In Jonathan Carroll's surreal masterpiece, Bathing the Lion, five people who live in the same New England town go to sleep one night and all share the same hyper realistic dream.
Some of these people know each other, some don't. When they wake the next day all of them know what has happened.
All five were at one time "mechanics," a kind of cosmic repairman whose job is to keep order in the universe and clean up the messes made both by sentient beings and the utterly fearsome yet inevitable chaos that periodically rolls through, wreaking mayhem wherever it touches down, a kind of infinitely powerful, merciless tornado. Because the job of a mechanic is grueling and exhausting, after a certain period all of them are retired and sent to different parts of the cosmos to live out their days as "civilians." Their memories are wiped clean and new identities are created for them that fit the places they go to live out their natural lives to the end.
For the first time all retired mechanics are being brought back to duty: Chaos has a new plan, and it's not looking good for mankind.