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Weaver of Dreams

Weaver of Dreams

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Weaver of Dreams

Comprimento:
282 página
6 horas
Lançado em:
Aug 6, 2017
ISBN:
9781370948529
Formato:
Livro

Descrição

When guidance counselor Maggie O'Connell is plagued by terrible nightmares, she believes stress is the reason for her torment, but she couldn't be more wrong. Unfortunately for Maggie, in the shadows of her dreams lurks a Dream Stalker who is addicted to the dark emotions produced by her night terrors.
Zane, a Dream Weaver from another dimension, visits Maggie in her nighttime fantasies to discover there is more than just a Dream Stalker after her. As the man of her fantasies becomes real, Maggie's true nightmare begins.

Lançado em:
Aug 6, 2017
ISBN:
9781370948529
Formato:
Livro

Sobre o autor

I think most of us would like to be the makers of our own world. To have control over who lives, who dies, who receives blessings in their lives, and who gets what they deserve from Karma. There are a few of us who actually get to experience that kind of power and we are called author, writer, story teller.When driving to work one day, my inner world began to form. Much like the universe, it started with a bang. A violent scene that played in my mind’s eye as I drove. A scene where two vampires were locked in a heated battle. The winner’s reward? The love of his long life.My world grew from that one scene into an entire series. I found myself wanting to share the world I created with others, hoping they would enjoy my inhabitants as much as I did, so I put fingers to the keyboard and started typing. It took me several years to teach myself the craft and finish my first manuscript. I learned how to write by reading what others had written. Read. Write. Read. Write. Research. Write. So goes my life and I love it.In the real world, my supportive husband and I live in Florida and are the proud parents of one child, a son. While I am hoping to one day be able to fulfill my dream of writing full time, I currently juggle my writing with my professional commitment to the local school district. But whether I am paid for it or not, either way I love writing and will continue to do it as long as my inner universe keeps expanding.

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Amostra do Livro

Weaver of Dreams - Brenda Sparks

dream.

Chapter 1

Maggie awoke to the sound of her strangled scream, her heart pounding a furious rhythm in her chest. Her lungs strained with the effort to take in air as she wiped the sweat from her brow. Tiny pinpricks danced along her skin thanks to the adrenaline racing through her blood. She cleared her throat, swallowing the cry which threatened to escape again.

She hated the nightmares that plagued her since her childhood. Doctors, and there had been many, called them night terrors, sleep terrors, incubus attacks, parasomnia, or pavor nocturnus. One specialist after another treated her, each calling the bad dreams by a different name, but as the saying went, ‘a rose by any other name’—was still a nightmare.

One doctor in particular taught her how to take control of her dreams, shape them, change them from negative to positive. He called it conscious dreaming, and Maggie embraced the idea, practicing his techniques faithfully. But while she found the technique easy to apply during pleasant dreams, it was much more difficult to do with her nightmares. Laying there in the darkness, memories of her nightmare pushed in on her.

Blood-red eyes emerged from the shadows. Maggie turned on her heels, willing her legs to carry her as fast as they could away from those terrifying eyes. Her feet pounded on the squishy, moss-covered ground. Wet slime squished between her toes as she pushed through the thick underbrush of the forest. A howl echoed in the night, and Maggie turned to look over her shoulder as a shiver raced down her spine.

Her balance thrown off by the turn of her head, Maggie went down. The soft moss provided little padding when she bounced on the hard ground. She rolled over and discovered sets of eyes surrounded her. Those chilling, petrifying, red eyes. Six mouths all bared their large, pointed fangs and growled in unison. Saliva dripped from huge teeth. They closed in around her in one cohesive unit, slowly, as if they were of one mind, wanting to savor the kill.

The stinging bite of claws digging into her flesh raced up her leg to lodge deep in her brain. She attempted a scream, but no sound emerged from her open mouth. Pain wound around her ankle, taking her thoughts away from the peculiarity.

Maggie reached down and rubbed her ankle, still feeling the sharp sting of the claws that filleted her flesh in the dream. She rolled over and turned on the lamp beside her bed, then threw back the covers and stared at her leg. Nothing. Not a mark, nor a scratch. But it seemed so real, the scoring of her flesh, the pain still throbbing in the nonexistent furrows down her leg.

That was the way of her dreams. Her body seemed to have a memory of the physical sensations she experienced in her nightmares, causing her to continue to feel the agony after she woke.

Maggie reached back down, and rubbed her leg as the ache finally began to ebb. She let out a heavy sigh. This time the agony lasted longer than usual, as though something enjoyed her torture, made it last longer after each session.

