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The Drunk And The Dream- From Tiny Short Stories By Thomas Riddell

“No one ever liked me,” Bernie mumbled drunkenly. “So why would they believe an old man like me about a premonition I had in a dream?”

Danny, a retired sheriff deputy, seated next to Bernie at the bar, was there to lend a sympathetic ear and to try and reason with Easterville’s outcast. “Honestly Bernie, you come in here and bumble around and make a spectacle of yourself, talking about crazy stuff; not exactly the best way to get people to listen.”

Bernie swigged down another long gulp from his beer bottle and glared at Danny. “Something bad is going to happen. Not next week. Not tomorrow. Tonight.” For emphasize Danny poked his gnarled finger down on the bar top. “If we were on the Titanic right now, I would be predicting a collision with an iceberg before that sombitch hit.”

Danny could only blink, nod and politely say, “I’m listening.”

Bernie stumbled over his alcohol infused language but with much concentrated effort he managed to explain. “An electronic magnetic pulse from Andromeda will hit the earth at exactly 10:04pm, two hours and thirteen minutes from now. It will send the world back into the 1800’s. It will cripple this robotic society and our nights will forever be candle lit. I saw it all in my dream, Danny.”

Bernie belched loudly. Danny nodded again, smiled and put a hand gently on Bernie’s shoulder. “Gotta get some coffee in ya, old buddy, before that dream makes you go insane.”

Three cups of coffee later, Danny and Bernie were still seated at the bar, watching the Twins/ Yankees game on the TV above their heads. As the alcohol began to wear off, the conversation shifted from dream premonitions to who was the best home run hitter in baseball but Bernie couldn’t quite shake off the gloom.

At exactly 9:59pm Adam Warren, relief pitcher for the Yankees took the mound. The Yankees were up by one run in the bottom of the eighth inning- 6 to 5. Bernie, closer to sober now than to drunk, looked down at his watch and said, “Night baseball, under the lights, will end forever in five minutes.”

Danny shook his head in frustration. “Bernie, can’t you let that stupid dream go and just watch the game?”

Bernie said nothing. At 10:03pm Bernie bowed his head, and then it happened. There was a very loud crackling noise overhead and then the world went dark.

To be continued?

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