Illustration by James de la Rue
The alleyway was tight and narrow; I might have reached out and touched both walls, but I couldn’t. My arms swung loosely by my side as my feet carried me swiftly forward, I had no control. The moon was like a flickering lamplight illuminating patches of a pathway. I watched, as if behind the scene, my arm reaching towards a gate. Maybe it was just my imagination but I could smell the stench of rubbish. Once again I tried to regain control of my limbs, but it was hopeless. ‘This has to be a dream,’ I thought. I pushed the fear down my throat. Although I had no idea where I was going, my dream self must have known. There was confidence in my stride.
I had been here before. This thought was suddenly interrupted when I saw myself entering a door code. I know this place! It is the back entrance to the museum. Why was I here? Confused, I continued to watch the scene unfold. I flung a familiar striped Nike backpack off my shoulder and began scooping jewels hastily into it. I then bolted towards the door. The rucksack dug into my shoulder, the weight slowing me down. I was breathless and panting as I reached a house. My house. Collapsing into bed, my dream-self fell asleep.
I rose the next day with a sigh of relief; it had been a dream. Nothing was out of the ordinary, I got dressed, fastening my police badge to my uniform. My mind was again preoccupied with the case that I’d been trying to solve: multiple thefts across London. Grabbing my striped Nike rucksack, I headed for the door. It was heavier than usual as if full of rocks. Shrugging it off, I headed to the police station.