It all happened before I even knew what was going on. Sitting just as quietly and peacefully as ever, I was working on my homework in the library when I felt the ground beneath me begin to shake. The sudden crash of multiple explosions made my hands tremble wildly. Screams came from the open window a few feet away. As I hoisted myself up on a desk and peeked through the high-up window, I saw a thick fog begin to fill the air. It smelled of gasoline and chemicals.
Hurrying toward the door, I ran into the dense fog, trying to figure out what was going on. The fog, a blinding mess, made it excessively hard to see. I attempted to look at the school I had once known and loved, but saw nothing besides scattered piles of rubble which were once the school’s buildings. The delicate murals on the sides of each, now reduced to piles of debris, and the marquee at the corner that I had walked past countless times was smashed and tipped over. I’d rarely seen it turned off, much less destroyed. The thick and heavy scent of the fog was making it harder to breathe with each passing second.
I navigated through the fog, avoiding many holes and cracks in the pavement. With the sudden snap of a twig, I heard someone nearby. Suddenly, I was surrounded by dark figures approaching me in a way that made my stomach turn. They approached me like a lion approaches its next meal. Backing up rather quickly, I tried to keep my distance from these mysterious figures, but in doing so, I neglected to see the hole behind me.
Thump. Just as my body hit the ground, I jolted awake to find myself sitting at my table at the back of the library, my half-finished English paper in front of me. Rubbing the tiredness out of my eyes, I checked my phone. 4:23 pm. As I packed my things and headed out to the parking lot for my parents to pick me up, I felt a flush of relief throughout my body. The school’s buildings still displayed their proud plaids, the marquee flashed this week's announcements, and the sunset cast an orange hue on my face. Running my fingers along the silhouettes on the side of the music building, I breathed in the clean air and turned the corner. I was glad the nightmare of a place I’d seen in my dream was gone. And I guess my parents are right, my imagination truly knows no bounds.