Some people are finicky about illness you know, can’t stand to be near it. But Will, he wasn’t bothered. Said he’d heard so much about us both, me and Siobahn, and how glad he was that Sally has always had reliable friends behind her. And then he gave me a big hug. And after that of course, that’s when he started getting the dream. I should imagine.

Now that I can piece it together, the first bobby, the one at the protest. He’d been called away because of his previous experience, and his girlfriend, also a bobby, we used to say WPC, was called in because she’s child-sensitive-investigation trained. Probably been real close to the investigation. Real close to Twin Johnnie. Time’s short. So’s my breath. Tomorrow.

They’re upping my medication. Days and nights are beginning to blur. Perhaps someone somewhere will read this and look into it. All I have to do is finish.

So he (Will) went back to London. Back to London with this dream in his head. He saw what we all saw, us who had had the dream as well before him punctuation must remember punctuation.

Saw the face. Tramp? Homeless guy? Druggie? Paedo? Something stuck. In his head. A face he’d seen on the streets. On his patch. Same face I’d seen, that all of us who’d had the dream had seen. Within a few days the culprit was found. I won’t be here for the trial, but they seem sure it’s him. Will gets a load of career-boosting praise and press and thankfully doesn’t blow it all by saying he saw the guy in a dream, just puts it down to instinct. Higher-ups love that sort of thing, because they’ve got none, having been promoted to their individual level of incompetence.

What a relief for the family. Some never get to see justice, live on feeling the loss, the pointless loss.

Of course the price is that Will is shot of the dream now, the dying dream. Meaning he’s got what I’ve got, the aftermath. The aftermath that all of us in the chain have got. What Twin Jennie passed to Twin Johnnie. Her dying dream and all the shit that goes with it. Twin Johnnie passed to the WPC, who passed it to the protest bobby, who passed it to me, and then from me to Will. The dying dream of all the close-up brutality. The dream that the dying dream.

So it might be a virus? Some last line of defence bequeathed to the most evolved creature on the planet? A mental fine-tuning now that, physically, we have nowhere left to go? A parting gift from our hard-wired DNA as it corkscrews up into out brain and begins elevating us into something metaphysical?

Maybe dreams have always been alive, connected the wrong way around to the déjà vu thing. A premonition sense and a sorting-and-filing facility, none of which knows which comes first. And if I have that dream again tonight that I had last night ...? The one where I’m at work. Someone is making a meal for me. It’s probably Mick. He’s putting something tiny and silvery in my mashed potato.

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