When is a Dream, not a Dream?

It’s been almost 20 years since Final Destination 2 came out, but I got stuck behind a log truck on the highway and it might as well have been yesterday. What happens if you can see the deaths of people before they happen, could you deal? Will Alex?


Alex wasn’t sure when it had started. After all, at first she wrote them all off as dreams. Can’t really blame her through, can you, it wasn’t the first time a person had ever dreamed of getting up and going to school and then it happened exactly the same way when they actually got up.

Cause, well, you know, people had routines, and your subconscious was weird like that. I mean, sometimes you dreamed that you lived in a castle, but your room was the same as your childhood room that you hadn’t lived in for a few centuries, but I digress.

So Alex, was dreaming things, and they were happening exactly as she dreamed them, and she didn’t really pick up on it because her life was so boring and mundane, and predictable that it kind of made sense she could tell what was coming next. She was a good girl, followed the rules, studied hard, and was well on her way to graduating top of her class.

She should have been more popular than she was, based on her looks and achievement, but well, Alex was a bit if a bitch. Most people had been been born with a filter that went between their brains and their mouths, but not Alex. What she thought came out, and with a dark sense of humor, and a little on the caustic side in terms of personality, she alienated most people quite quickly. I couldn’t blame her, people are pretty stupid.

Alex liked to pretend that she was completely fine with being relatively unknown. Ok, I admit, she actually was fine with it most of the time, because she wasn’t willing to make the effort to try and reign herself in, to be more liked. But like most of us, Alex had those moments of self doubt and anxiety that made her wonder why anyone liked her at all. She had a few friends, and a larger group of “friends” who mostly sat together to hold a table in an overcrowded cafeteria. In the summers they had pool parties, like with chips and swimming, not like they are in the movies. There were ten people there max, and there were no bikini’s or hook ups, or alcohol.

So, all in all Alex had a good, if not a little boring of a life. Her plan, was of course, like all high school students was to have a life later…You know, when she graduated and went away to university. She always felt like that she needed to have a little more room to grow, explore, and that wasn’t going to happen with her mother looking over her shoulder and catching every mistake before she made it.

So, Alex was trudging along, playing average high school girl when she had the dream that her science teacher had died, from tripping on a marble, falling down the stairs and breaking his neck. She woke up gasping, at the incredible vividness of it, she couldn’t shake the intensity of the dream, even as she walked through the front door of the school. The sound of the crack as his neck snapped echoed though her memories as she started her day.

Then she saw a cute boy, and poof it was gone. That is, it was gone until she was on her way to her last class and looked around to the strangest sense of deja vu. The class nerd, it was a small school, there was only really one person who met the criteria, was walking down the hallway with what looked like a kids toy. A peg board with a bunch of toggles on it. Andy, the class asshole, tripped him. I don’t really need to explain that one, do I?

Anyways, nerd went flying, toy went flying, and when it hit the ground, about a dozen marbles exploded out of it rolling across the floor, and down the hall. People mostly just watched, or I guess they didn’t watch, in that way that people become incredibly interested in their fingernails when they don’t want to have seen something. You didn’t want asshole Andy on your tail, and so reporting him, not an option.

Mr. Greier ran out of his classroom, demanding to know what was going on, and when he saw Andy heading towards the stairs he went after him. It was strange too, because Mr.Greier was usually way more mellow than that, but nerdy Steve was his favorite.

Alex watched, in what felt like slow motion, her dream unfold. She almost said something, but like, what could she say, no, don’t, a death marble. She would be a laughing stock. She wished he hadn’t been so afraid of being laughed at, when her eyes met Mr. Greier’s. She could see the shock, the horror unfolding as his foot slipped, as he was propelled back, and then his other foot met nothing but air. They both knew he was in trouble, and then he hit the railing and there was a moment of relief, before his eyes widened again and his momentum sent him over.

Everyone else seemed to be moving towards the stairs, but she was stuck, and this time she didn’t see the fall, or the landing, but even from her position at her locker she heard the resounding crack that would haunt her for the rest of her life. God, this one was so melodramatic, like this wouldn’t even be the worse thing she saw this month. The rest of her life, teenagers, what ca you do?

So Alex stood there, in shock, and the ambulance was called, and classes were canceled and counselors were brought in. They kept telling her it was understandable, it was terrifying to see witness such an event. She was one of the ones who got booked for multiple follow ups, because some kids just took that kind of thing harder than others. Alex was not an idiot though, and did not tell them the truth. That the reason she was so upset by the event was because dreamed it the night before.

Six weeks later, she didn’t tell them that the reason she was upset about watching those two men get in the car accident was because she dreamed it to, and did nothing to stop them from getting in their cars, even though she was on the scene early enough that she could have. Well, or at least she could have tried. Who knows if they would have listened.

Alex became haunted all right, not by the cracking noise, as she had predicted, but by death. Death followd her everywhere, and even if she changed her plans to avoid the bank the day the armed robber shot a bank security guard when she would usually be depositing her pay cheque, she still saw him die the night before while she slept.

She didn’t date, she didn’t go to college, Alex languished in her small town. Afraid of what horrors she would dream if she dare go somewhere as crime ridden as the a city. When the day dawned, the ten year anniversary of her special dreams, she felt burdened by the realization. When she lay down that night to sleep, and dreamed of herself, dying of a brain aneurysm in her sleep, she awoke relieved.

It was only 3am, but she went to the kitchen, grabbed a pen and paper, and wrote a hand written will. She continued writing, letters for her family, and for the few remaining friends that hadn’t bailed she got weird. She cited a sense of impending doom by the reasoning, I know its a little on the nose, but apparently its a thing.

She took a long shower, shaving her legs, grooming herself, making sure her eyebrows were just so. She saw the clock now say 7am, and she made sure to text her work to tell them she was on her way, just running a few minutes late. Sent another to her sister, asking if she would give her a call around 9am to discuss something semi-urgent.

She put on her best nightgown, the one from the dream, unlocked her front and back doors, and crawled back into bed. She willed herself back to sleep, eager for the nightmares to be over.

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