Dateline: Santa Fe, New Mexico, approximately 3:30 am, Tuesday, February 21.
Nineteen hours into the future, in Christchurch New Zealand, on the afternoon of Tuesday, February 21, a 6.3-measured earthquake had just roared through the south island of that little island nation.
At that time in the US, most of us were fast asleep. In my bed, I imagined I was high on a hilltop; the waves of golden grains and grasses rolling by in the breeze as I looked out at the landscape and beyond.
It must have been summer time in the California coastal foothills. The sky was a burnt-yellow haze.
The sun was warm, not hot, though the air felt like the singeing yawn of an oven door opening as it moved through my nostrils. Dry and incredibly still outside, everything was quiet with that hovering, heavy feeling we left coasters call Earthquake weather. It was almost one of those days when time stood still.
I was alone.
For a while all I could see were the hills as they swept down toward the ocean, someplace far below me and a little further West. Scanning the horizon, there was nothing to see, really, yet my gaze went beyond the limits of my eyes; I was intent on finding what I felt was soon arriving, from someplace way out there.
Not too surprisingly, a large, sand-colored sphere appeared in front of me, floating in that murky haze, right where the sea must have flooded out from the edge of the world I knew.
I stood up from a squat and almost fell immediately back onto my butt into the itchy grasses as the great marbled mass bumped into Earths’ aura. Before I stood up again, the monster ball had nudged the atmosphere two more times.
Strange how I was still calm; even stranger that nothing serious had happened, yet. It took a little while before my mind finally groked that this giant brownish-tan sphere was actually another planet and I was watching the collision point between it and my Earth, all in excruciatingly slow, slow motion.
Almost as though the two behemoths had locked horns, they’d pressed on each other a few more times before I realized the hills were caving in on themselves and debris was falling down from the sky above. Chunks of the Earth that had first flown upward were landing now, like a thousand mines all exploding simultaneously in front of me.
I started to run when I finally awakened to the severe reality of this event only moments later. I ran down the rounded golden bellies of grain, kind of sliding, kind of flying. I focused and listened to the clearly directive, inner conversation that told me over and over “to hurry and warn everyone about the earthquake before it happened.”
Then my body woke up.