This time only short description because there didn't happen too much. Mostly I was just dwelling in the feelings since the dream felt so real.

That is, in the dream I was really stoned. I mean really, totally out of this world. And there were all those people close to me, everyone of them and they were numerous. Rarely there has been so many people in my dreams and now the atmosphere was really tense.

I had smoked ganja. Some ganja indeed. My mum cried, middle brother was scared and most of the people were angry, especially dad. They all thought and I did think myself that this one will be everlasting trip. When I tried to say something, words were all twisted. Middle brother tried to interpret my words for others but he didn't succeed.

This continued and continued. Sometimes I was really scared and sometimes I just took it easy and enjoyed myself. Even though most people were on their edges and condemned my usage of hash, there was a minority who just had a good laugh on this. Especially this was the case with the younger brother, he's always like that. Also Iwona was taking it easy laying down in a very soft sofa, smiling away.

These were the bits I remember when I woke up bit sweaty because mostly it was nightmarish.

We were in a state of impending war. The entire country was locked down and time was short if we wanted to do anything. People didn't work much for entertainment these days, mostly they worked in order to survive or to support the war effort, such as it was. The greater majority of the people in the country stayed home and worked from their domiciles.

Martial Law hadn't been instituted, really, but people didn't exactly have a desire to get out. Terrorism was everywhere we looked and people who left their homes were dying left and right. Groceries were delivered to people's doorsteps in armored tanks by the military because supermarkets had become favorite targets of the terrorist networks. We couldn't go to sleep at night without hearing explosions in the distance- the war had been brought to our home soil and the enemy was everywhere within our borders.

We thought we could live with it. We thought the consequences would be easy to cope with. But she knew better and so did I. We were working diligently on a device that could transport us through time- not by any great distance in time, mind you. The prototype would only send one person back a few hours. Ours was simply a test run.

Of course, we had to pick the absolute worst day of the year to test it: election day. The President got on the radio and on the TV all over the country to implore us, the citizens, to forage out into the streets and vote. He called it our "noble fight for freedom, that to stay in our homes on election day would be to admit defeat and cripple our country."

I had no intentions of voting that day- there were more important things on my mind at the time. You see, I was supposed to meet myself at a fixed location to make sure that our prototype time machine worked. We were only hours away from completion. My partner, a woman I loved in a strange way but could never admit it, was back at our lab, putting the finishing touches on the machine. I had no idea if meeting a future version of myself, even for a few minutes, would mean anything significant or not to the space-time continuum, but I didn't want to take any chances around the device. So I was scheduled to meet myself in an open area where there wouldn't be many people.

As I drove to my destination, I noticed lots of planes streaking overhead. This seemed odd to me. The country has been at war for only three years now, but I haven't seen jets flying in our airspace yet. Something must have been brewing. Traffic was horrible because most of the citizens took the President's address to heart and were out in force to vote. I was worried that I'd be late in meeting myself because the traffic was so bad.

I remember crossing a bridge and just getting to the far side of it when the explosion hit- the other side of the bridge went up in a massive fury of cars, debris, concrete and fire. I'm not sure how many lives were lost in the explosion, but when I looked back to see the carnage I saw cars still careening about in the air, like some kid had tossed his Matchbox cars skyward by the handfulls, then spin wildly as they arched downward and splashed into the water.

I didn't stop, but continued to press on for my destination. If I could just meet myself and prove that the machine worked, Marie and I could go back and retool the prototype so that it'd send someone back further in time. We wanted to stop the war before it had begun, but we needed to know that it would be possible first. Helicopters loomed in the sky as they screamed towards the bridge that had been bombed- military investigators who would determine which terrorist organisation had done the deed, no doubt. They would act fast and respond faster.

I finally reached my destination, a park area that seemed to be in juxtaposition from the war. The park was still green and relatively untouched by the war. Of course, no birds or squirrels scurried about because they'd headed for more forested areas, but the trees were still there and looked beautiful- a reminder to me of what the world once was as opposed to the destruction that had swathed a path through my country.

I got out of my car and approached a picnic area which looked like a building without any walls. More explosions pealed the air like thunder in the distance. I could still hear cars zooming around, full of citizens casting their votes and heading immediately back to the safety of their homes. A military vehicle approached me, curious as to why I was there by myself. A sergeant got out of the mini tank-like vehicle and started barking questions at me: who was I, why was I there, do I have proper identification, why aren't I voting... yada yada.

Suddenly the air got cold and the pressure seemed to drop a thousand points and things got warped sort of, like the universe was about to sneeze. Daylight faded around us and then, just as quickly as it had begun, it stopped. A new voice filled the sergeant's and my ears- my own voice. The future version of my self, from three hours ahead, stood there and told the soldiers to leave the area at once- there would be another severe attack soon and they would be needed elsewhere. He gave times and locations and had a look about himself (myself?) that exuded sincerity. For some reason the sergeant accepted "my" orders and left the two of us alone. My future self approached me slowly. He looked like he hadn't been to sleep in days, which is true because I hadn't slept in days.

"Don't worry about the test," he told me. "Marie and I are looped in time. Try to get out of the loop by leaving this damn town. The war can't end unless you do. I don't have time to explain anything, but I need to tell you that you should just leave. There will be other days for the test. It works. Just get out of here and save our asses."

