It was the year 1800 and something or another, and there was a house. It was a big house, like the kind that would hold 3 generations worth of families, way back then when families were more close knit and stayed together, instead of scattering themselves to the four winds like we do nowadays.
I was running away from something and looking for a place to hide, and this place felt like home, so I sought safety inside. There was a trap door that I knew of which opened to a tunnel which led to a secret backyard, so I followed it through and emerged onto a green lawn and an overcast sky.
At the far end of the yard there was a tall, dead skeleton of a tree, gray and twisted, that thrust up about a hundred feet into the sky. The many stunted remains of branches spiraled up its length, jutting out in all directions like huge misshapen thorns; jagged and broken. Attached to them were what looked like the remains of some kind of construction, like an old tree house, dilapidated and abandoned.
I climbed up through this rotted mess of old boards and tangled pieces of twine to the top and found myself standing on the roof of the house, surveying a dreary and featureless wasteland that extended far into the distance, eventually merging with the gray until it disappeared.
After getting an eyeful of Armageddon, I jumped from the roof of the house and back to the tree. As I was covering the distance through the air, the passing of that event slowed to a crawl and I had plenty of time to ponder at length the strange feeling of having done this before many times, this crossing from roof top to tree top, this passage through the empty air, through this endless void.
Eventually I began to consider the possibility that I had misjudged the jump this time. The tree seemed much farther away than it usually did in all of those other memories of dreams in which I remembered dreaming of the memory of this particular dream jump.
I almost missed it. Normally (according to that memory of a feeling) I would land firmly on the trunk of the tree, but this time I had to grab onto one of the protruding rotten branches. I caught it and held onto it, and it bent alarmingly under my weight as my momentum was arrested. While this was happening I looked down, and only then did I really notice how high up I actually was, and how a fall from this height would probably kill me. The branch brought me within reach of the trunk without breaking, and I jumped onto it and scrambled down.
I went back inside the house and found a long banquet table set up and covered with food. All of my family and friends were there taking shelter, as well as everyone from church. I worried that Leah hadn't been able to make it to the shelter, and I looked around frantically for her. I finally spotted her on the other side of the room, at the far end of the table and standing in a long line of people with plates, waiting to get food. I shouted and waved to her, but I couldn't get her to notice me. Then I was surprised to see Nick over there too, in the same line and already at the table. I tried to get her attention again, but she was staring at Nick with a kind of dreamy half smile on her face, seemingly enthralled, and focused on Nick utterly. Nick, for his part, was completely oblivious to her presence. Neither of them took any notice of me at all.
I heard a loud crack of thunder and I went back outside, into the backyard. It was raining, but the sky was clear. The air looked like it was filled with falling diamonds as the sun shone through the raindrops, and thousands of tiny prisms of light washed over everything. Then somebody shouted 'Earthquake!' and the ground shook, the world opened up, and everything came apart.