A World War I Dream

I was a young US Army officer. I knew that WWI had ended a year or more before. As a lieutenant, I was strangely working alone. I’d come upon the wreckage of a country road that curved and went up and down a hill. I thought, if anyone is to use this road for any purpose, they’ll not be able, because it’s in a horrible state. The asphalt was torn up and debris littered the path, hindering any sort of swift passage. I took it upon myself to fix it, ordering others to bring me different types of materials and directing them to clear things away. When the materials were brought to me, I’d throw it on the ground, then jump on it to break it up, shuffle it into place with my shoes, and stamp it down. It was a remarkably effective process. I quickly had a flat, clear road. Both aspects pleased and astonished me.

A young woman, who was an Army captain, but who resembled my real life wife as a young woman, came along and inquired about what I was doing. I was almost finished by then. Seeing her, I was instantly smitten; I could see my feelings were reciprocated. Weirdly, she was dressed in gray sweat clothes, but I knew she was an Army captain. Affecting modesty, I bragged that I was fixing and improving the road for future use, suitably impressing her that I’d made that choice but that I was also doing it so well. A general officer and his staff came along in a jeep. They stopped to admire my work. The general asked, who was responsible. I claimed credit. He made a little speech about intelligent and motivated young men like myself being the country’s future. Then they drove off.

In a strange detour, the dream changed perspective. My dream camera focused first on a small crab in shallow water. I knew from watching it that it had become infected with something. My dream camera then showed a young woman in black clothing and back open-toe sandals come down. She stepped into the water. The infected crab crept into her shoe.

The dream perspective changed back to me. I was watching that young woman. She was now walking on the road that I’d fixed. I said to others with me, “She’s ill. We need to help her before it’s too late.” She collapsed, unconscious, at that moment. We rushed to her. As I bent to help her, I yelled at others to call for help. No one moved at first. I demanded more insistently that one of them call 911. He began looking around for a phone. With increasing exasperation, I told him to use his cell phone. He finally pulled it out and called 911. Help was already arriving, but the woman was dead and blue. Standing, I told the others, this is a warning, that we need to be vigilant because an infection is spreading.

Dream end.

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