This is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or events, is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously.
Though insomnia had outdone me for the past couple of nights, at some point, I must have fallen asleep. That’s because I remembered a strange dream that happened in an odd place where everything was gray. The sky, the land, even the dirt was gray. The sun also had an eerie ashen radiance never seen before. To say everything was weird and unfamiliar would have been an understatement. Yet amid the discoloration, the clouds above looked just like another overcast day. But things were not normal.
The asphalt on the roadway was light gray, not the usual black. Instead of double yellow lines running down the center of the street, the markings were phosphorescent silver. At the beach, it was more of the same, where the sand resembled fine leaden pumice. The ocean was a quiet but ominous sight of dark glass and foamy waves that never seemed to change color. I did not want to know what was swimming around in that kind of water.
Feeling stranded, without a companion or anyone to speak to, I walked down the side of a desolate two-lane highway where no cars passed by. When I stopped to turn around, the grayness went on for miles behind me. Something else was peculiar. I noticed there were no flowers or trees anywhere. I didn’t see any gardens, plants or hedges, not even grass or weeds. Vegetation was completely absent. The scenery beyond the beach was just rocks, dirt and road, like a steely gray desert. With no buildings or people in sight, I kept walking. The grayish rays of the sun proved to be less of a burden on the back of my neck. I forged ahead in my faded T-shirt, jeans and work boots, all different shades of gray, of course. Oddly enough, other than the clothes and shoes, my hair and skin looked completely normal.
After trudging for miles, I came upon a startling discovery which stopped me in my tracks. This crazy place was not monochromatic, like I thought. Though gray had been the dominant hue, pink boulders and large stones appeared out of nowhere. At first I thought it was a mirage. But it wasn’t. Up close, the reddish rocks had a primitive jagged quality and were cool to the touch. They were scattered on both sides of the road. In fact, they were everywhere. Each stone, big and small, was pink. It seems the gray area I just exited was a monotonous anomaly that paled in comparison to the size of the space containing the pink rocks. While the ground and dirt were still gray, all the pebbles, stones and boulders were pink. It turned out the rocks, which caused me to think of Stonehenge, were made of rose quartz. In this case, the flushed color was both beautiful and haunting. I had a collection of rose quartz stones at home which were kept near the head of the bed. I also had a miniature Egyptian pyramid made of solid rose quartz. But these crystalline minerals had a primeval vibe that was unsettling. The boulders and larger stones produced a pale yellow frostiness along the edges that glowed in the daylight. Talk about creepy.
While gazing at the unusual quartz, I heard pounding thud-like noises that were far away but getting closer. With every blow, the earth shook. Something was happening; I just didn’t know what. Within moments, the thunderous thumps became increasingly louder. Not knowing what to do, I hovered close to a large boulder, one that leaned away from me, in case it rolled. I could see something moving on the horizon as it gained speed. The noise, similar to an enormous pile driver, was terrifying. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a shadow coming at me. I looked upwards with complete disbelief. That’s when the thing sat right next me. It was a gargantuan pink frog. I mean this thing was the length of a hook and ladder fire truck and as tall as a two-story house. Incredibly, the massive creature was made of solid rose quartz. Not the crude natural kind that was lying around everywhere. This was a shiny polished rock with smooth rounded edges. Amazingly, the rose quartz frog moved with ease, though the amphibious leviathan must have weighed several tons.
I stayed motionless as the colossal beast twitched its head before hopping away. Breathing heavy, I held my ears as the frog headed off in the opposite direction. Every time the pink behemoth hopped and landed, the ground violently shook, until the huge monster was finally out of sight. The enormous frog didn’t move in a ferocious way; however, due to the magnitude of its size, any encounter could have been fatal. Astonished and bewildered, I wondered what kind of place this was, where humongous rose quartz frogs roamed the freakish gray and pink countryside.
As if a knee-jerk reaction of self-preservation kicked in, I spun around in a complete circle just to make sure no other pink frogs were headed my way. How could anything exist with these stone monstrosities running around? Maybe the frogs were the reason the vegetation disappeared. Maybe they ate it all. Considering I didn’t see any people, animals or plants, perhaps the frogs killed everyone and everything. Being so large they could have done it unintentionally. Whatever the reason, this was a nightmarish world that I had to get out of. How I arrived there was a mystery. I also had no means to escape. I remember thinking about a cold glass of water. If I had some water to drink, my hellish experience would have ended with the first sip. Or so I thought.
With a parched throat, I began yelling, “Water, water! Just a glass! You hear me, just a glass!” At precisely that moment, I woke up out of my dream. Ironically, the shirt I slept in and my hair were drenched with sweat. So was the pillow. When I turned the lights on, except for being wet, everything was in order, including my rose quartz collection. Nevertheless, I don’t ever want to go back.
Photos/video – own work; Sun photo – Arun Kulshreshtha/Creative Commons; usage from Creative Commons does not constitute endorsement.