Trials in Transit

The following is what I remember from a vivid nightmare I woke up from on the morning of Feb 15, 2023:

Riding on a city bus (or was I on the front of the bus?)
It was heading downhill through an unusually narrow, yet brightly lit tunnel.

I could see ahead of the bus there was a baby or small toddler in the road.
The toddler(while walking) performed some sort of awkward flip maneuver and landed face first in what appeared to be a very painful manner. However, the toddler wasn’t in the path of the bus. It was off to the side slightly, so it did not get run over as we passed by.

When the bus exited the tunnel, I got off and was confronted by a man claiming to be the toddler’s father. He was a short, trashy looking man wearing a baseball cap and who basically resembled the typical pest one might run into in a Walmart parking lot after hours (or at any time of the day, really).

Anyway, he angrily claimed that the bus ran over his child. I insisted that the bus didn’t hit it, and the toddler’s injury was the result of the flip. After some back and forth, I did admit that I couldn’t see what happened after the bus started to pass by the toddler, since I was situated in the front…so I couldn’t be 100% certain.

The man became even more belligerent and pulled out a small knife. He started to claim that it was my knife, and that I had used it to cut the child. He started to push the handle of the knife toward my hand and as it came into contact with my hand I realized that he was trying to get my fingerprints onto the knife.

“He is trying to frame me!” I thought. I quickly pulled my hand away. The man pointed to the ground and said, “Look there’s blood everywhere!” as if to bolster his claim with physical evidence. My eyes darting around, I observed a cut on the man’s hip that was bleeding profusely, and then I watched as he cut into himself (again).

Up until that point, I had been trying to reason with the man earnestly, pleading my case in good faith. After seeing what he was up to, I finally realized though that this whole thing was likely a con job or a shakedown of some kind. “That’s your blood,” I said confidently. “I’m getting out of here.” I took off running, but I knew it would be tricky because I would have to come back to where my car was parked without him seeing me and harassing me or getting my license plate number, which could potentially further entangle me in his disturbing scam.

[This was when I woke up]