Apocalypse | Crop Duster

There was a great big white circus tent and all the teenagers were in it dancing. As the dance ended there was a cake sale, we moved in circles, there was grass under our feet. I’d filled my plate, but I couldn’t find my fork. My dad said, “They’ve blown the doors.” A wind was coming through and the tent was collapsing. The girls were all in prom dresses, the men in tuxedos. I picked a fork up off the ground. Someone said, “Run,” and hundreds, faceless, were running. A poisonous gas was billowing through the tent. The faces I knew were gone. Everyone ran for an exit, but the tent went on and on, only it was getting smaller. Finally, I fell to my knees and breathed it in. The dream zoomed out. They put a perimeter around it, the size of a box. A small light glowed inside. There were thousands of others just like it. The whole scene hadn’t lasted more than the length of a summer, the length of an adolescence. By the time it was over, my dad was back in Michigan, the world and everyone I knew in it fit inside a collapsed white circus tent. It all felt so real I didn’t want to wake up and have to live it again.

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