The majority of the specialists assured her parents she would outgrow the nightmares. They couldn’t have been more wrong. Her dreams became worse as she aged, and now that she was thirty-three they came almost nightly.

God how she wished the nightmares would end, or at least that she had someone who would hold her afterward. She ran her hand over the empty pillow beside her. How very empty the bed looked next to her. She signed.

No use lamenting about what wasn’t. Maggie threw herself back down onto the bed. Her hair cascaded over the pillow as she covered her face with the back of her hand. She focused on her breath. In slowly through her nose, out to a count of ten through her mouth—just like her therapist taught her.

Calm. Peace. Tranquility. She repeated her silent mantra, trying to regain control of her body.

It had been a dream, she assured herself. Just a dream. As her heartbeat returned to normal, she pulled her hand from her eyes and turned to look at her alarm clock.

3:12 a.m.—the demon hour, she murmured. Why am I not surprised?

She rolled over and turned out the light before snuggling under the covers. After pounding her pillow in frustration, Maggie laid her head down. Pulling the blanket and sheet up to her chin, she struggled to get comfortable. Her legs scissored back and forth under the sheets, searching for a cool spot, until she gave up.

The alarm would go off in less than two hours, and she needed some rest. Stilling her limbs, she closed her eyes, hoping to sleep.

Six sets of crimson eyes floated before her lids. Images of long, sharp teeth in dripping mouths flooded sent a fresh wave of terror through her.

Maggie’s eyes flew open. Her heart once more raced in her chest. Like so many other nights, she knew sleep would not come. And considering the day that lay ahead, Maggie could use the mental boost a good night’s sleep would have given her. She faced a meeting with the attorney litigating the lawsuit brought against the school, and she needed to be coached, since as the school’s guidance counselor, she would be testifying on behalf of the school in court.

So much for getting any sleep.

She unfolded from the bed and headed for the shower to wash the dried perspiration from her body.

****

Zane glided over the tall grass, letting the tips brush the bottom of his energy as he floated through the warm air with ease. A pleasant sensation, the grass felt like something between a tickle and a massage as he went. Like all Dream Weavers, in this dimension he was pure energy that took the shape of a ball of light.

His essence flowed over the land, and he could not help but admire the scenery while he passed. He noted the way the purple and burgundy flowers mixed with the royal blue florae to form colorful waves in the tall emerald-colored grass. Appreciating their beauty as he passed, he flowed through a copse of harlequin-patterned trees with black and white diamond-shaped leaves. The splendor of the nature around him went undisturbed until the breeze blew, sending the plants swaying in a gentle rhythm that made the shiny leaves of the trees sparkle.

A tingling sensation stopped him. He recognized the feeling, had been exposed to this before; a long time ago, during his training to become a Peacemaker. This was the steady pulsing created by negative energy.

Dream Weavers fed from the emotions of humans and negative reactions such as fear and anger fed them in a way unequaled by positive emotions. However, they discovered those negative emotions were addictive, causing those of their kind who fed on them to become unstable. After only a few feedings, the Weavers developed an insatiable appetite for the negative feelings, abusing the human hosts they fed from.

His essence bobbed with anticipation. It had been decades since any of their kind defied their laws, especially the First Law which prohibited negative feedings. Their society considered it their most valued law, one meant to be obeyed above all others. As a Peacemaker, he was tasked with policing his fellow Dream Weavers, making sure they followed the laws set forth by the Ruling Council.

He needed to inform the Council one of the Weavers had turned rogue immediately.

Zane floated down the trail laid by a trickling stream, listening to the soft sound of the water as it rippled over the bedrock. His thoughts concentrated on the negative energy, trying to discern its origin. Focused on tracing the energy, only the sound of a familiar female voice pulled him from his thoughts in time to avoid running into the energy before him.

Zane, how are you this day?

How was he? Worried, excited, a mixture of anticipation and apprehension. I must address the Council, he proclaimed moving forward, with Gracyn keeping pace beside him.

Why? What troubles you?

I sensed a rogue. I felt the touch of dark energy.

Their kind dubbed those addicted to negative emotions Dream Stalkers, so named because they would stalk humans in their dreams, giving them nightmares, producing such strong fear and dread the humans would literally go insane—most choosing to commit suicide rather than live with the continual terror. The rogues haunted humans, visiting the same ones night after night to scavenge their emotions.

That cannot be! I have sensed nothing.

Zane had known Gracyn all his life. As his mentor, she personally trained him in the way to police their kind, teaching him the arts of strategy and battle. It surprised him she had not sensed the negativity herself. But then she no longer hunted, not since she’d joined the Ruling Council.

