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A White Hot Nightmare

Dean Traylor is a freelance writer and teacher who writes about various subjects, including education and creative writing.

Brian knew. His parents told him. But, he couldn’t answer him. Deathly fear like nothing he had felt before paralyzed his faculties. His peers felt the same anxiety as he did. They shot wide-eyed glances at the sky, at the nearby school buildings, a

Brian knew. His parents told him. But, he couldn’t answer him. Deathly fear like nothing he had felt before paralyzed his faculties. His peers felt the same anxiety as he did. They shot wide-eyed glances at the sky, at the nearby school buildings, a

Brian stopped cold in his tracks. The ancient air-raid siren that stood vigil on the corner near the school shrieked its ominous warning.

“What is that?” one of his schoolmates yelled over the din.

Brian knew. His parents told him. But, he couldn’t answer him. Deathly fear like nothing he had felt before paralyzed his faculties.

His peers felt the same anxiety as he did. They shot wide-eyed glances at the sky, at the nearby school buildings, and at each other.

“Look!” Nancy, the girl Brian had a 5th grade crush on, screamed.

Everyone, including Brian, cast their eyes on the object she was pointing at.

“It can’t be,” Brian quivered.

He flailed his arms, believing he could break through the wall of flames. To his horror, his arms disintegrated before his eyes.

He spotted “it” high above, and streaking quickly toward the school. But, before he could utter a word, the cylindrical device exploded into a blinding ball of white, hot flames.

He spotted “it” high above, and streaking quickly toward the school. But, before he could utter a word, the cylindrical device exploded into a blinding ball of white, hot flames.

He spotted “it” high above, and streaking quickly toward the school. But, before he could utter a word, the cylindrical device exploded into a blinding ball of white, hot flames.

The flames engulfed him and his schoolmates at lightning-fast speed. Too bad the after-effects couldn’t be so quick. Brian felt the searing pain of his flesh burning off his bones. He screamed for help, but the roar of the explosion drowned those pleas.

He flailed his arms, believing he could break through the wall of flames. To his horror, his arms disintegrated before his eyes.

Finally, his vision was replaced by that fiery wall. All his senses were consumed as the pain of death surged through his skin, veins, and soul.

The end had finally come. Yet, through it all, he heard a peculiar chirping sound.

Is that a car alarm? He thought.

Brain awoke from the nightmare and emerged in his darkened bedroom. In the distance, he could hear a series of car-alarms serenading throughout the midnight sky.

He blew a sigh or relief. Just a nightmare, he thought. He composed himself and began to chuckle at how silly his fears really were.

“Just a nightmare,” he whispered. “Just a …..”

“No.” he gasped. Those were not car alarms.

He jumped out of bed and ran to the window, just in time to see the night instantly turn into a fiery white-hot day.

“It can’t be!” he screamed.

Brian’s horrific cry was drowned out by the ominous roar of annihilation.

No.” he gasped. Those were not car alarms. He jumped out of bed and ran to the window, just in time to see the night instantly turn into a fiery white-hot day. Originally posted at www.sgiquarterly.org

No.” he gasped. Those were not car alarms. He jumped out of bed and ran to the window, just in time to see the night instantly turn into a fiery white-hot day. Originally posted at www.sgiquarterly.org

The Threat is Still There

I'd like to think that this story is a bit outdated. I'd love to say that this nuclear annihilation is just a nightmare from the past; however, current events have proven otherwise.

This story was based on an actual dream I had in the early 80s. This was an extremely contentious time in which the U.S. and the Soviet Union had their missiles targeted for one another.

There was hope in the early 90s when disarmament deals between U.S. and the new Russian Confederation actually reduced the number of warheads and the level of threat. Those were happy times, in terms of missing Armageddon.

However, things have come full circle. U.S. and Russian relationship has soured; other countries (India, Pakistan) have officially acquired a nuclear arsenal while other nations have unofficially built up theirs.Also, let's not forget the dicey relationship the U.S. has with China -- another nuclear power.

There's a new fear to add to this mix: the realization that terrorists can get hold of radioactive material and use it in dirty bombs.

While many of us hoped that the clock to nuclear war stopped in the 90s, it kept ticking regardless of what the two superpowers of the time were doing. These days, it's not if this clock strikes midnight and nuclear war starts. It's when it will strike.

Other Apocalyptic/Post-Apocalyptic stories

  • A Black and White World
    In a world decimated, even the sign of color is a reason to hope. Here's a story inspired by the song Black Planet by Sisters of Mercy, in which two travelers search a world literally black and white.
  • Footprints in the soft gray snow
    Evan is not supposed to be in the "snow"; especially in a world that's not what seems to be. Time is running out for Trina to find him.

© 2015 Dean Traylor

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