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What happens when you die? Some cross-over but some linger. That's what happens when Michael Young is murdered. He refuses to cross-over knowing that the murderer is now after his girlfriend Elizabeth Hayes. He must warn her and the easiest way is in her dreams.
It was happening again. The dreams. The nightmares. It was something that seventeen year-old Elizabeth Hayes thought she’d outgrown; dreams that would come true; detailed premonitions of how people would die. This time she dreams about her boyfriend, Michael Young, and soon finds out that he has been found... dead.
He has not crossed over because he was murdered, and now the murderer is after Lizzy. His spirit won't rest until she is safe. As a newbie spirit, the easiest way for him to make contact is through Lizzy's dreams. When she dreams, it's as if he hasn't died.
Lizzy must learn to pull on her inner strength to survive horrifying events, and is faced with a most difficult decision. Would she risk her life to save her best friend and the very person responsible for Michael's death?
Meanwhile, Michael learns everything he can about his supernatural gifts to help. But will it be enough to save her?
Where am I?
I staggered, lost in the middle of darkened woods.
How did I get here?
An ominous, eerie feeling lingered in the air around me sending chills up my spine. The air was dense and musty and a white mist concealed the cold, damp earth beneath my feet. The moon’s glow faintly illuminated my surroundings, while thick overgrowth's of tangled trees made it impossible to see anything but a few yards ahead.
I needed to get out. Quick. I looked to the moon. I’d use it as my guide. My pulse raced as I began to maneuver through the wooded maze searching for an exit. Bare feet continuously slipped on moss-covered roots and dampened leaves. Cracking branches behind alerted me something was lurking in the shadows. Close. I turned to see the looming blackness and forged on desperately seeking my way out.
Why the hell am I here?
Branches snapped again. Closer. I glanced over my shoulder as a dark hooded figure, layered in shredded cloaks, emerged from the darkness hovering just above the mist. An electric wave of terror surged through my veins, awakening all my senses. I wanted to run but my legs became weighted with fear. The terror continued to approach. I willed my legs to run, but instead they buckled and I dropped to the ground.
“Get up, Liz! You need to get up!” a voice shouted from the darkness.
I knew the voice, and I knew it well.
“Michael!” I screamed.
I twisted my head in all directions to catch any glimpse of him, but there was nothing except the constant, lingering darkness.
“Michael, where are you?” I scrambled
in the direction I’d last heard his voice.
A glowing orb of light flitted between the trees just ahead of me, and almost instantly it took a human shape. I’d never felt more peace or happiness. Michael was standing before me, his hands outstretched, beckoning me to come. His gleaming, brown eyes were comforting; his countenance was luminous, resembling a porcelain angel.
“Michael,” I breathed. I reached for him but slipped right before we touched, falling hard to the cold earth. I looked up focusing on his face, and he smiled making my heart swell. I reached for him again, but as quickly as he appeared, he disappeared.
Dozens of red eyes appeared, ablaze in the darkness, attentively watching my every move. Vociferous cackles resonated like wicked hyenas seeking their prey. I pushed on, struggling through the thick brush; hurting, clawing, and lacerating my skin. I didn’t turn back. I couldn’t out of fear. But I sensed the creature was still in pursuit.
Every effort to leave this dark labyrinth of hell seemed futile. I was weak, I was exhausted, and I was ready to give up when I finally pushed out of the thicket into a clearing. A small cabin rested in the center silhouetted in the moonlight. My quickened heartbeat matched my pace as I ran for the shelter.
The door was ajar so I easily pushed it open and slammed it shut behind me. I pressed my back against it, trying to catch my breath; shivering at the thought of something else lurking within the pitch black room. I rubbed the walls on either side for a light-switch. Nothing. Only cold, hard wood.
A resounding boom shook the cabin as a door directly across from me flew open. Then two more deafening booms as two other doors on opposite walls thrust open slamming hard against the outside walls. I covered my ears. My pulse raced faster and faster.
“Oh God! What’s happening?”
A chilled wind swirled through the three doors, whistling a song of terror. I forced my trembling legs to the first open door. As soon as I slammed it shut, the door I’d just left thrust open.
“What the hell?”
