Uncovering Dread

Cap Kotz
2 min readJun 1, 2024
Author and MJ

Dread. D+read. Red. Dreadlocks. Dread.

When I read the sign Imminent Dread Ahead, I go into Narrative Overdrive to anchor and strengthen Bracing, Protection, and Dissociation.

Boy Soldier, rousted from the backroom where he plays video games, is deployed to the Front Line. He might be a boy, but he’s a sharp strategist and a keen leader. His first Assessment Directive: Use Bracing Force to Load Toward the Core.

It’s an Invite instead of Fight exercise, one of Boy Soldier’s favorites, along with TurnItAround, when everything perceived outwardly is turned around for self-reflection. He gets to be a boy all his life, either testing his expertise or playing video training games. I have to be an old man carrying around a dead boy, hunted and haunted by social expectations.

Still, I appreciate his directive and select Access: Bracing Intelligence. My soles light up and signal my PB to shift to the rear for Bracing Ready Position. My hands lift in front of me, palms facing outward, and I prepare for an Incoming Wall, a blunt tactic the Dread Force commonly uses in the initial attack phase. The wall is warm to my touch, and I hear the bulldozer stick shift moving into fifth gear. Fifth Gear is similar to Class 5 White Water — Danger! - and I revert to Brace & Fight when I hear the order:

Invite Toward the Core.”

As I softened and invited the incoming force, Ghost Shimmers shredded me. However, as long as I focused on pairing with Santana’s guitar, I managed the urgent pull to strengthen my Protection and endure an inner death release.

I’m an old man (Grammarly suggests this might be a disrespectful term). I’ve spent a lifetime cultivating my perceived Protection Narrative, which must now die. Dread is but code for Soften, Invite, and Release.



Cap Kotz

Writer and Story Mapping Guide, I follow the life path no matter how challenging.