Waiting for Dorothy (Postcard Short)

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The dream happens the same way. I'm sitting with Jennifer on this beach in Florida, beautiful sand, the ocean, just like a postcard. We're the only two there. Off in the distance I see it. The flash and the smoke mushrooming up into the sky, quieter than I ever could have expected. The second is quieter still and I can barely see the cloud. In my dream, the way you know things without sensing them, I knew that the third mushroom cloud was blossoming somewhere just out of sight.

On the beach, in my comfortable spot next to Jennifer, I think about how beautiful the death of the world is. And I wish that everyone's disaster could be as peaceful, quiet, and undramatic as mine.

In the years to come, after Jennifer and I have had our moment on the beach watching the beautiful mushroom cloud envelop our city, we walk through the dead rubble, radioactive though it is - and there, just like I knew it would be, is the scarecrow. An old gray shirt with pants and hat, stuffed with straw in it. When I turn to look at Jennifer to see the look on her face, I have a sudden feeling, a sixth sense, that somehow the scarecrow is gone. And suddenly, I'm the one made out of straw.

Among the nuclear wreckage, I wait patiently for Dorothy and her dog to arrive.

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