I witnessed the dark creature emerging from the woods, heading straight toward me. My heart pounded furiously against the walls of my chest, begging me to run.
Normal people would have run, but I'd never been so scared in my life. I was one of those irritating people that froze - like in the movies. The ones I yelled at, frustratingly. They could have run and got away but froze instead, and I didn’t care if they were caught or killed because they were so stupid!
“Michael, where are you?” I screamed. Tears streamed from my eyes. My legs shook intensely, barely holding me up. I gathered every bit of strength left in me to shut the remaining doors.
There were no locks, no lights, nothing. Stupid cabin! What kind of idiot would build a worthless cabin like this in the middle of nowhere?
I was horrified as a strong wind wailed around the cabin, followed by all four doors simultaneously flying open, slamming the outsides of the walls. I stood helpless. The cabin quaked around me. All doors were now wide open greeting the dark creature to come in and take me.
It was here… whatever it was.
Everything from that point seemed to move in slow motion. I dropped to the ground and pushed myself back to the farthest corner and watched as it hovered through the front door. The air became ice cold. I couldn’t move. I was too exhausted. I couldn’t scream, and every cell in my body became paralyzed.
It stopped…inches from me. Its face was shrouded in an over-sized cowl that was torn and shredded, but through those shreds, I saw death. Decayed skin clung to bones of a shriveled corpse-like face, and the putrid stench of rotting flesh burned my nostrils. It reeked of death. Weathered robes were dripping with liquid and faint scents of metal and copper convinced me it was blood.
The creature slowly lifted its withered appendage toward me. My breath ceased.
A decrepit hand with long shriveled fingers shot toward my face. I clinched my eyes, shielding my face with my arms.
“NO!” a voice echoed through the cabin.
I opened my eyes to witness a blinding, white light shoot through a side door, tearing straight through the center of the creature. It stumbled back, screaming and writhing in pain. Its agonizing screams were inhuman, piercing my ears. Streams of light began to shoot from its orifices, and then, it exploded; shattering into a million tiny sparks which the wind carried out the door.
I woke on my couch, breathless. My mouth was parched; my head, drenched in sweat. I scooted off and made my way to the kitchen, grabbed a glass from the cabinet, filled it with water, and gulped it down. I stood there for a moment. I couldn't shake the dream.
The last time I’d had such vivid dreams – nightmares - was when I was a child.
They’d haunted me to my core. In time, I realized that my dreams would come true. But they weren’t the wonderful, warm-and-fuzzy-feeling dreams; they were dreams of death. Detailed dreams of whom and how people would die. Some of those people we knew, some we didn’t, but would hear about it later in the newspapers, television, or word of mouth.
Premonitions, is what my grandmother called them, but I was never allowed to tell anyone outside of our family circle about them. It was a secret, and one my family was not proud of. In the olden days, I’d probably be burned at the stake, or hung.
They also called it a gift; a gift of foresight, given to a chosen few. To me… it was a curse. I was too young to possess such a “gift”. It terrified me. But then, at the age of seven, the dreams stopped. I was thankful to be rid of the affliction, because I’d been dealing with another one…the divorce of my parents.
I was suddenly distracted as a roaring engine approached my driveway. My pulse quickened as I dashed to the window and tugged back the curtain to see if Michael had finally arrived. My anticipation quickly turned to disappointment when a battered red truck sputtered by, and my frozen driveway remained barren.
I stared blankly across the street to my own battered, but very trusty jeep, and the naked birch trees dimly lit from my porch light.
It was December in Alaska, and yet, there was no snow. The town of Wasilla seemed naked and dismal, anxiously awaiting the beloved white magic that would finally deliver some winter fun and fade the dirty brown hues of this seasonal purgatory.
Winter days loomed in darkness, providing around five hours of usable daylight...if even that. The sun would peek out around noon, and hide away by four in the afternoon, leaving us enveloped in darkness for a long nineteen hours. But, whenever I was with Michael, I never really noticed the darkness. Everything seemed to be brighter when he was around.
I glanced over to the digital clock resting atop my television. Bright red numbers illuminated 6:02 pm, reminding me he was late. I sucked in a long deep breath and tried relax but my twisting stomach made it nearly impossible. What was taking him so long? This was so unlike Michael. He was over an hour late and hadn’t called to explain why. Of all nights! Tonight was extra special, and I knew he was just as excited as I was.
