LOUISE: I dream that I get shot.

PAUL: Does the dream continue after you are dead?

LOUISE: No. I have a method to end it. I can leave any nightmare if I recite a nursery rhyme: 'Baa baa black sheep . . .'

PAUL: I dreamed that Death stood next to me at an exhibition of primitive art. I recognised him because of the earth on his coat and his musty smell.

I had caught sight of him once before: then he stood in the stairwell of an estate. He carried a pad of lined paper and a pen.

He arranged letters taken from his name in a fresh order: this operation created a different name. He wrote each new name upon a sheet of paper: he then detached the sheet from the pad and folded it across.

He stood in front of my living room window. I could not look directly at his face. I heard the letterbox rattle: he had posted a sheet of notepaper through it.

My friend rose to open the door.

LOUISE: I used to dream that my father stood behind me and held me. He would be gentle at first: then his grip became painful.

I turned and looked at an evil creature: it was identical to my father.