Reluctant as I am to write up dreams, this one had me awake, sweating and spooked in in the middle of the night:

I was in a house, deep in a forest, with rooms of horror, a type of gruesome prison in which the inmates themselves inflicted ‘punishments’ that often led to the most painful deaths. These punishments seemed to be for a wide range of misdemeanours, developed by an unknown law to which the prisoners felt irrevocably bound – they simply had to carry them out on each other and could not refuse to do so, even though there were no guards or police. As my turn for punishment drew near, I walked past a room and a man with mad eyes, bloody hands and spatters all over the rest of his body emerged, ran out and passed me on his way to the bathroom to wash. ‘I got carried away’, he said. I looked in the room and caught sight of sophisticated, stainless-steel items covered in blood and unidentifiable body parts.

Three inmates and I gathered at a small arena, facing outwards from the house. There I was to be punished. Now I paid close attention to what was in store for me: one involved a series of blunt steel clubs, another has something to do with my head, but the last was – upon close inspection – the most grisly of all: an over-sized, sharply angled, grater-like object with sharp notches in it. A massive thug held it at the end of a rope, with which he would swing it viciously and with great force into my body. Clearly, it would tear off chunks and strips of flesh with great ease.

‘Now I’m shit-scared’, I said to a couple of them. ‘I’m going to die, aren’t I?’

They nodded in sympathy and silence, but were unable to refuse to punish me. Their silence seemed to hint that the best option was escape into the forest that surrounded the house. Chances of survival were low – I would be hunted – but better than here.

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