The Darkest Dream (The Darkest Trilogy)

Table of Contents
 
 
 
The Darkest Dream

The Darkest Trilogy:

Book One

 

 

Michelle Brewer

 

The Darkest Dream

By Michelle Brewer

 

All rights reserved. 

 

Copyright © 2013 by Michelle Brewer

 

For more information:
http://www.facebook.com/michellebrewer.authorpage

 

No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by electronic means, including retrieval systems and information storage, without the explicit consent, in writing, of the author.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

 

Cover Image ©
RazoomGame
,
Eduard
Derule
,
Triff

Editing:  Jessica
Offerman
, Linda Carrier

For Miss Murray—

 

This story began nearly fifteen (!) years ago as a short story assigned by my
Freshman
year English teacher.
 
It was supposed to be, at most, five pages long.
 
I turned in five times that, at the very least.
 

 

Thank you for not only supporting me, but for encouraging me always.
 

Prologue

 

 

In my dream, I watched from a distance.
 
She was a beautiful girl, much older than my current seven years of age.
 
Her hair was a rich golden blonde, with soft subtle curls.
 
She wore a long and elegant gown.
 

It wasn’t until she turned around that I saw her eyes.
 
They were the same as mine—bright green orbs, staring right through me.
 

For a moment, I thought the girl was my mother.
 

But it wasn’t her.
 
Those were my eyes—and that girl was
me .
 

She must have been around seventeen—her features the same as those I currently wore, only much more mature.
 
She was grown up, and she was so pretty.
 

I couldn’t deny the pleasure I felt upon seeing how much I resembled my mother.
 

She had always been so vibrant.

Unlike me, though, the older girl was not smiling as I looked upon her.
 
She was surrounded by darkness—the kind of suffocating darkness that never seemed to
end,
and I could tell that she was trapped there, caged in by the unknown that surrounded her.
 

Strangely enough, I was reminded of the ocean—a warm, salty scent filling my senses.
 
I thought of the vacation my family had once taken to Hawaii—laying on the beach, the ocean all around us.
 

Again, I looked to the girl surrounded by darkness, her dress trailing behind her.

She looked so sad there, and so very alone.
 
I wanted to help her, but I couldn’t.
 

I couldn’t reach her.

And then he arrived.
 
A man emerged from the darkness—hardly more than a shadow himself—and suddenly the older version of me began to glow.
 

She smiled at the dark haired man as he took her into his arms, and I knew even from this distance that she belonged with him.
 
There was
a perfection
in their grace as they casually began to sway, almost as if dancing, that even in my youth, I could not ignore.
 

           

 

Chapter One

           

 

I sat at the counter, drumming my fingers lightly on the surface as I glanced up at the clock for what felt like the millionth time in only the last few minutes.
 
Sighing, I returned my attention to the countertop.
 
The thought of repainting my fingernails crossed my mind briefly before it was swept away by the hand ticking ever-so-slowly around the face of the clock.
 

Time was dragging.
 
A young woman walked past me and I smiled warmly at her before turning my attention back to the surface below my rhythmically tapping fingers, yawning quietly.
 

By the time I looked up again, the hand had finally struck the mark I had been waiting for.
 
The Masons’, whose daughter Phoebe I had been best friends with for as long as I could remember, had a five minute policy.
 
Five minutes early, five minutes late—no docking of pay.
 

I jumped off the stool and grabbed my timecard, quickly punching out and replacing it in the wallet on the wall.
 
“Hey,
Phe
?”
 
I called, my eyes looking toward the counter.
 
A girl in an off-white waitress uniform, an exact match to the one I wore, looked up.
 
“I’m heading out—I’ll see you tomorrow, right?”

“Unless you’ve changed your mind about staying the night tonight, then you assume correctly.”
 
The girl called
Phe
replied, tucking her chin-length, fair-brown hair behind her ear.
 
“Call me as soon as you get home, okay Luce?”

I nodded as I grabbed the black leather jacket I’d inherited, almost longer than the uniform I wore, and tossed it over my arm along with my purse.
 
“Yes, Mother,

 
I
smiled before laughing at my best friend.
 
“As soon as I get home.”
 
I added, this time more seriously, as I started putting my jacket on and walking toward the door.
 

“Good night!”
 
I called behind me, then pushed the door open and walked out into the dark night air.

Absorbed by my own thoughts, I didn’t notice the man approaching me.
 
He, too, was obviously off in a world of his own.
 

It wasn’t until we collided that we finally took notice of one another.
 

With impossibly quick reflexes, the man reached out to steady me, and I stepped backward, instinctually shying away.
 
He looked down, giving me the once-over, and I eyed him skeptically for a moment.
 

It was in my nature to be weary of strangers, especially when I found myself alone and in the dark.
 
However, as I glanced into his eyes, I was slightly embarrassed for reacting so cautiously.
 
“Sorry,

 
I
finally told him, my voice soft.
 
I shifted my eyes to his once more, locking onto them and holding them for a moment as I searched them further—looking for even the vaguest hint of potential threat.

“It’s alright, really. I’m the one who should be sorry.”
 
The dark-haired man responded.
 
