Exhaustion had come for Midge long before she’d finished giving her statement to the police. Because it was just before 4:00 a.m., she opted out of heading home and settled for a shower at the lab. Like most of the other scientists, Midge kept spare clothing in her lab locker. After showering, changing, and grabbing a blanket from the break room closet, she settled into one of the sturdy blue cots.
Darkness closed in quickly as Midge lay in the dim light of the lab. She suddenly found herself eating pie. This was not just any pie; it was her grandmother’s apple pie with sugar-dusted crust. The cherry wood table spanned the length of the dining room wall. Her grandmother’s handmade decorative doilies lay in a long line down the center of the table. The chair was a high back chair with a thick lacy seat cushion. Midge stared at the pie in front of her and noted that she had some pie on the dress she wore. Her grandmother had continued the family tradition of dressing up for dinner, and Midge noted that she wore the blue dress trimmed in white lace that her grandmother had given her when she was nine years old. The dress looked like something women may have worn in the 1800s, a period of clothing history that Midge was not fond of.
When Midge’s attention returned to the pie, she saw a shadow out of the corner of her eye, and her fork faltered momentarily. Where was everyone? It wasn’t like her grandmother to leave her unattended. Midge could feel her heart pumping in her chest. Had something happened to her grandmother while she’d been eating pie? The room seemed to be closing in on her. It was dark at the table, but the kitchen was still bathed in the golden glow of afternoon sunlight. She gathered the pie, the plate, and her fork walking slowly toward the kitchen. The clear plastic pie cover was lying to the side of the stove. Midge picked it up and opened the refrigerator door. The fridge was completely empty with the exception of the pie she slowly deposited on the top shelf.
Midge could see dancing dust particles hanging on the flickering beam of light that shown through the kitchen window. She leaned over the sink and pulled back the curtain. A gasp escaped Midge’s throat. People were moving in all directions and yet appeared to be moving in unison. The scene could only be described as a swarm of people. Midge studied the swarm that seemed to be circling something in the center of its mass. She noticed a figure emerging from the mass. It was a tall, beautiful woman standing at the center of the storm of people. It was her grandmother dressed in a long black dress. Her grandmother stood with her head bowed, but her eyes were focused on Midge.
Midge felt her mind working through the scene trying to decide whether or not to wake up. Her grandmother had something in her hand. It was a book. Before Midge could take her next breath, her grandmother was suddenly there. The glass was all that separated them. Her grandmother pressed her expressionless face up against the window looking into Midge’s eyes. Midge inched back away from the window. Her grandmother’s expression was an unfamiliar one. Without moving, her grandmother pressed a brown, leather-bound book up against the window. Midge could see that title of the book was The Flight of the Cicadas.
Midge bolted up into sitting position with the book’s name and her grandmother’s face etched in her memory. She fondled for a piece of paper to write as many details as she could remember. Her mother had taught her that if you can release the nightmare by writing or speaking it, the fear from the experience would dissipate. Midge wasn’t so sure.
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