I had a nightmare about a plague outbreak at a place I was staying at. I woke to find one woman dying, and everyone else in that room sick.
They were in a room that was the only exit... there was no power, and it was dark and I couldn't see what was going on but I heard the laboured breathing of the dying woman. I felt that she was likely suffering but if I breathed near her, I would catch it too.
I ran to escape but my foot was trapped in something unseen. She didn't wake and I didn't know if I could help her, or if waking her would be cruel. I struggled to hold my breath and get out - but a gasp ended my contest. I might be infected, I didn't know, but I couldn't go near others now.
I was outside, in the courtyard, uncertain what to do. I felt the horror of my cowardice in running from that woman - and horror that I had failed to run well enough and might join her soon.
Was there even someone to call for help? Would we be sealed up and left to our fate?
I awoke, sweating. I had overheated - it happens in these winter nights - and the air on my skin hurt, burnt like ice placed on my skin.
I tried going back to sleep - I have so much yet to do and am running out of time now - I need to rest.
But I couldn't get away from the echoes of that dilemma. It felt as real to me as this does now, that dream.