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By:K.L. Kreig

“Great! How about we go to this new club downtown on Saturday night? It’s called Dragonfly and it’s supposed to be the shits. I know one of the bartenders. He said he could get us in.”

Kate groaned. The last thing she wanted to do on Saturday night was go to a new bar, packed wall-to-wall with young singles trying to hook up. It would smell like sex, sweat, and a nauseating combination of perfumes and cologne. By the end of the night, her shoes would stick to the floor where too many drinks had been spilled and she’d have to fend off the inevitable wandering hands as she refilled hers at the bar because the slutty waitress was too busy with the table of hot, young up-and-comers to check on her.

So she said the only thing she could to get Erin off her back. “Sure, sounds great.”

Erin’s squeal nearly broke her eardrum. “Oh my God, Katie pie! It will be so much fun. I can’t wait.”

Yeah, neither could she. Eye roll. She said her goodbyes and drove the short distance to her house. With only two glasses of wine, she felt safe enough to drive.

It was already nearly ten o’clock when she got home and readied herself for bed, turning off the light. She lay there; eyes wide open, dreading the night to come. Because of the often dark nature of her dreams, she didn’t slept well, but the last couple of weeks had been particularly difficult, and walking zombie would accurately describe her.

Wanting to come home after her classes today, Erin convinced her to go for a drink instead. She knew her friend meant well. Kate wished she could share her secret with Erin, but she didn’t dare. If Erin looked at her the way her parents did, she wasn’t sure she could handle it.

Probably because of her curse, she’d been obsessed with dreams and the psychology surrounding them since she was a teenager. She’d majored in psychology in undergrad and was now working on her PhD while she taught several classes at Marquette as an assistant professor. All coursework behind her, only her dissertation remained and her doctorate was finally within reach. So her exhaustion was in part due to her nightmares, but also her obsession with this research project.

She hoped she’d find a rational explanation for her dreams and what they meant. No luck so far, but she wasn’t giving up hope. They didn’t feel like normal dreams in the typical sense. Too often, they felt…real. She felt part of them, as if she were there in these strange, often disturbing settings. If she could find a way to stop them, or at least to forget them as most people did when they woke, she would. And sleeping pills didn’t help; they only made her groggier the next day.

The only dream she didn’t want to stop was that of her fantasy lover, the man she couldn’t stop thinking about night or day. The man she’d been dreaming about for four solid months now. Her very own Prince Charming.

He had dark, hooded eyes and eyelashes any woman would be jealous of. He had rakish, rough good looks; a constant five-o’clock shadow graced his square, strong jawline. His wavy hair curled just under his earlobes and was as dark as the deepest depths of the ocean, or what she imagined the depths of the ocean looked like. His lips were full and kissable, sexy. The baritone deep cadence of his voice felt like melted chocolate when he demanded she come.

He was… Sex. On. A. Stick.

And she wanted a big ol’ lick.

She woke up more than once, aroused and wet, with her hands down her panties, trying to relieve the ache. Big Blue, her BFF and constant companion these days, remained at the ready in her nightstand drawer for when her hands just weren’t cutting it. Speaking of Big Blue, she made a mental note to check the batteries in the morning…they seemed low last time.


Men like that just didn’t exist in real life, but at least he was good fantasy fodder and that was perfectly fine with her right now.

Settling in, she hoped tonight would bring her fantasy lover instead of the disturbing nightmare she’d had for several weeks now. While strange dreams had plagued her since childhood, one in particular haunted her and she’d spent over ten years trying to bury it. No, Kate, don’t think about that now. These dreams are not at all the same as that one. These dreams can’t possibly be real.

Young women in cells.




Nope. Not real. This dream made sense. But she couldn’t help the gnawing and growing sensation that these women were begging for help. Her help.

If that wasn’t scary enough—and it was scary—what terrified the hell out of her was the undeniable evil presence she felt. She’d awoken the last several nights in a profuse sweat; panic nearly choking her. She’d taken to sleeping with her bedside lamp on, like she was ten years old again.