I remember them in much more detail than I'll explain here, simply because I don't know how to describe things- and some things will just get lost in translation.
I was in France. I don't know why I was in France, but there I was. I was walking through the streets of a very crowded city. Things were all abuzz because it was a festival of some kind. There were shops and vendors of every description crammed into the streets.
I saw through the crowd a guy I have known since kindergarten and went all the way through high school with. I don't think I have ever in real life had a conversation with him. Ever. But we grew up knowing each other. Anyway, he was there and he was surrounded by the French police. I wondered why and kind of lingered about. I gathered from the people talking about him that he had committed some crime (which to my standards was not a heinous act- more one of poor judgement) and was being tried as a French citizen. They would not allow the American Consulate to intercede with his "trial,"
[Let me make note here that I do NOT know anything, anything I tell you, about the French justice system. Where my imagination came up with all of this stuff is beyond me- and as far as I know, I LOVE France- so I harbor no ill will]
It was decided he would be executed. Because it was festival, they decided to make a public showing of it. He was marched through the streets. He was behind a line of soldiers, marching alone, then followed by one single soldier carrying a sword. That soldier was again followed by the rest of the platoon. I tried to walk near him- or at least let him see me, maybe he'd recognize me and know that he was not unknown and forgotten in this foreign place. Maybe it would offer him some comfort. I was also desperately trying to find someone who spoke English who would explain to me what was going on!
Yes, I realize these are British officers and not French- but this is what they looked like in my dream. I know, they should have been wearing blue.
When they reached the center of the festivities, the lone officer approached the condemned and whispered to him instructions on what was going to happen next. They both crouched down into an "attack" position, someone shouted out a command in French. The condemned stood tall as the soldier approached and impaled him through the stomach and out his back. He looked down in unbelief. I stared wide-eyed. Feeling the same way he did. I didn't think they'd actually do it.
Through the stomach. A slow, lingering death. Suddenly, there was a commotion off to the side of the ranks. Two more officers approached the lone officer, swords in hand. Apparently the executing officer is supposed to kill the condemned in one fell swoop. He failed to do so and was therefore to be immediately punished. One officer slashed his sword across the man's chest from shoulder to hip. I looked away in horror only for a second, and when I looked back, the other officer was holding up the lone soldier's severed head.
I was mortified! What was I seeing? What was going on??? As my childhood friend stood there, still dumbfounded at the wound in his stomach, they explained to him that a life had been taken, justice was served, he was free to seek medical assistance and the thing he was to learn from all this was to leave the country and never return.
Assuming he should probably return the compliment, he took a few seconds to think and finally said, "You look well too... for a woman your age."
And that's when I woke up- and I've been mad at him all day. :)