I dreamed an unusual apocalypse the other night. No explosions, no virulent disease.
Aliens had found our little blue planet in the vastness of space and, positioning themselves well outside the reach of our paltry technology, decided to begin siphoning off our oxygen. (I assumed there was some plan to simultaneously destroy vegetation) It was Earth they wanted, perhaps an obscure mineral, and forced hypoxia so easily removed obstacles.
But it wasn't happening all at once, no. There would be time enough to let yourself think that you had to make decisions about What to Do when, really, well...it was a quiet disaster, with nothing to be done.
I was out on the street, watching the main intersection fill with cars going nowhere. The wrong way, even. North, to the lake. Dead end. I looked at my companion, the one person who had been with me from the very beginning. We didn't speak and yet decided together to go home. There were cats there, and supplies enough to keep us comfortable. We'd cling to each other when the time came, like those that breathed their last in the ash of Vesuvius millenia before.
Outside, people did what they always do when the world is ending. The usual panic, the stubborn hope - television reporters gave hourly updates of oxygen levels, mobs ransacked grocery stores and gas stations. Carrying on. I felt so proud of humanity, such bittersweet love.
I woke with my heart pounding anyway.