I sat bolt upright in my bed, sweat dripping from my brow. I panted hard for a few seconds, looking around trying to remember I was in my own bed. I wiped my eyes, brushing the tears away, the tears running down my cheeks. I sat for what seemed like hours, just staring into the darkness, the sound of a passing car went by my window every few minutes. I looked around, disorientated; I hit the light button on my watch, 4:05am. I just sighed and sank back into my pillow, covering myself with the blanket.
“Just a dream” I whispered to myself, like I needed to be reassured, “Just a dream, just a dream”. I repeated the same three words over and over again. Each time slipping away a little more, back into the deep sleep I was once in before. It didn’t take too long before I was back in the silent rest. No dreams this time, just an empty sleep, like it should be.
I awoke once again, this time without the sweat and the mild panic in my breath. I woke up slowly, lying for a few minutes, wiping the sleep from my eyes before i sat up.
Looking out the window, holding the curtain to the side, I could see the sun above the headland down by the beach; clouds around the sea were coated in a yellow and pink colour from the sun above, reflecting from the sea beneath and lighting up the headland. The green grass dotted with yellow spots, the blossom of the bushes coming out. It would have been a perfect view, only for the imposing structure a top the headland. The great big ugly brute that was the large mechanical rocket launcher sat atop the picturesque scene. Two rectangular tubes sat on top of a mount, a small bunker behind it. Looking out the window all I could do was sigh at this. I wished it wasn’t there. But, desperate times called for it. I closed the curtains and got out of my bed, putting on jeans and a long sleeved t-shirt, shoving on my black Converse shoes. I tightened up my belt, hooked my chain to my jeans, put on my gloves and stuck my essentials into my pockets; wallet, phone and lighter. Perhaps the lighter wasn’t completely necessary, but i felt incomplete without it nonetheless.
Sliding down the stairs I almost collided with my brother as I turned into the kitchen, “Are you only awake now?” Conor asked with an attitude, “Mam’s gonna put lunch on soon”.
“I know what time it is” I retorted, not looking back at him, “I’m having cereal anyway” I called back. I did just that, pouring my cereal and gulping it down, putting the bowl into the dishwasher. Mam walked holding the wicker basket of clean clothes to be dried.
“You didn’t use the last of the milk again did you?” she asked my, putting the clothes onto the clothes-horse in the sun room to dry. I took the hint and took up a hoodie from the chair.
“I’ll go get some more, don’t worry” I told her reassuringly, pressing the button for the gates to open.
Walking down the road, there was a breeze about, shaking the tree branches and sending blossom leaves across the road in some places. The cloud was a mixture of bright white enormous clouds that had the appearance of great whales slowly making their way across a clear blue sea, the sun lighting up the clouds in places. As I walked several trucks passed me by, more and more travelled the road each day. I could never understand why it took so long to build a wall, it may have been a big wall, but it still should have only take a few weeks, not almost six months. There hadn’t been an attack from the sea in years anyway, for all we knew the threat died years ago but the Council’s told us it was still very much alive. I noticed Fish walking up the road, in the opposite direction. “Alright Fish” I nodded at him as we passed without stopping.
“Hey Timmy, story?” he replied and kept walking, I did the same, there wasn’t ever an answer to that question, no one ever had had one nor did anyone expect one.
The shop was as busy as usual, people around here never let themselves run out of anything, except milk. I noticed that the one thing we’d always run out of, was milk. I picked up a two litre bottle of milk. I hated this milk. Synthesised crap it was. I missed seeing the cows too; I can only remember seeing them as a child on the farm before we left. Now they made it all in some large plant somewhere near the city. I bought the milk and headed back towards the house.
When I got back inside I went upstairs and turned on the stereo, blaring music into the walls. Probably too loud, but I liked it. Not two seconds after turning on the music, my phone rang and I had to turn it off to hear. “Hey” I answered the phone, listening to what was said on the other end, nodding, “Yeah sure cool. See you in a few minutes yeah? Alright, see you” and I hit the red button. I pulled the hoodie back on and went back downstairs. Conor was sitting on the couch watching the telly; I looked around the kitchen for Mam but couldn’t see her. I turned around to Conor, “Tell Mam I’m down in the village with Cíara” I asked him as I once again pushed the gate button and went outside, getting a simple grunt in reply from Conor.
After walking back down the very road I just walked up and down, I arrived at Cíara’s house in the village. It was a semi-detached home in the middle of a huge housing estate just on the edge of the village, it was always full of people walking around the road and children playing in the green in the centre of it all. I smiled as I seen Cíara and waved at her. Cíara was a short girl with blonde hair that she always had tied up and had glasses.
“Hey you” she said as she walked towards me.
“Heya” I replied happily and hugged her. “So what’re we up to today then?” I asked as we stood beside each other and walked along the footpath, going nowhere in particular.
“No idea, just wanted to get out of the house” she said, wrapping her earphones around the MP3 player and sticking it in her pockets. “Feel like wandering around aimlessly?” she asked, looking up to me.
“Don’t I always?” I laughed and we set off, going nowhere at a slow lazy pace.
“Any news to excite me?” Cíara inquired, poking at my side. I jumped a little at the poke, shooting her a mock glare.
“Hmm” I contemplated, “I had a shower?” I stuttered, trying to come up with something, anything.
“Oh wow!” she exclaimed, melodramatically, “So that’s the annual wash done, yeah?” I gave her a look and laughed sarcastically.
“Oh aren’t you hilarious.” I stated blankly.
“Oh you love me really” she spoke casually.
“For now” I replied, and she childishly stuck her tongue out at me. We came up the headland and arrived at our usual spot and we lay on our back on the soft grass.
The waves crashed against the rock pools a few metres away from us, constantly beating at the rocks, the seagulls flew overhead squawking at each other and diving into the sea past the barricades.
“I really hope they don’t put The Wall around here” I spoke slowly, not averting my gaze from the sky above us.
“My dad says they plan to put in more barricades” Cíara muttered lazily.
“We’re not going to be attacked” I mumbled “And besides, say they did try one, they’d use the sky craft to bomb us to shit”.
“That’s where the rocket launcher comes in Tim Tim”.
“Yeah ‘cos that’ll totally stop them” I snorted indignantly.
Cíara sat up and looked at me, “Sunshine in a bottle you are” she laughed. I beamed a cheesy grin back at her, “Aren’t I always?” Cíara laughed and looked out the bay, the waters dazzled with reflections of the sun light. Fishing trawlers speckled the horizon giving a very humble but pleasant feel to the sea, but that was soon sucked from life with the monstrous ugly grey island that was the Dreadnought, named after the local Gaelic football team. It slugged around the bay, flags fluttering in the breeze and immensely sized gun barrels penetrating from the stern making the whole ship look dangerous and menacing. It floated not too far from the harbour, which was recently renovated from a simple port for the few local trawlers to a large military port housing scores of warships and trawlers at a time.
I missed it, the simple life. They had erected all of this within a few years and took away what pleasures we had. Even the water cleaning plant on the coast was guarded by dozens of armed soldiers. As if the attack would be directed there.
“Ever wonder what’s going on?” I asked, sitting up beside Cíara and looked at her, not noticing my sad expression which she picked up on.
“Anywhere” I uttered simply. “England, France, America, Australia. Anywhere. We don’t get told anything. For all we know they all could have been conquered by now. What if England’s under attack? Are we not next?”
“You think way too much” she shook her head as she spoke, “They’d tell us if England was attacked, to give us enough time to evacuate” she reassured me.
I lay back down on the grass and closed my eyes as the sun shone, “Evacuate to where?” I whispered to myself.