The clouds hovered like evil angels, something malevolent in the red from the rising sun. I'm no sailor, but the adage holds firm: red sky at morning, sailors take warning. Red sky at night, sailor's delight. Admittedly I'm no sailor, nor will I be, nor have I ever been. I still use this phrase though, because to me, a red sky means that blood will be spilled on this day.
Slowly, I stand up. The world around me is broken, almost as if a bomb had fallen, which it probably has, judging by the sounds I hear. I close my eyes, the better to concentrate on the sounds. My mouth starts moving, rattling off calibres of the shots that can be heard.
A relatively deep sound, the first shot I identify, and it is followed by man more of the same sound "7.62 mil, possibly NATO, possibly Warsaw pact."
A sharper crack, relatively high "9 by 19 Parabellum, probably in use with a pistol or PDW."
I suddenly feel someone looking at me, and open my eyes to look around me. No need. In front of me stood a ragtag group of men, all dressed in ragged orange camouflage, with weapons made of wood. My comrades, my workmates.
Instinctively, I know I am to lead them through the dangers outside of this crater we're in. I look down, and suddenly my clothes, my comfortable jeans and t-shirt have been replaced with orange camouflage, and I notice I'm holding a wooden rifle.
"Right then, ladies, let’s go! Move it, move it, move IIIIT!!!" shouts a voice I vaguely recognise. I look around and notice my mouth is still moving. It’s me shouting.
We start moving up over the side, and suddenly a massive wave of rabbits attack us. They literally are a wave, falling over each other, tumbling forwards, unstoppable. We stand firm, like rocks in the path of a wave, but lose our youngest member, whom the rabbits proceed to devour on the spot. I look closer, and realise he has begun to go completely orange, apart from his hair, which turns an odd hue of green. I also notice that the rabbits all have human faces, rather like the one my boss has.
I turn around, and am suddenly standing at a cliff edge. Far, far below me, I hear music. Loud, angry music, full of guttural sounds, as if someone had decided to start singing after a century of chain-smoking and screaming. I decide I like it, and turn around to the stairs behind me, which the men I was leading must have dug. They, in the meantime, have disappeared down the stairs already.
I’m just about to go down, when the singer of this band, looking like some sort of mixture of a revived Viking and a punk, with his long, flowing beard, Doc Martens and Long, blonde hair, down at the bottom of the cliff, stops singing, looks up and talks to me.
“Hey, darling” He says, in my girlfriend’s voice, and his voice starts off an earthquake. A massive man, who just seconds ago, was singing something about entering Valhalla in a voice that sounded about as nice as being castrated with a rusty spoon, was now calling me “darling”?
“You’re going to be late! Come on! GET UP!”
And suddenly I’m in a bed in the middle of Vienna. The singer has become my girlfriend, and the earthquake has become her shaking my shoulder. I plunge back into the real world, where I work in a store named “Penny Market,” orange camouflage is part of the employee uniform there.
And I’m meant to be there in 15 minutes. Alone getting there takes 30, never mind hunting down my socks and uniform, nor showering, nor breakfast.
I groan, and drop back into the bed, wishing this were a dream. Sadly, its not, as her slap on my shoulder proves.
“Come on! I’m going to be late too! And NO, I won’t give you my keys!” Oh. My keys are still AWOL.
I try to get up, yet the punch I receive from my hangover isn’t doing me any favours whatsoever.
“No more vodka. From today on, no more vodka.” I mumble, trying to think why I got hammered yesterday. Letting my train of thought derail, and trying to simultaneously imagine what imaginative ways my boss could say I were a waste of time and effort, and also gauge my chances of being able to sneak in, I looked out the window.
The clouds hovered like evil angels, something malevolent in the red from the rising sun. I'm no sailor, but the adage holds firm: red sky at morning…