The thread is very faint, Gracyn.

The Ruling Council must be told of this immediately.

I was on my way there.

They are not in session.

Of course they weren’t. Zane should have realized that as soon as Gracyn appeared. Zane paused, and Gracyn’s energy settled in front of him. I need to speak with them. They must be told.

Of course, his mentor assured him. I’ll summon them and inform them you need to address the Council. But it will take a little time for all of us to gather.

In the meantime, I will try again to follow the thread, see if I can find the rogue while he is feeding.

After watching Gracyn float away, Zane concentrated once more on the slight thread, followed it until he’d located the source in the human domain. With a thought Zane opened a portal from his world. The air before him swirled in a colorful vortex pushing outward into the human dimension. He moved forward, peering through the opening.

Humans had no idea Dream Weavers used what they called mirrors as portals. The reflective glass was a perfect cover to hide what lay within. Looking from the human world, people only saw reflections of themselves and their surroundings. But from the other side the vortex was an entryway from the Dream Weaver world. A threshold he used to enter or see into the human dimension.

This night he opted to use it as a window, remaining in his dimension while his eyes scanned the room. He needed to be sure not to alert the Dream Stalker. The negative emotions from the human’s dream flowed through the portal. They coated his energy, wrapped around him like tentacles.

He’d never experienced such strong emotions. They weighed heavily upon his energy, surrounding him. Enticing him. But he pulled back, grateful for once that the only way he could absorb the strong emotions would be to push through into the human dimension and take human form.

His gaze swept the modest bathroom. The walls were painted apartment white, blue towels hung from a bar across from the mirror. He looked down on a utilitarian sink and white counter top.

Zane was just about to push through the portal and take his corporeal form when movement from the corner of the room caught his eye. He froze, waiting.

Was this the source of the negative emotions? The Dream Stalker?

Before him appeared a person wrapped in a white towel. The person stood facing away from the mirror, but Zane knew two things. One, there was no doubt this was a woman. The way the towel hugged her slight curves, conforming to her toned body told him that. And two, this was not one of his kind. He’d have sensed another Dream Weaver immediately which meant she had to be human.

With her back to the mirror, she reached up to remove the turban-style towel from her head and vigorously rubbed her hair. Reddish-blonde strands flowed down over her shoulders when she placed the towel on the rack next to the blue ones. Her layered locks swayed as she walked out the door.

Zane sent his senses through the portal, searching for any trace of the Weaver who had been there. A residual presence of a Dream Weaver left no doubt one of his kind had been in the home. But the stalker was gone. He would not be catching him in the act tonight.

Discouraged, Zane was about to close the portal when the woman reappeared, dressed in a business suit that fit her perfectly. It was not too tight or revealing but complemented her lithe figure, molding to her slight curves and breasts. Something he didn’t care to examine too closely made him keep the portal open when she stopped in front of the mirror.

She was beautiful. Her green eyes contained just a hint of yellow, making them different enough to be interesting. Her heart-shaped face, dusted with a hint of freckles, had been blessed with smooth, pale skin. A tiny straight nose led to full pouty lips.

Mesmerized by the movement of her fingers through her hair, Zane watched her pull her hair into a French braid. She worked the strawberry-blonde tresses until just a few small wisps hung to frame her face, then twisted before the bathroom mirror, giving herself a long look. Apparently satisfied, she took her makeup case from the drawer.

She poured some flesh-colored liquid into the palm of her hand and began to slather it on until she’d covered all her freckles. Zane found that a shame. He rather liked the tiny dots, thought them adorable really. Some eye shadow, a little mascara to make her long lashes even thicker, and her incredible eyes sparkled.

A man could get lost in those amazing eyes. For the first time, Zane felt desire while in his energy form. He’d felt lust before, recognized the sensation from some of the shared dreams with the humans, but never had he experienced the sensation while in the Dream Weaver world. He found it a heady experience and was nearly undone when the woman pursed her full lips into a delicate O shape to apply her red lipstick.

Only the fact she chose that second to speak, kept Zane from coming through the portal. You can do this.

Her voice sounded like satin and slid over his energy in a gentle caress. She leaned forward, using straight arms to brace her weight on the counter. Her eyes searched the mirror, landing on him, pinning him with her beautiful stare. No, he reminded himself. Not him. She couldn’t be looking at him. She must be scrutinizing her reflection, but it seemed like she spoke directly to him.

Maybe I should call in sick. A sardonic chuckle burst from her lips. Yeah, right. He would know I lied. Probably fire me.

