I have to get this down before I forget what happened.

I woke up and looked out of one of the huge windows that line the western wall of my loft. A bolt of lightning split the clouds. I looked at the sky. Behind the clouds I could make out the dull gray shape of a large object, at least as wide and as high as the clouds around it.  Someone told me leave my apartment immediately. It could have been the voice of my deceased mother or that of my sister who lives in West Hollywood, California.

I found myself outside, just another body in a mass of people gathered in the streets. The daylight was half there, half gone. The color of the sky was a light brown, like the rumpled leather of a worn leather jacket.  All of the roofs and entrances of the buildings around me were tilted. A white plastic sign from the front of a cafe leaned to the right, its edge touching the sidewalk underneath it.

"We're being invaded", someone yelled and I knew immediately what they meant. Our first contact with aliens from another world was the worst of all scenarios. They hadn't come in peace. There was no warning. No alarms were blaring. The crowds were noisy and loud. I looked up into the sky above me and saw a triangular shaped gray spacecraft with rounded indentations on the bottom of it. It pivoted, right side up, and disappeared back into the clouds.

I remember looking at the horizon for any sign of  F-16's. There were none. The sky was now a mix of white and gray. Big lumpy puffed up storm clouds gathered above me. We were defenseless.

People started to panic. They wore colorful, short sleeve summer shirts and ran in groups, families bunching up to stay together. There might have been the buzz from some sort of deadly alien weapon fired down into the crowd from the spacecraft above, but I didn't see any flashes of light and I still didn't see any F-16's.

Then it got weird. I ran up a long flight of white concrete stairs and looked back. I couldn't see anyone I knew. Chaotic crowds of horrified people moved in right behind me, but didn't follow me up the stairs. No one knew what to do. I found myself standing in a small room that was the same leathery shade of brown I had seen in the sky. I went to an open window and looked down at the street below, it was filled alien invaders. They looked just like human beings. Many of them were dressed in clean white uniforms. Several of the alien soldiers were women. One of them looked up and spotted me.

I opened my eyes. I was flat on my back in my bed, under the covers, staring out the same wide window in my apartment. I guessed then that it had all been a dream. Then suddenly I heard someone shouting at me. I realized the invasion wasn't over.

I was right back in the same dismal brown room I was in before I opened my eyes. I was convinced that I wasn't dreaming. This was the real thing.

The next thing I knew I was back on the streets. I saw more alien troops, but this time they were dressed in red, looking just like the British soldiers we fought in the Revolutionary War. They even had white Whigs sticking out from underneath their three cornered caps. They marched in formation. Their weapons they carried were muskets.

Somehow a male African lion had escaped from its den at the zoo. Confused and angry, the lion paced around in a wide a circle in the middle of the street, snarling at everyone who passed him by, looking for someone to attack. One of the aliens, now dressed in a short sleeve patterned shirt came up to me and 

Pointed a gun with a silencer on it at my chest. I said he was crazy and he smiled. We walked away from the scene together and into a crowd that slowly faded in front of us.

I woke up. My small dog was standing on me with his front legs on my chest. He was panting heavily. I comforted him as I sat up in bed. The covers were in disarray. I'd obviously been moving around a lot. I spoke out loud. "Wow", I muttered, "an alien invasion." I was still stunned by the dream. I got out of bed and took a shower. It felt comforting to have hot water pouring down on the top of my head. I was exhausted. I still am. That dream took a lot out of me.

The alien invasion was terrifying.

I'll never forget that dream for as long as I live. The colors, the crowded streets, the ominous skies, and our first contact with alien beings from another world.

It wasn't good.