Anything can happen when dreams cross over into our world and merge with reality, but Toni Fontaine and Travis Colt never expected to be battling for their lives against a nightmare come true. Toni and Travis are the newest patients at Dreamweavers, Incorporated, where they meet and fall in love, but when they discover that fellow patient Nick Buchanan is metamorphosing his nightmares into reality and using them to kill people, they have to try to stop him. And their time is running out, because Nick is dreaming up a fatal nightmare just for them – and the only way they can defeat him is in their dreams. DREAMWEAVERS is a 103,000-word paranormal thriller that unveils a world where reality gets bent and dreams come true.
Toni is running from her jealous and possessive ex-husband. Travis is haunted by the recent deaths of his wife and child. Tormented by persistent violent nightmares, they become patients at Dreamweavers, Incorporated, where Dr. Paula Steiner blends technology with lucid dreaming to teach them how to control their subconscious minds and manipulate their dreams. When Toni and Travis meet at Dreamweavers, fireworks fly and romance blossoms. But when they cross paths with Nick, Paula’s most troubled patient, they discover evil in the form of a morally corrupt young man who has learned a dangerous and powerful secret: While sleeping, he incorporates his dreams into the real world. Unfortunately, all of Nick’s dreams are nightmares. Filled with rage, Nick focuses his fury on Toni and Travis and unleashes his uncanny power. When dreams crash into reality, Travis fights Toni’s deranged ex-husband to prevent him from killing her in the real world while Toni battles Nick in a final surreal showdown in a nightmare world gone horribly wrong.
“Whoa, Doc. What the hell?” Travis Colt stopped, and his bare feet settled in the hot pliant sand. Doc halted at his side, letting the play in his leash dangle in the fine white grains. They gaped at the waves and the crowd and the frolicking dolphins. Travis tasted the briny tang of the ocean, and remembered to close his mouth. Doc’s tongue dribbled drool on the strand as his eyes followed the action. Children squealed and cheered and rushed into the surf. They pointed and laughed, and shouted for their parents to come share the magical moment.
Travis blinked as if to dispel an illusion caused by squinting too long into the bright midday sun, but the spectacle remained. Too many to count, the dolphins leaped and cavorted, swimming southward offshore about a hundred feet away. The children plunged into the frothy waves, danced into them, and Travis realized they weren’t even thinking about stopping. They were chasing the dolphins.
“Oh, crap, Doc. This is not good.” Travis tensed, and Doc barked. Some of the children were in up to their necks, and still they kept going. Adults started shouting for them to come back, and raced after them.
Travis dropped Doc’s leash and ran into the surf. He grabbed the first child he came to and hurried back to safe sand. A teary-eyed pregnant woman snatched the little boy out of his arms. The boy pounded her chest and howled.
“No, mommy! I wanna go with the dolphins!”
“God, Jimmy, what were you doing?” the woman said. She hugged the boy and looked at Travis. “Thank you, sir!”
Travis ignored her and hustled back into the waves. Doc dove in after him, his leash flopping. He leaped toward a little girl and snagged her shirttail in his teeth and dragged her back toward the shore. She screeched and stretched her arms toward the dolphins.
“Good boy, Doc!” Travis said, and dove after another enchanted child.
Other panicked adults and teenagers did the same, splashing and shouting, saving every child they could. The children’s chorus of cries to be released and join the dolphins assaulted Travis’s ears. He snatched up another small girl who was in over her head. She choked, sputtered, and kicked her little legs. Tears streaked down her face and she reached toward the receding dolphins and shrieked.
“No! Dolphins! I want dolphins!”
What kind of mass hysteria was this? It took the prize for the strangest thing Travis had experienced in the thirty-seven years he’d endured. But he never stopped, never faltered. He knew the soul-searing grief of losing a child, had scripted the play directly from his nightmares.
He found another pair of waiting arms for the girl and dashed back into the waves and retrieved another drowning boy. The kid screeched in his ear and pummeled his chest. Travis grimaced and hurried back to the shoreline and dumped the boy into a crying woman’s arms.
Doc performed his rescue duties as if he’d been trained and bred for it. How he knew to do it was anybody’s guess, but Travis had no time to think about it now. Doc grasped the baggy trunks of another little boy in his teeth, and the boy turned and flailed at him. Doc ignored the assault and dragged him back to dry sand.
“Dawfins! Want dawfins!” the boy howled as someone swept him up in their arms.
“Good boy, Doc,” Travis said again, shaking his head. “Come on, buddy.” They crashed back into the raging surf together.
“Help me, please!” A woman stumbled into the ocean and waggled her arms. “Save my babies!” Her pleas were echoed up and down the beach.
Two little girls that were obviously twins held hands and waded toward the dolphins. Travis scrambled through the waves and wrapped his arms around them, slung them over his shoulders, and carried them back to the shore. One bit his neck and the other pinched him and screamed in his ear. He ignored it and staggered against the undertow. How could this be happening?
He left the angry children with a crying but grateful mother and dashed back toward the suddenly grim waves. Doc dragged another wailing little fellow by his trunks as Travis ran past him.
“Good boy, Doc,” Travis huffed, a mantra now.
Doc let go of the boy’s pants and barked. The boy tried to return to the waves, and Doc nudged him back toward the sand until a man snatched him up. Then Doc scampered back into the surf, a determined canine on a desperate mission.
The team of man and man’s best friend repeated the human salvage operation again and again, accompanied by other equally determined beach-goers.
Travis was nearly breathless. His muscles ached. He and Doc dragged two more screeching toddlers out of the surf. Travis felt time stretch into hours, days, weeks, just like a dream, but after only seven minutes in the real world he realized it was all over except for the crying.
And the funerals.
And the grief and despair.
Exhausted and bewildered, Travis plopped down onto the sand at the edge of the surf. Doc dropped down beside him, panting but grinning. His tail thumped the sand, and he rested his head on Travis’s knee. Travis ruffled the fur around his neck.
“You’re a good boy, Doc. You’re one amazing dog, you know that?”
A young woman with a bawling little girl in her arms ran up to Travis and slung an arm around his neck. “God bless you, sir. Thank you.” She kissed his cheek and ran off before he could respond.
Travis blushed. Doc woofed softly and licked his face. Travis was too tired to protest, and scratched behind Doc’s ears.
“What the hell just happened here, buddy?”
The dolphins had vanished as if they’d been nothing more than an apparition.
The panic gradually died down and was replaced by a relieved celebration, with the exception of a handful of adults who were still missing their miniature counterparts. They dashed around and grabbed people and shouted out their children’s names and dashed around some more. Travis recognized them right away, new members of the club.
He watched as much of it as he could stand, and closed his eyes when he couldn’t take any more. Every cry punctured him, felt like bullets. He thought he heard someone call “Danny!” and he cringed. He heard the name screeched again and tried to remember how to breathe. He had to get out of here.
He didn’t know how long he sat there, but by the time he found the courage to open his eyes and get up and leave, it was too late.
If he had paid more attention to his dreams and recent dream therapy, he might have realized that his and Doc’s actions had just made them both targets for an angry vengeful soul.