Michael Young was my boyfriend, but more than that he was my best friend. We were inseparable from the moment we met at age five. Our relationship was never complicated, it just…was.
Today was December fourth, which made four years, to the day, which he’d asked me out. In the past, he had planned surprises that were totally random and adventurous.
Last year, he drove me to the North Pole to visit the Santa Claus House.
The town was decorated with candy cane lamp posts, street signs with Christmas names, and decorations throughout the town. I actually sat on Santa's red, velvety lap, tugged on his realistic white beard, and whispered my secret wishes into his hairy, wax-filled ear. Michael must have struck a deal with the Jolly ‘Ole Guy, because I got exactly what I’d wished for that Christmas.
That’s why I was anxious to see what surprise he had in store for me this time. He was way too good at keeping secrets and I, on the other hand, was horrible at waiting.
I sneezed, breaking from my momentary trance. The brown suede curtain I grasped was seriously dusty. UGH!
6:06 pm - the clock jested. Minutes dragged as I wrestled with my thoughts. I’d have to call him… just ONE more time to ease my troubled mind. This would be my fifth and final attempt… hopefully.
I dug through my new Coach handbag (a graduation gift from Michael’s parents), grabbed my cell phone and pressed two, talk - Michael’s speed-dial number. It rang once and went straight to his answering service.
“Michael, where are you?” I asked in a high tone. I tried not to sound upset. “Call me ASAP… Please. Kay, love you! Bye,” I said forcefully pressed the hang-up button multiple times. I checked the ring volume and the lines were at their highest. I laid the phone, on the kitchen counter, next to the gift I’d bought him.
His gift was wrapped in light blue paper (his favorite color) which had silver iridescent snowflakes evenly placed around it. I’d learned to make a bow a craft show on TV, so I made one with matching iridescent ribbon.
I bought him a black leather jacket, one I noticed he’d touch every time we went into a men’s boutique at the Fifth Avenue mall. I knew he didn’t have one like it and also knew he’d look super-hot in it.
“Where could he be?” I huffed out loud, getting antsy. I decided to grab my mini vacuum and attempt to suck the dust that clung desperately to my curtains. The suction wasn’t good. In fact, it sucked; failing miserably at its job making the dust clump together looking worse than it did before.
“You’re fired!” I yelled at the vacuum in frustration, tossing it into the trash under the kitchen sink. After a few moments, I sighed and proceeded to dig it back out reluctantly placing it back on its charger. I couldn’t throw it away. It was helpful… some of the time… sucking up things like bugs and other gross things I didn’t want to touch.
Whatever! I sighed, glancing back over to the clock again. I watched it turn 6:11 P.M.
An intense pain surged through the back of my neck. I instinctively grabbed my neck to see if something had bit me but there was nothing. Then, a sudden wave of nausea hit and I bolted for the bathroom. I was lightheaded and queasy, like I’d been drugged. My world began spinning wildly. Tingles, chills and a cold sweat blanketed my body. I felt worse than sick. I felt awful.
I pressed my back against the bathroom wall and slid to the floor, resting my forehead between my knees. I tried to take in slow, deep breaths, but a heavy pressure and pain began to emanate through my chest. I curled up into a fetal position on the floor praying it would stop. Please stop.
Am I dying?
Am I having a heart attack?
Wasn’t I too young for that?
I crawled over to the toilet and heaved. My weakened body trembled as I pulled myself up to the sink, rinsed my mouth, and splashed cold water over my face.
“Oh great,” I said gritting my teeth, staring at the pitiful reflection in the mirror. The hour I’d spent tediously putting on my make-up was totally wasted. Black smudges of mascara ran unevenly under my red, swollen eyes, and any trace of color washed off my pale-white face.
I looked like a freakish, Gothic clown. With my luck, Michael would be pulling in right about now. I was sour; glaring at the horrid reflection of what I always thought was an average girl: oval face, pale skin, light-brown eyes, and straight brown hair; not skinny, but not fat, and definitely not athletic. I wasn’t strong or extraordinary like Michael, not even close.