Lady on Fire

Supposedly, I was in college, though it looked similar to an average high school campus. We were sitting in our classrooms when an announcement came through the speakers that we were supposed to meet in the quad area for an important message.

We soon found ourselves shoulder-to-shoulder in the quad area, in front of a massive white building with a balcony, and a familiar-looking woman stepped forward, making herself visible to us as she stood on the roof. Two men wearing Kevlar and carrying machine guns stood behind her on either side. This triangle formation looked down at us with amusement as some of the girls started to scream.

The men holding the guns remained on the roof while the woman leapt from the building, heading straight for the crowd. People cleared, and she landed in the center of them, on both feet, and dripping wet. Her hair clung to her flushed face, her blue floral Mumu clung to her plump figure, also dripping wet, creating a dark pool around her which sizzled on the warm cement.

She was familiar, because I recognized her as a character that, earlier in the dream, entered my classroom and handed me two thin black capsules, supposedly cases for something. She had left me alone, clutching the two capsules with confusion. I’d opened the first, to find a needle protruding forth. I rolled the capsule in my hand to reveal the words “TRANQUILIZER” on the side. Then, I opened the second capsule, and tiny white pills rolled out. “FOR ANXIETY” it read, on the side of the container. “Why would I need these?” I had wondered, and then shoved them in my pocket, intending to turn them over to somebody in authority.

The woman raised her hands now, making more girls in the crowd scream, and I was drawn back to the present. “Why are you screaming?” She asked, laughing a deep, maniacal laugh. “I have no weapons!” Her arms were raised and her palms were open, supposedly demonstrating that she was not a threat. “That is, I HOLD no weapons!” She clarified, laughing again.

I love vodka!!!!” She screamed, pulling a lighter out of one pocket of her Mumu, becoming a human torch, screaming, and throwing herself at clumps of people too scared to run.

We all eventually managed to escape, as security and police stepped in. Nobody was killed except for her.

After this trauma, we were expected to return to class. I found myself in a room sitting with others around a conference table which was facing a whiteboard at one end. Shaking, quivering girls, many of them sobbing from fear and left-over adrenaline from that morning sat with me. I didn’t feel traumatized. Just relieved everybody was fine. “We lived, I told them. That’s what counts. We made it. Focus on that. Not what could have been.”

We could have DIED!” One girl wailed. “We could have been burned!”

But you weren’t!” I exclaimed in exasperation. “Let’s get focused now,” I said, as the instructor walked into the room.

Everybody is pretty shaken up, I see,” The professor acknowledged. The girls cried, affirming his suggestion.

Then I remembered the tranquilizer and the anxiety pills.

What are we going to do with you?” he asked compassionately. “Everything is going to be fine. We have security here at the door now, see?” He motioned to a man in a white security uniform gazing at some uninteresting wall in front of him.

I have some things that might help,” I suggested, holding up the needle and the pills. “That flaming woman gave them to me. Maybe she only meant to hurt certain people, and these pills are to help the people she didn’t mean to hurt,” I suggested, nodding towards the hysterical girls.

Can I inject them with a tranquilizer?” I asked.

NO! Of course not!!!” The teacher came and swiftly removed the items from my hand.

He captured the security guard’s attention and then ordered, “Bring in the team.”

Suddenly, the room was filled with a team of security guards holding stuffed animal rabbits, handing them to hysterical girls to hold and to cry on.

After the class, I was leaving, and the professor snagged me before I walked out the door. “I have some scrubs I thought you might like to have for your job,” he offered.

Oh that’s wonderful,” I replied, explaining how expensive scrubs could be.

He handed me a pair of navy blue scrubs pants that wreaked of old smoke. I saw charred edges and realized with horror that these were the pants the exploding woman had worn under her Mumu. “We washed them, but we couldn’t quite get the smell out,” He explained.

I found myself standing in front of a dumpster next, throwing away the scrubs pants explaining to the inanimate trash can that I was wasting money only because 1) I couldn’t wear an evil dead woman’s pants and 2) the pants stunk.

Guilt washed over me, suddenly, as I realized: The woman had given me the tranquilizer and the anxiety pills for her. I was the only one who could have stopped her, and I didn’t. I didn’t stop her from herself.

Then I woke up.

My Interpretation: While I generally can find some thread which ties the dream into my everyday life, in this dream, I could not. I had never seen the setting, the people, nor thought about anything in regards to the plot.

The only thing that is reminiscent of my real life is how expensive good scrubs can be, and how all my scrubs now don’t meet my level of satisfaction, especially the pants.


Copyright 2013


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