The top of the range was ancient and flat, the sky enormous, the desert behind was vast and dry and looking at the town below I realized the only way to get there was to climb down crumbling volcanic red-brown cliffs. I started my descent carefully, looking for footholds, finding spaces in the sharp hard rock with my hands.
Something caught my eye and I looked over my left shoulder and saw the plane. It was upside down and streaming black smoke as it headed down at a steep angle toward the town airport. I was so shocked that I let go of my grip on the cliffs and began to fall out of the sky with the plane. In a split second I grabbed hold of something, and managed to save myself, and people who rushed to the cliff edge to watch the plane saw me and helped me up. We watched the plane disappear and then minutes later heard the explosion, saw a ball of flame.
Later I watched what happened on an old analogue TV in town – the plane came in, landed on its roof, and just as the ambulance and fire brigade got there, it exploded – killing everyone in and around the airport.
Analysing that dream the next morning in the office with work mates, I decided it must be about my work situation, which was, along with everybody else’s, precarious. The federal government project was ending, and rumour had it our Sydney office would close and all our jobs be gone by April.
The next day, my boss called me into the office and said –” there’s been a change of plan – we need you in Alice Springs next week. Can you go?”
Planes, rocks, desert, sky, explosions, death. I said yes of course.
To be continued…