I tilted my head then, still searching his violet colored eyes—almost losing myself before forcing myself to look away.

There was something about those dark eyes that seemed vaguely familiar to me.
 
I wanted to look again, to be absorbed by the storm, but instead I directed my gaze to the ground and scolded myself in my head.
 

I couldn’t help but wonder briefly why I felt drawn to this stranger.
 

So he was a tall, dark, and handsome stranger…but still a stranger.

The two of us stood in silence for the following moments, neither knowing whether we should say something more or just walk away.
 
His eyes darted toward the alley we were standing near and then back to me so quickly I barely noticed—barely, but I did notice.
 

A chill ran down my spine, and part of me actually wanted to look down the alley, too.
 

But memories of a past I’d longed to forget forced my eyes to stare dead ahead.

Finally, I exhaled deeply, starting to walk past him further on down the street in the direction I’d originally been traveling.
 
It was easy to credit the awkward, anxious sensation almost overwhelming me to both the stranger and the darkness, which had made me nervous for a great many years now—and I decided I wouldn’t like to stick around any longer to give my imagination time to come up with something more creative.

“You work at that little diner over there, don’t you?”
 
His voice stopped me a few moments later, startling me a bit as it broke the silence.
 
Nodding, I turned around and risked looking into his eyes once more before quickly looking back toward the ground.
 
“That must be where I know you from.
 
You seem familiar.”

“I…yeah,

 
I
shrugged, raising my head and looking him over once more.
 
“That must be it.”

I couldn’t quite place what was so familiar about him, and, once again, I took the easy route.
 
I couldn’t imagine forgetting such an attractive face, but I quickly dismissed it, telling myself that with all that had been going on lately, it wasn’t so out of the question.
 

“I feel like I’ve seen you around, too,

 
I
finally conceded.
 
He was a tall man, dressed in dark clothing and a wool coat.
 
His hair was dark as well—a chestnut brown, slightly disheveled, and it was obvious that he put little effort into his appearance.
 

It was also obvious, though, that he didn’t need to.
 

He glanced at the alley again, his eyes moving so quickly that I thought I may have imagined it.
 
But the movement disturbed me from my reverie and I tried to suppress a shiver.
 
The man flashed a quick smile,
then
shrugged.

“I…”
 
He suddenly exhaled deeply, almost sounding relieved, before finding my eyes one more. “Well, I apologize again for bumping into you,”

“I can’t let you take all the blame.”
 
It was a challenge to look away from his eyes—to ignore the almost mesmerizing effect they seemed to have on me.
 
Never before had I seen eyes quite like his, and I found myself curious as to what they might look like in better lighting.
 
My heart fluttered very subtly in my chest.
 
“So, I’m sorry, too,” I paused then, holding my breath, feeling silly.
 
“Again.”
 

I grinned, chancing one last glance at him.
 
The man’s lips were turned up just slightly, but it was nothing I’d label a smile. My pride somewhat wounded, my grin faded to a humbled smile.
 
“I guess I’ll…I’ll see you around or something?”

I didn’t wait to see his response.
 
Instead, I turned—and even as I felt his intense eyes boring into my back, I continued to walk down the street, scolding myself as I passed by the alleyway that emanated nothing but dread.
  
Finally, I rounded a corner and the sensation faded a bit.
 
I sighed, feeling slightly relieved.

That was just slightly out of the ordinary…

My mind flashed back to his dark eyes—so shadowy and deep that I had to fight the incredible urge to lose myself in them.
 
It had felt like he could see the deepest parts of me; see things that only I knew—possibly even things I wasn’t aware of myself.

I shivered, pulling the jacket tighter around me as I quickened my pace.
 
The sound of my shoes hitting the pavement echoed softly around me as I distanced myself further and further from the slightly urbanized area of the small city of Glover, California, moving toward the residential area.
 

I forced any thoughts of the strange man out of my mind when they approached, only allowing myself to think of pointless things.
 
Again, the thought of repainting my nails crossed my mind before it was lost among the myriad of other pointless meanderings.

Finally, I approached a small brick building and unlocked the door, walking into the dimly lit hallway.
 
As the heavy door slammed shut behind me, I rushed up the case of stairs and down the short little hall, unlocking the door at the end and stepping in. I flipped the light on, tossing the keys on the coffee table in the scant living room before turning back to the door and switching the lock into place.

I sighed then, seemingly relaxing as I shrugged out of my jacket and tossed it on the couch.
 
I took my honey colored hair out of its ponytail, allowing it to fall to my shoulders as I reached into my pocket and removed my cell phone.
 
I swiped through the recent calls—there weren’t many, so it wasn’t a task—until I reached the diner.
 
It rang only once.


Phe
?”
 
I said in question when someone on the other end picked up.

“Luce..?”
 
The girl on the other end sighed.
 
“So, you made it home?”

“Of course I did,

 
I
smiled at the hint of relief in my friend’s voice.
 
She was always so worried about me.
 
I jumped on the spare moment of silence to distract her, knowing
Phe
would never miss an opportunity to lecture me about the dangers of walking home alone at night.
 
“Listen, is there a guy there—dark hair, dark eyes, kind of…intense looking?”
 
Phe
laughed softly on the other end.

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