. A little of the dreaming anxiety had necessarily slipped into the waking world. Jim Brewer, beside him, nudged him. "You were falling asleep again."

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