I landed on the hardwood floor one storey down. Pain flashed in the soles of my feet. Still crouching where I had landed, I looked around the room. It was the same room I’d entered at the onset of the dream…all wood, windowless, three storeys high, with doors far above ground level, and narrow ladders leading up to them.
I stood up. There was a crunch. I lifted my shoe to see a crushed badge on the floor. I had landed on the spot where all the policemen had dropped through the trapdoor not one hour before. But where had they gone?
I looked for the door through which I had entered. I saw the feet of the last policeman’s corpse slide around a corner and disappear, as if the corpse were being dragged out into the grass.
I followed. Outside was a pile of dead policemen. Kyle was dragging the last of them out of the house.
He was not far from the man who had been working on the car which stood on blocks near the front door.
The man was now packing his tools away in the trunk, which he slammed shut before climbing into the car and starting the engine. He looked afraid, and put the car in gear. The car, which was still on blocks, now had a set of tires, which made for a precarious balance. As the engine rumbled to life, the car rocked, and the blocks toppled. One of the blocks broke. Another one skipped off the concrete and landed in grass. The car peeled out and turned into the field, leaving two parallel trenches of pressed down grass behind it.
The car became smaller as its distance from us increased. At the far edge of the field, it disappeared into the trees, almost as if the trees had parted for it.
After the car had gone, I could see there was no road, no path. For a moment, I thought I had seen a tattoo on the back of the driver’s neck, and I thought of Q…
“He stole it,” said Kyle, dropping the last dead policeman on the ground. He looked at me, squinting. The day was still bright.
Kyle was now dragging the policemen, one by one, from where he had deposited them, to the concrete pad where the car had been. Now there were only broken cinder blocks and an oil stain at the center of the pad. Oil.
I helped. It was hard work, dragging the dead policemen across the yard. There was something strange about their bodies, too, almost as if they were made of pieces of heavy wood, wired together somehow. Their faces of course, were very real, old, and fleshy. And the bodies stank. We were sweating hard. Kyle was still in full combat gear, and I knew he was hot.
“No other options,” He said, “If we burn ’em out in that yellow grass we’ll have a brush fire on our hands… And they ain’t payin’ me to be no firefighter, neither. Shit, I ain’t even gettin’ paid for this much.”
I dropped the last policeman on the pile.
“You might wanna stand back,” Kyle said, “Them shits is flammable.” He looked at the pile of policemen with their rumpled uniforms and old, flabby faces. The bones they had broken falling through the trapdoor poked and jutted at odd angles inside their blue uniforms.
Kyle removed a pack of matches from his pocket, struck one, and dropped it on the pile of policemen.
I stepped back.
The pile of policemen whooshed into a crackling blaze. Heavy black smoke rolled up into the sky. The day was hot, and the fire made it doubly hot.
“Gas,” said Kyle, “They go up like that cuz a the gas.” He held the edge of one hand against his forehead to shield his eyes from the sun, and stared into the fire.
(A Back Door: Enter Sailor and the Libyan Sibyl or Worried about Retribution into the search bar.)
(A Front Door: Enter Theatergoers Filled The Yard into the search bar.)