I’ve had this dream before, or one just like it. And I’ve had several this month. They’re interchangeable, so it doesn’t really matter. nothing I can do matters. I can’t save the people with me, but really they’re all me, and I get to play all their parts, and one of their demises, my demises, sets up the way I win in the end, and I can remember how it ends, I just can’t ever get to the ending. So I die and die and die. And one by one there are fewer people in the dream. And I cut, and shoot, and smash the villain and I feel all the damage as if it’s done to me, so I guess I’m him too, and maybe that’s why I can’t die, but I do, just the good parts of me die. One by one. So I run away, but no matter how I try to lose him, and I even get lost myself in all the random turns, I end up always running right towards him. And he always smiles before he kills me.

Tonight I had him. I’d fooled him good and come back towards him running up towards the canoe loaded with the ill-gotten treasure that he’d killed so many for. And I shot an amazing shot with the rifle I’d found in the crawlspace between the flumes that I had dropped when I’d been killed. The shot went true and I heard it plink through the ceramic mask he was wearing in the boat. But as I got around to the side of the kayak I saw it was his son in front, and not him, and I remembered that killing his son makes him mad. He got out the scissors, and I hate the scissors, so I run.

The sets on this one were great, a small island with victorian amenities and mechanics, lots of mechanics. Water flumes and lifts, cannons, silver scissors and blunderbusses. Treasure that one character dies trying to collect, but he… I… explain to me that it’s not even valuable, just really neat, right before I get a bullet in the head and the collector dies in front of me in his delay to look at the vintage glass labels eroding in the perpetual, ankle deep torrent. I run from the body still feeling the heat of the blood and bullets splash around me.

The villain’s henchmen can die, and they’re not me, but they don’t die easy and they are endless so I have to slog through that, too. I can even wake up, I just did. But if I don’t stay up they’re right there below the pillow waiting for me to return, so I don’t go back until I can’t help it.