I’ve had a disturbing, unsettling dream that I was the victim of a mass shooting.

It didn’t take place anywhere in particular, nor did I recognize anyone around me. All I knew was that I was hiding with a huddle of people and the shooter, in police uniform for some reason, comes in spraying bullets. I avoid them the first time, then the shooter comes back to pick us off one by one. I distinctly remember the shooter meeting my eyes, then the strange rush of being shot in the head. I guess the closest feeling would be blacking out during a really bad menstrual cramp. I’ve never been in this kind of situation in my life, but the fear and panic felt so real that I woke up wondering, for a moment, if I was dead or alive. I was relieved, of course, that it was just a dream. It left me so rattled that I can’t get it out of my head. I decided to turn it into a story idea and write about it. Here’s to hoping I can capture the emotional power I felt on paper.

(In case this story ever gets finished and/or published, I’ll have this post to turn to if I ever have to talk about the inspiration behind it.)

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