I was crossing a street when I heard sirens. An enormous fire truck barreled around the corner; its grill towered over me. It may have stopped, or time may have slowed, because I was not killed instantly. Instead, the extreme darkness around me confused me, and I couldn’t budge. I wondered if I could lay down and hope the truck’s undercarriage wouldn’t drag over me and kill me, but that still required me to do something. I was aware that I should have been killed already.
As I was deciding what to do, or being killed (I could not tell which), and feeling guilty for not being able to get out of the way, I understood the nature of the emergency. Large numbers of people were stranded in Ohio on an island surrounded by thousands of miles of water, connected to land only by a bridge of unimaginable length.
I was entering a dormitory and came upon someone who had rescued two tiny puppies. They were so small they didn’t look real.
Later I found a banana-shaped puppy, missing its legs and its face. I thought I could see traces of eyes, nose, and mouth, but I couldn’t be sure. I must have thought it was still alive but I didn’t know what to do with it — whether to keep it and try to figure out how to feed it, to leave it to die on its own, or to kill it mercifully (how?). All of the choices horrified me.
As I came closer to waking, I couldn’t help wondering if it was just half of a banana and not a puppy at all. I wanted an easier and less painful decision.