We woke up screaming last night after the most horrific, traumatising nightmare.
We only have ourselves to blame, after stupidly following this link to a Daily Mail article which appeared yesterday:
In our dream, we were in London, in some noisy pub. We were sitting with a group of regulars who were having a boozy night out, downing a few drinks at their local watering hole. As the evening went on it became clear to us that this was the South Norwood Conservative Club. We also got the names of our drinking companions and the age of another:
Bobby Connell, 19.
Cliff Connell, 49.
Mark Russell, 49.
Paul Bussetti, 46.
A N Other, 55.
But one of these lads put a downer on the whole night. He’d left us at one point, but returned carrying a 3-foot tall hunk of cardboard. It looked like a scaled-down replica of a building. He said, “Wait ’til yer see this lads. What a fuckin’ brilliant wheeze.”
He’d printed “GRENFELL TOWER” on the top of it and in the windows he’d placed lots of paper cut-out, dark-skinned figures with their arms raised. As he pointed them out it caused general hilarity to those assembled.
In our dream, we were just stunned.
He explained to the group – between bouts of laughter – how these figures were Muslims and foreigners and on bonfire night, he was going to put it on a stove and set fire to it in his back garden.
We were horrified, thinking this was offensive in the extreme, but our opinion wouldn’t have mattered anyway, because we weren’t even there, just dreaming the whole thing.
The other four were inspecting it in close-up and it met with their approval. They thought it was “superb, great”, said they couldn’t wait to see it in flames, congratulated him on his handiwork and on “a brilliant idea”.
But then a deep voice piped up from a corner, “You sick bastards. What the hell do you think you’re doing?” It was a much, much older man, obviously a pensioner, and probably well into his 90s. His voice was shaking. “I fought fascism. My ship was torpedoed on the Atlantic convoys during the war as a lad. And I was bloody lucky to survive and make it back. But do you know what? I never thought I’d live to see Nazis walking amongst us, and even drinking in my own pub….”
The old man had tears streaming down his face as he got up and walked slowly out of the room, closing the door behind him.
We ‘followed’ him in our dream and he was now in the next room, explaining what was going on to a young girl, then asking, pleading with her to use her phone to alert the police. She rang the police, but after 5 minutes of what seemed to be fruitless conversation with the operator, she threw her phone down in disgust. “The police aren’t coming. They said it’s not an emergency and anyway, they’re short-staffed due to cuts and it’s not as if a celebrity’s house is being burgled.”
The old war hero got up. “I’m goin’ ‘ome,” he muttered as he shuffled off through the club and towards the exit door.
Howls and raucous laughter were still coming from next door, the room at the back of the club.
Our dream then suddenly jumped forward in time. It was 3 am. A barman was shouting, GET OUT, GET OUT, GET OUT!!!!!
The building was on fire and filling with smoke. Screams were ringing out. The barman was onto the fire brigade and shouting into his phone as he ran for the exit. I was right behind him as the last few punters emerged safe into the cold night outside. Turning around, we saw huge, billowing flames leaping from the top of the club. The entrance we’d just emerged from collapsed onto the street.
Five, ten minutes went by. The barman was shouting into his phone.
Just then, we heard volleys of blood-curdling screams coming from the small room at the back. Oh Christ. There were still people inside the building, trapped. The fire bobbies should have been here by now, but they weren’t, and there was no way any of us could re-enter the building.
Whoever those trapped people were, it was too late for them now…
The barman was slumped down on the pavement. He said he’d pleaded with the 999 operator and they’d apologised, saying the nearest fire station, just down the road, had been closed by Boris Johnson. We’d have to wait because the next one that wasn’t too busy to respond was 8 miles away.
So we waited, and we waited, and we waited.
By the time the first fire tender arrived, the building was fully alight and the roof had collapsed in onto the floor below.
It was a cacaphony of noise as the hoses fired up and several thick jets of water forced their way through the flames.
And the terrible screams from the room at the back could no longer be heard, because they’d stopped.