She pulled the skin under one beautiful eye. Just look at those bags. Mark will know I haven’t been sleeping.

Who was this Mark? A co-worker, a boss . . . a lover. Not knowing disturbed Zane more than he wanted to admit.

A tired sigh blew through her lips. "I can do this. I have to do this."

An unexplainable need to comfort her filled him. He wanted to push through the portal, take his human form, and envelop her in his muscular arms, cradle her head against his shoulder, whisper words of encouragement, before he dealt with this Mark fellow.

She gave a wide yawn and made her way out of the room. With her out of sight, Zane came back to his senses. Never had he experienced a draw like the one coming from the woman. Her essence pulled at him, enticed him to go to her. Which was no doubt how the stalker had discovered her.

If her pull felt this strong while awake, he could only imagine what it would be like when she slept. Great Spirits help him, for the first time he understood how a Weaver might become addicted to a human. He had to go address the Council, inform them what he’d found. They would not be pleased. Zane reluctantly pulled back fully into his dimension, closing the portal behind him.

Chapter 2

The human woman’s dreams were vivid and provided a delicious source of energy. The Dream Stalker barely needed to influence them at all, thanks to her natural tendency toward nightmares. He’d only needed to steer them a little, add a few malevolent details here and there. Her mind did the rest.

It had been so easy. A set of blood-red eyes added by him, and she’d created the six wolves that chased her. A well-placed root from him while her head was turned, and she tripped to find herself surrounded by wolves. With little interference from him, the human’s nightmare generated such fear it became a tangible force in her bedroom, surrounding his corporeal form with its feeding energy.

The emotions her dreams elicited were strong, raw . . . addictive.

If he had lips in this dimension, he would be licking them. He still rode the high her fear created as he fed on it.

Nothing compared to the sensation he got when he consumed negative human emotions. They made it worth taking the human form required to enter the mortal dimension to feed. The negative emotions caused his blood to surge, his heart to sprint. Endorphins flooded his brain, giving him a potent high that could not be matched by anything in this dimension.

With no physical body, there were no endorphins or physical rush, just the lingering impression of utopia in his mind. He floated in the air, bobbing at a frantic pace thanks to the rush of the feed. Excited, elated, he could take on the universe. Nothing in the world, his or the human’s, compared to this, and he loved it!

Like a blanket, the balmy air flowed around his energy, welcomed him with its warmth. His world appeared extra vibrant, a resplendent cornucopia of color and constant light.

He pushed through the air, not caring in which direction he went. Feeling alive, excited, he just needed to move.

Now!

****

The meadow where the Ruling Council gathered lay ahead. Zane noted the balls of light that were the Dream Weavers who made up the Council. Their energies hovered in the clearing, forming a large circle. He arrived quickly, then floated into the middle.

Salutations and blessings, he greeted, demonstrating his respect for the council members that was their due.

And the same to you Peacemaker, the High Chancellor responded. Gracyn has informed us you have news but neglected to share just what it was. I assume it is important to have summoned us all.

I discovered a Dream Weaver who has defied our First Law, Zane informed them.

Are you sure? a male asked from behind him. It has been so long since any have dared to defy us.

Unfortunately, I am all too sure. I sensed the disturbance in our world. Zane turned toward the male. However, I have yet to discern the individual responsible.

But you will, Peacemaker. Your skills are unsurpassed, his mentor informed him.

Gracyn believed in him. After all she’d trained him herself.

We have every confidence you can find the Dream Stalker, she continued, exorcise him from the world while he takes human form.

When he is vulnerable, Zane murmured.

You must find the offender, Peacemaker, the booming voice of the High Chancellor demanded.

I intend to do just that.

Our society cannot tolerate any violation of our laws.

I agree, High Chancellor, Zane turned toward the male to make his vow with an authoritative voice. I pledge to the Council my loyalty, my fidelity to my purpose. I will seek out and destroy the rogue.

Thank you, Zane, Gracyn’s soft voice said from beside him. I know you will do your duty to the Council.

Do you have any further news? One of the members asked.

Not at this time.

Then you are dismissed. Go in good stead, the High Chancellor released him.

Zane did not hesitate to leave the circle when two of the beings parted to give him space. He floated through the air, his mind racing. It had been a long time since his services were needed by the Ruling Council.

Most of their kind was quite content to feed off the positive emotions produced by humans when they dreamed. Love and happiness sustained the Dream Weavers, keeping their energy charged so they could move freely about their dimension in their energy forms. Of course, it required they visit the human dimension more often to

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