“No! No! No! No!” The echoes of her screams were still bouncing off the shadows when she awoke. Her throat was sore and her heart was pounding. Images of darkness and blood churned in her brain. She desperately reached for her bedside lamp. As soon as light flooded the room, her dreams vanished but her terror didn’t.
She grabbed her robe and wandered through the lonely rooms of her house, flicking on lights and peering into the corners. Some nights she saw Lukas trying to peer back with empty, dead eyes. She’d scream apologies to him until she woke enough to realize she was hollering at empty shadows.
Tonight, she glimpsed Gator’s face leering at her from the blackness outside her front window. She froze, her eyes glued to what she thought she was seeing. He’s found me! He’s come to kill me! A car drove by, its lights erasing the illusion that had seemed too real.
Exhausted, she sank onto the sofa and flicked on the TV. Ever since she’d traced the fraud to Gator, her nightmares had been striking with increasing intensity and frequency. This was the second time tonight she’d been woken by her screams. She turned up the volume of the late-night sitcom.
The good thing about summertime was that darkness didn’t last long. She watched the show with little interest and forced concentration until, a little more than an hour later, dawn broke and birds started chirping. She turned off the TV and went to bed. But the nightmares did not quit with daybreak. The next time her screams woke her, she forced herself to stay beneath the covers. I can learn to live with this. When her alarm went off, it was a relief. Now she could go to work and focus on illicit computer activity, and international agreements and criminal code amendments made necessary by technological advances.
Web site: http://www.eileenschuh.com