I dreamed I was the only one left in the world. It was a Friday. I was going to see you all Monday. I went to the marshes on Friday night and lay on the ground on my woollen blanket. I was utterly alone. I took my socks off and my jeans. It was a warm night. I waited for people to come. There were none. I felt the spirits of old lovers. I took off my blouse and bra and lay on the rug. The ghost of an old boyfriend was there. I tried to chuck his chin in the air but only caught the edge of his beard with my fingertips
On Saturday I went to Euston and took the cab of a train. With Google maps on my phone I learned to drive, and inched my way to the Midlands. But I grew in confidence, no passengers and no passing trains. By the time I passed Morecambe Bay it was sunset and I was on a roll.
I stole a car from no living man in Penrith and drove to mum and dad’s house. As the sun came up, I walked through the unlocked door and up to their bedroom, where I watched the sun rise over Fang’s Brow. I hadn’t felt so lonely until then.
I knew full well I’d see you all on Monday morning,
when the great trumpet sounded.
Once the sun was up I wrapped myself in the duvet and sat on the bed, feeling sorry for myself. I knew full well I’d see you all on Monday morning, when the great trumpet sounded. But it was still hours away.
To cheer myself up I thought of all the time I’d heard my family laugh: guffaw; really laugh; lose their shit.
I thought of Mum spitting her wine out in the sink because she was laughing so hard.
I thought of Dad giggling until tears sprang out of the corners of his eyes.
I thought of Mary laughing so hard, bent double, I thought she’d wet herself.
I thought about my family’s white teeth, their eyes squeezed shut with a fan of pink wrinkles outside, and their laughter bellowing as loud as a shout.
Some bright morning, I thought. Tomorrow. I shuffled downstairs in the duvet and made myself some toast, waiting for the rapture to take me.
Image credit: Sludge G