Your death or others

I had a weird dream last night. And I just want to start off by saying if you don’t like disturbing things, then you probably shouldn’t keep reading. But if you want a creepy story prompt – go for it.

Suppose you’re on a lake. Not literally on it, as in sitting in a boat or what not, but you’re standing at the edge, your head tilted back, waiting for the sunshine, except these huge storm clouds are growing. Hulking grey giants, they quickly spawn several tornadoes.

Now you’re wondering where to run because it’s not like there are several buildings around, and the most you can do is follow the sidewalk, which somehow has a ladder spawn in the middle of the grass. Not knowing what else to do, and realizing underground is much better than above ground, you climb inside, finding a half open area still exposed to the weather. You can feel the wind picking up, and although you’re happier being somewhat covered, all you can think is lower. I must go lower. After all, these could be F5 tornadoes. They could destroy everything in their path.

So the next you thing you do is eye this hatch that looks like it’s made for a submarine, except it’s sitting in the middle of the wall, and thinking this looks safer, you open it up.

And…

There’s ash. Mountains and mountains of ash.

And bones.

What you’ve stumbled upon is an old cremation oven for human bodies, except these bodies don’t like they were fired all the way because some of the ash is still holding their shape, and some of that ash looks like bone, and you can barely make the shape of a few skulls holding themselves together.

You can’t stop thinking about the Holocaust anymore. How there’s too many bodies crammed inside, too much ash had collected for this to be a legal, medical thing. And standing there for a moment, slowly the aura builds. This huge creeping invisible cloud that sits like a weight on your lungs, and you find yourself struggling to breathe. But it could also be the wind picking up, starting to rip the air off your breathe.

You have to make a decision. Now.

Do you stay outside – die by tornado? Or do you go inside – and sweat among bodies that you know were probably murdered alive?

***

This dream has made me think a lot. It’s made me ask myself, am I more disturbed by death or the death of others? It’s also made me wonder, why are we as a species so concerned with macabre topics? Does the constant exposure dull the edge of the fact that are lives are finite? I know this is probably a highly researched topic, but it’s one I think all writers should consider.

What would you do in this situation?

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