We ‘re watching the live video feed from an ice cream store close to Patterson Street, in a part of Valdosta known as Vallotton . The flood had cut off all access to that part of town, and there were people panicking, and rioting because there was no way out. The live feed showed people coming into the store and looting everything they could walk off with, including five-gallon buckets of ice cream, chairs, tables, and everything else. But right there in the middle of the ice cream shop a man was raping a woman, and no one seemed to care. She was still fully clothed, and he was too, but he had her pinned to the floor, and was toying with her. He was lying on top of her, and she was screaming for help, screaming for him to get off her, and he was laughing. He would sit up and hold her down with one hand on one of breasts or fondle her while she tried desperately to stop him, but he was so much larger than she was.
We tried to get a cop to go around on Ashley but that way was flooded, too. We had lost East Park and Forrest Streets. Someone was talking about trying to get a boat, but we all knew it would come too late. The woman was tiring. The fury and the anger was already turning into despair, and now she was pleading with him to stop, not demanding, not threatening. She was a very young blonde, maybe nineteen or twenty, and couldn’t have weighed more than a hundred pounds. He was twice her mass, maybe more, and he seemed to be enjoying her fear. She tried to hit him with one of those metal napkin holders but he disarmed her easily, and then pressed it down into her stomach, slowly, but applying more and more pressure until she screamed. Someone, a woman behind me, said she thought he had done this sort of thing before.
I went down to the Madison Highway, in front of Landale’s pole farm, but there was a river running across the road there, cutting me off from getting into downtown Valdosta. Down by the interstate at exit thirteen was an ocean of water. As far as the eye could see there was water, and more water, and it looked as if everything South of Valdosta Georgia was underwater.
From the pole farm to the Interstate is ten minutes, maybe more, and back to the office for a few more minutes, and I knew it was already too late. Someone I knew asked me if I had tried to go around via the Interstate, and I told him there was too much water, and then he asked me if I had tried North Valdosta Road, which is past the Interstate, and I said it was underwater too, because it always flooded first. He changed from someone familiar to someone strange but the same person was inside, and it didn’t strike me as odd. The water rose up like the tide on a beach, swarming up a side road with such speed a man trying to get into his car was knocked down. I wanted to go back to the office and see what had happened to the woman, but much to my relief, the water had cut me off from there, too. I sat alone on the interstate overpass and watched the cars float, then sink, and finally they were moved downstream by the water.
That’s when I woke up.
I dream every night. I’ve trained myself to remember my dreams by thinking about them first thing in the morning. The one quality most dreams have will be something outside of normal reality will bit quite perfectly in the dreamscape. For instance, there isn’t an area in Valdosta referred to as Vallotton, but there is a Vallotton Drive. I know this, but because it’s a dream reality is changed. In the dream part of Valdosta becomes an island, but none of the flooded places in the dream are places that always flood first when there is an event of that kind here. The water in the dream was crystal clear, very pretty, and it made ocean noises ( bled through because of my white noise CD of the ocean because my neighbors have got a yappy dog, long story as to why I don’t say anything). There isn’t anything about my job, ever that would require or allow I have access to security feeds, and I doubt in this age of cell phones if it would be impossible to find someone somewhere that might be able to stop a crime like that, but then again, I’ve seen riots and I know how unstoppable their momentum can be.
Honestly, I there was someone attacking a woman during a riot, or even in a situation where there was a lot of looting, I suspect the attacker would get more help than the victim. In a free for all that comes with this sort of event, people tend to look out for themselves and do truly stupid thing, like steal ice cream. I mean, what are you going to do with five gallons of ice cream on an island with no electricity, and even if you had power, do you own a freezer that large? I thought about that, while watching people looting the ice cream shoppe, while the woman was being attacked.
No, as a matter of fact, this sort of dream doesn’t lead me to believe I’m any more or any less sane than most of the things my mind does. It’s been doing this sort of thing since I was a kid, and I haven’t hurt anyone yet, at least not because of something I dreamt. The most real dream I have ever had, or at least recently, lead to to think I had a hole in one of my work gloves, and it is profoundly disturbing when my subconscious starts doing mundane things, rather than those things freaky and scary as hell.