I had this dream when I was about thirteen years old.

I’m at my junior high school, near its quaint, modular trailer-like schoolrooms — the ones with the white siding. I’m talking with a friend, when a white oblong shape, about two-by-two-by-seven feet, with no apparent means of locomotion, slides slowly lengthwise around the building. It’s not a perfect box but an extruded trapezoid.
As it passes by, we see a name written in large letters on the side: “STEPHANIE.” I have seen this thing before — its purpose is to notify the campus of a student who had died, or would die sometime that day. Some kind of slow-acting alien plague necessitated this warning system: one student at random, and only one, dies per day. I feel a little guilty relief, not knowing anyone named Stephanie.

There’s something unsettling about the box itself, too; its function is to provide this warning, but I get the sense that it just appeared one day.

I skip to another part of the dream — a school fair on an open green field. Forty or fifty people play carnival games on the grass. A student I know is hanging laundry out to dry on a line in the sun. I tell him not to waste his time because I’m dreaming this, and when I wake up, he’ll just have to do the laundry again.

I skip again: some unearthly force — the same one responsible for the student deaths — has rendered my face malleable, like clay. I’m looking at myself in the mirror, playing with my face, which holds the shapes I push it into. I stretch and flatten my eye out until it and my eyelids are about three feet in diameter. I also pull my jaw off, bloodlessly, then return it and smooth out the skin where it was torn, exactly like clay. Then I’m back at the fair, and I win one of the contests. Two girls kiss me on the cheeks, leaving little bumps from the slight suction.

I skip again. The fair is over, and it’s night. For some reason I haven’t left. It’s raining and dark and miserable. The skies are an odd glowing color, as if the moon is very bright red behind the clouds. Something is wrong, and I’m running from something, slipping in the mud. I turn a corner near the classrooms, and run into the art room to hide. It’s been converted into a tool shed, filled with junk. I try to hide in between racks of woodworking equipment, but I can’t get down low enough, and I know I’ll have to find somewhere else. Whatever is responsible for this alien plague is looking for me.

I leave the art room and run out into the rain, but I trip and fall into a large slanting pit in the wet soil. It’s too slick to climb out of. As I look up, the sky burns red, and the white box slowly edges into my vision, hovering ten feet above the pit. As it passes, a hatch opens up along its underside, and the bodies of the dead students rain down on me.