Early Dream in a New Apartment

I was holding a whistle and standing on a beach. There were many children around me, and other groups of children around adults nearby. The children were tense and excited, and they were all holding goggles and empty pillowcases. We were all looking inland, down a dirt road. We were waiting for something...

The ground began to shake slightly, and then a rumbling could be heard from far off down the road. It got quickly louder and everyone tightened their grip on what they were holding.

The rumbling became a roar. Then, over the crest of a hill far down the road, brightly colored shapes began to emerge, first just 2 or 3 but very soon over a dozen.

The shapes were round, and floating in the air, and approaching rapidly. They were big balloons! An animal braying was discernable amid the roar, and the groung began to shake even harder.

Over the last hill, finally we could see what the balloons were attached to: little covered wagons pulled by baby elephants and driven by tiny clowns. They were racing furiously towards us!No one thought about moving out of the way.

We could see that the elephants and clowns were trying their hardest; it really was a race. They were grinning crazily though, almost to the point of outright laughter.

As they got closer, the elephants began to have trouble with their footing, as if they were leaping a little in spite of themselves. Were they getting lighter? Were the carts? There wasn't time to determine, because they were very nearly on top of us. But they did seem to be getting a little off of the ground...It looked like they would barely clear us.

At the last possible moment, the other adults and I blew our whistles. The children hastily put on their goggles, and then looked up holding their sacks open.

As the elephant balloon-wagons zoomed over us, the children squealed as tons of candy rained down on us and into their pillow cases. It was ballast, shovelled out of the back of the wagons by other clowns.

I didn't look up. I'm an adult. I don't like candy.

Dreamed by: Michael Beattie