He sat in an orange plastic and bent-wire chair at a long folding table, which was set up in what seemed to be a department store, although it wasn't really clear. For some reason I was reminded of an 80s-era community college campus.
The squirt gun was essentially a hypodermic needle set into a small, mechanical turret made of springs and gears that was mounted to the table. It was aimed at an empty chair across the table.
I was standing several feet away, also in a suit, as was the man with me, who may have been my father, or one of my bosses at work, an older friend; I'm not sure. He was my ally and someone whose authority I trusted, although he and I both knew that I would soon be put to death, and this was an inevitability.
This wasn't expected. I hadn't been in prison or accused of any crime that I knew of. I was not brought to this place; I had simply shown up. My dream-self knew, however, that somehow this had been planned in advance; that they had been waiting for me. I knew this with certainty.
The man in the brown suit was accompanied by three or four other men (in suits), who formed a loose perimeter around us and the table. My friend was talking to one of them, who was helping him to get word to my wife and children that my death was imminent.
My dream-self knew all of the details of this style of execution: I would sit in the chair, the man in the brown suit across the table would adjust dials and settings to carefully aim the tip of the needle at my right eye, lock the gun's position, and press the trigger, releasing a stream of liquid. When the liquid hit my pupil, the poison would enter my bloodstream, and shortly afterward, I would die from cardiac arrest.
I knew that it was impossible to appeal whatever decision had been made, and futile to even try. I also knew that it would be useless to attempt to escape; if I ran, one of the brown-suited man's accomplices would shoot me in the leg and carry me back to the table.
An enormous and sudden sadness overtook me. I had a family; I had things to accomplish yet. I had dreams and plans and a future still. I sat down heavily in the chair, not because I was ready, but because I was overcome with grief. The man in the brown suit waited, silent and implacable. Ironically, although I knew it would be useless to get angry at my predicament, I allowed the misery to completely overtake me.
My friend offered me a phone. My wife wanted to talk to me.
I woke up.