LUCID KINDLE EDITION
Ever had a dream so disturbing…you couldn’t get it out of your head?
Ever had a nightmare so vivid, so intense you couldn’t help feeling there was more to it than ‘just a dream’?
What if the dream involved your own neighbor....kidnapping and torturing a helpless girl?
What if that neighbor’s behavior was becoming more and more bizarre, every time you crossed his path?
What would you do?
What lengths would you go to in order to uncover the truth?
And what horrors might await you, if you pried into secrets that were best left undisturbed?
Sloane Solomon is a beautiful, young college student who begins experimenting with a very intense type of dreaming known as ‘lucid dreaming’. At first, she really enjoys these dreams, as they are much more vivid and memorable than any she has experienced before. But her dreams quickly turn into disturbing nightmares, when she finds herself gazing into her neighbor’s apartment. There, she is confronted by horrific visions of a battered teenager who is being held captive in a tiny, hidden room.
Sloane tries to forget the nightmares and chalk them up to an overactive imagination, but the frightening dreams continue, and she can’t help wondering if there might be some element of truth behind them. To make matters worse, her neighbor has begun to act very strangely, fueling her fears that maybe he isn’t as innocent as he once seemed.
Is it all in her head, or is this mysterious man really hiding a hideous secret in the darkest corner of his home? Sloane is so determined to expose her neighbor and rescue the tortured victim who haunts her dreams, that she hatches an extremely risky plot to uncover the truth. But the answers that await her could turn out to be the most frightening nightmare of all.
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It was then that she spotted it, smeared about his middle. An ugly, misshapen splotch. A stain that must have been left behind by some sort of crimson fluid.
The smile left Sloane's mouth immediately.
Mr. Phillips moistened a thumb pad against the very tip of his tongue. He used it to rub benignly at the red mess across his front. He took a step forward. Another. Inspecting his fingernails as he trod.
But as he edged further away from the yawning doorframe, Sloane’s eyes chose not to follow. They were drawn, instead, by a sudden stirring in the shadowed room behind her neighbor.
If she tilted her head, at just the right angle, she could see into the dreary chamber. Could make out the windowless walls. The unadorned floor.
The denizen within.
A female. Young. In her teens, perhaps. Kneeling naked on the tile. Her arms stretching heavenward, like the stems of a scrawny weed that was desperate to reach the light of the sun. Her wrists held fast by a large-link chain that dangled from the ceiling.
There were bruises, vivid purple, that appeared to cover almost every inch of her haggard frame. There were jagged wounds blemishing her legs, her belly, the ribs that could be counted, one by one, as they jutted through her pallid flesh.
And there was blood. So very much of it. Some clotted amid the tangled thatch on her scalp. Some dribbling over the strips of duct tape that smothered her lips and eyes.
Even her nostrils were oozing it, as they struggled to draw breath. As her miserable body drooped there, chin slumped against an unclothed chest.
She was barely moving, barely hanging on, a fragile, wretched thing. A decrepit Barbie doll some kid brother had borrowed, and played with far too roughly. Returning it to the toy box, filthy and bedraggled. Missing handfuls of its once pretty hair.