I dreamt that I was sitting in a dark living room with some friends. We were listening to music and eating junk food and talking about the recent death of a friend, and who we thought was responsible. There was a large party in town, and the suspected person was to be in attendance. We wondered what we should do. How should we investigate this, identify responsibility, hold the responsible party accountable.
We went to the party. It was nice. It was in a high school gym. I spoke to the suspect, but he didn't seem blame-worthy to me. Just a feeling. I went and hung out with some friends in a room, and then started exploring a bit. Going down a hall, I found a group of people. They were walking together. They were looking for me. The suspect I spoke with earlier was found dead. And I was there suspect.
I didn't do it.
I tried to explain this to them, at a distance. I understood that I had spoken with him in private, that I might be the last to have seen him. That there was good reason to suspect that I had done it. That there was very little evidence to the contrary. And now my own friends were connecting dots and arriving at the horrible conclusion of what I must have done.
I needed time, and freedom, to find a way to demonstrate my evidence, and to locate the real killer or killers. I turned and fled, and they ran after me. I turned a corner and then went through the first door, hoping they might miss me enter it. It was to the downstairs boiler room. I looked around for a window or something to escape through, and finding one, I heard the door I came through open. I hadn't lost them yet. I scrambled out through the window and saw that dawn was slowly approaching, though the sky was still dark. I ran through the playground, through trees, finding myself on a sandy beach.
Some had come through the same window I had crawled through to get outside. Others came out the school doors. Someone saw me sprinting over the playground into the foliage. I heard shouts coming closer. I ran hard along the beach, along a firm ground at its edge. They were after me, and some people were ahead of me already. One was a friend. "Stop, Richard." I sort of knew she wouldn't help me, she wanted to capture me too. I pushed her into the sand as I ran by, hoping I didn't hurt her, needing to slow her down.
Ahead, my target. A large storm drain, a pipe I could still run through, a clean sewer. I ran in through its mouth and kept running into darkness, with a splash behind me. I'd been in here once before, with friends, exploring, adventuring. I needed to get to someone I could trust. I needed to lose my pursuers and find time. I needed to get out of town.
My heart and hopes faltered as I heard echoes running along the pipe. Were they from ahead or behind? I reached a service room, a random room with water running through the centre, sometimes getting a bit flooded, but with a rusty table, chair, and a closet with some equipment. I noticed a broom in the corner and grabbed, and kept running. I don't want to hurt anyone. I'm not even sure I could. But I could feel desperation devouring my future.
The echoes grew louder and in the distance, in the darkness, I could see a growing light. They got ahead of me. They probably drove ahead to a junction and hoped to trap me from in front and behind. My grip on the broom tightened. I needed to pass through this obstacle.
Turning a corner, the light got brighter, and there were five of them. Two my own friends. One of whom I did kendo, and was good at combat. What to do? The only thing I could think of was to use the broom as a jo and try to let lessons from my jodo class flow through me. I didn't want to hurt anyone, but in jodo, a lot of choices you make in kata are to minimise damage and control threats. Kasumi no kamae, kaeshizuki, jodan, kuritsuke. It worked (not in that particular sequence). I pushed them back with an intensity in my eyes and an apparent will to do what it takes to get past. My kendo friend was the bravest, so I had to be the more intent, the more intense, the greatest will to do be meaningful. Thrusting into his solar plexus with the broom and twisting my hips to knock him down was incredibly painful to me, but it was still a bit thrilling to see lessons had sunken in.
Enough budo. Back to running. They didn't immediately give chase as they regrouped. I got to another junction and turned in the way I felt least likely to, I got to a manhole and escaped. Whoa, was that heavy, desperation and pushing with my entire core got it moving. I was sure I'd ruin my back, or a vehicle would pass over. It was only now dawn outside.
I placed it back to reduce suspicion and started cutting through yards and hopping fences. A double edge. On the one hand, it's not a regular path I might be expected to take, on the other, it raises the suspicions of others. Finally I made it to a busier business street, and started running. I ran to a friend of a friend's place. They weren't awake, and between knocking and sneaking in, I chose the latter. If I could get this done without them even noticing, that would be best. I check the back door and it's unlocked and I try to act natural in case any neighbours are looking. I slide off my shoes and walk silently to a house-phone (who even has those) and I phone ... my dad.
"Dad, I can't talk now, can you pick me up at _? It's really important." "... Ja, I'll be there in an hour." That's something I love about my dad, his willingness to help when it's needed. A few years ago I was heart-broken and he wanted to drive 90 minutes directly to pick me up. He's wonderful.
Silently, I snuck out, and headed down the street to a nearby and sat on one of their alleyway tables, hoping to not have my face noticed. (It was probably on the news.) I was far away from my regular stomping grounds and few would think to look for me here. I just had inattentive strangers to fear now.
Eventually, my dad pulled up, and I was so relieved. I got into his hatchback and we drove and I started telling him all about it. I was afraid. I don't usually worry my father with my problems. He has his own concerns these days. He instantly had my side, he was furious with friends thinking I could be responsible.
He asked where we should go, and it was true, it wasn't safe for me to go to go home with him. There is a cabin I know, but one of the people pursuing me is associated with it. I tried to think of people I could rely on who wouldn't be suspected, and the list was short. Perhaps the most trustworthy and loyal friend, but he's far away in the east. There was really only one other, someone who I haven't talked to really in several years. I suggested them to my father, hoping he would advise against it, but instead he agreed, and we started driving quite a ways away, while I borrowed his phone. (note: he doesn't actually have a cell phone.)
Wow, I haven't heard someone yell so much in a while. I can't really understand the anger, but I wasn't going to dispute it. Did they agree to help? I don't really know. I was still on the phone with them when my father went to get gas and a friend of mine came out of the gas bar and told me good news, that the true killer had been caught (the killer of both!) and it was the person who tried to implicate me back at the party (ha, a true frame up job). I didn't trust them. I said I'd head to the authorities to sort it out then, but didn't really intend to. This could all be a ploy, and, annoyingly, now at least one person knew I was riding with my dad. Still, it raised my hopes, and then I woke up.
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