I wanted to reply, to ask a dozen questions, but that strange sneeze effect took hold again and before I could say anything he was gone. In his place stood Marie. She looked equally tired, but also had scars. She looked older somehow.

"I'm dying," she told me simply, before I could ask. "We got out of the loop you told me about, but when we moved there was another attack- in San Francisco on December 16, 2005. You were killed and the prototype was destroyed. For me, it's now four years later and I've been infected with something-"

Another sneeze effect and a soldier snapped into existence behind her. Then another and another and another until, moments later, we were surrounded by armed men.

"They're going to kill me," she said. "We can't stop this war. It has to go on and on until there's nobody willing to fight anymore. It can't be stopped. It was foolish to try. I love you."

A series of gunshots rang out and I watched her body dance like a marionette without strings as they killed her, these soldiers from the future. Her body was gone before it even hit the ground. The soldiers disappeared, too.

I raced back to my car to return to the test area, where Marie was powering down the prototype time machine. Traffic, if you can believe it, was worse now. It was getting dark, the twilight time of day and night making the explosions seem like sick fireworks. The media quit taking death tolls last year because the loss of human life was nearly impossible to gauge now- the attacks had become more frequent.

Jets streaked above me again, this time headed for the area that our lab was at. I had to find an alternate route home because the bridge was still out. Time, what a funny concept, was getting even shorter for me. I had to make it home and get Marie and the prototype out of there ASAP. My gut told me that if I waited too long then all would be lost.

I got home and found it empty. Marie, the prototype, the research... everything was gone. The house was in perfect order, except for the fact that everything I was there to retrieve was elsewhere. A call on my cell phone came through- it was Marie. She was waiting on the outskirts of town for me, with all of our stuff. She gave me the location of the mile-marker she was stopped by and told me to hurry. She'd somehow gotten a message on her own cell phone, from her future self, telling her to pack up and leave. Apparently, the future Marie hadn't died in vain.

I raced to the place where Marie was at and just as I pulled up I noticed another future version of myself standing next to her, hugging her and saying something in her ear. Then he was gone- no sneeze effect this time. I guess we'd somehow ironed out that part.

Marie looked afraid and sheet white with a secret knowledge, like she'd seen a ghost (perhaps, in a way, she had). I asked her what "I" had told her and she simply told me not to ask her again, that it was private and she wasn't ready to talk about it yet. I respected her wishes and we left the town in a beat-up van with all of our equipment in it. We didn't even have time to pack a change of clothes, so we were wearing what we had on our backs and had no money.

We will see what tomorrow brings.

I am about to play a sport like volleyball or basketball (but it is neither) in the gymnasium of the high school I used to attend. My eldest sister is on my team, and we are all taking our positions, which are similar to hockey positions. She plays centre and I play right wing (the position I usually was when I played hockey as a kid). The referee comments on my sister's attire. She has knee pads on and I do not. The referee seems to favour me because I lack knee pads. I blush.

Game on!

We are now in a lake, playing a game similar to water polo close to shore. All the players coast around on the water in man- or wind- or magic-powered things which are like crosses between hang gliders and one-man submarines. They have two membranes and they fold in the middle. They can go under water for short periods of time. Sometimes to my eyes, however, they take the form of larger conical brass submersibles, kind of rusty with old time bolted portholes and rotating fan-blade-sections for propulsion. My sister is gone and in her place is a friend of mine, who is scoring most of our team's goals.

The "ball" in fact seems to be some kind of natural object from the surrounding forest. Perhaps the gnarled end of a tree stump. And now I have to return it to its original place. Is the game over?

I am trudging through the trees and rocks and general nastiness of the summer-dry wilderness, when I stumble upon a rocky stream/waterfall/inlet section of another lake. I notice a general sense of decay about the place. Rotting wood and breeding insects and sundry fungi consuming dead plant matter at a visible rate. An odd mixture of peacefulness and muted fear.

That's when the British nature documentary narrator pipes in with a hushed voice:

"It is places like this that the natural elements of decay will thrive in the most. With numerous fallen trees and pools of stagnant water, the bacteria, fungi, and hatching mosquitos all find this place a comfortable home."

Then I notice certain areas untouched by the rot...almost.

"Here we see how these critters are attracted to the waters which are still clear, the wood which is still pure."

I leave. My job of returning the ball is forgotten. I run through the forest and I am scared because I am lost. Soon, however, the trees part to reveal my familiar house on its city street. No questions. I walk up to the door and unlock it with my key, which is in my right hand pocket like it always is. I step inside and think how it's kind of funny that I should stumble upon my house so easily, especially when I was just in a forest. Is this a dream?

I study my surroundings, and they are all perfectly detailed, perfectly lifelike. The shining brass of the door handle in front of me...the familiar smells of my home. All my senses function flawlessly. This is not a dream.

And then I drift into wakefulness, catching a glimpse of my bedroom wall right before returning to my perfectly lifelike front hallway, amazed that a dream could stand up to such scrutiny. I made a mental note that mere experiential investigation is not always enough to tell a dream from reality. I'd have to pinch myself next time.

Seconds later, I am playing the game in the lake again. We have just scored a goal, and I submit to the illusions of sleep.

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