Unrest wafted through the city, its wanton desire for confrontation a spreading disease and burgeoning calamity. Its imminence hung in the air like some airborne molasses.

Somewhere not far away, one faction of a vague and splintered religious organisation readied its charge, even as the opposing faction near me plotted its strategy for attack. Inserted into this ugly mix by some magical act of incision in dream, I struggled against the nightmare.

Not right. I wanted no part of it, no part of its ugliness, of its warmaking of life-against-life, but rather than removal from the scene, I looked to walk a different path.

I sought out some assistant-to-the-grand-poobah, someone as indistinct in the retelling as in the dream. Only his undemonstrated authority carried weight in perception. I cannot give you any details of him, other than of my approach and plea.

You need to help me stop this. He resisted. Search deeper in you. You can do this. We must. I walked away, on my way to the other faction, intent on negotiating, mediating, and ending.

On my walk, fear tickled me, not overwhelming fear, just an understanding of the danger, of the real possibility of death. It had to stop. I kept going. Somewhere before reaching my goal, morning extracted me.

I used to write of dreams all the time. It’s been years, but this one got me overnight.