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I’ve slugged away at this for the past year. You wouldn’t believe how many transformations its undertaken! But here’s a brief excerpt from Chapter 1.

I came to an understanding very early in my life; the biggest component in keeping my sanity had everything to do with my dream companion, Sophie. Without her, I would never have managed the past five years. She always appeared at the right moment, vanquishing the demons haunting most of my nights, turning my nightmares into something I could cope with better than I would ever have done on my own.

Tonight, however, proved an exception.

“You okay?” she asks, after chasing the darkness away for the umpteenth time.

“Now that my saviour has come to the rescue.” I rub at the painful welts on my right arm and stare in shock at the fading handprint.“Why does this keep happening? Have I done something wrong to deserve this punishment?”

Her violet eyes cloud for a second, vagueness or maybe, a hidden acknowledgement of my concern. Then, she just smiles. “Punished. That’s a silly thing to say, it’s a nightmare, that’s all.” Her smile changes, sending a chill through my body and then she laughs. “Oh come on, lighten up, soon you’ll awaken and everything will fade to a distant memory.”

“Sure, of course.” Her words do not bring the same comfort as they have done before. “Sophie, how come you seem to know when I’m in trouble? Strange don’t you think how you’re always there to save me?”

“No, I don’t think. Why the sudden change, you’re usually grateful for my help,” she says, turning her back to me. “I can always leave; I don’t have to come to your rescue you know. I do have other more important things that need doing.”

The purple essence surrounding her body darkens almost too black. I’ve offended her. Oh, she looks innocent enough with her pale violet eyes and angelic face, but I know from experience, questioning her motives only leads to trouble.

“Please don’t, you know I’m grateful—”

“Well it doesn’t seem like it. Let’s see how you cope without me, shall we.”

“No Sophie, I can’t do this alone…”

Before I can finish she disappears, leaving me standing in the purple void between the darkness. Almost at once, the coldness of the shadows touch my skin, scratching at my pores with their searching fingers. The light wanes — drawing them nearer — and without Sophie it won’t take long for the dark to encompass me once again.

The cold infiltrates my skin, searching a path to my soul. Shivering, I wait for them to take me to the place I thought lost to me years ago.

“You can’t have me, I won’t let you.” My pathetic attempt of a scream becomes swallowed the instant the words leave my mouth.

Hands squeeze tighter, grasping at my arms and legs, pulling me away from the light. Why had she done this to me? How could she leave me here unprotected? I stare at the black wall, expecting her to cleave an opening for me to escape, but she doesn‘t. My heart splinters, she has betrayed me.

Let the darkness come, I don’t want to live any more. I couldn’t go through this pain on my own, not again.

“Stop it. It’s just a dream,” a voice calls out.

Through the last vestige of light, I see a figure. The power of the words filling my soul. It drew nearer, parting the wall with the sweeping movement of its arms, flashes of golden light sparking from its fingers.

“You cannot take her,” it says, encircling my body with its light.

A loud roar of screaming voices erupts through the dark. I feel the invisible hands relinquish their grasp and the chill of death slivers from my skin.

It had freed me.

“Go,” it shouts.

At first, I’m uncertain whether it means for me to go. But when it steps into the fast receding light, something clicks.

“I, know you?” The blood drains from my body as I continue to stare. One eye green, the other blue, the same as mine. Where had I seen that before?

“Go,” he whispers this time.

I lose him as the light alters, a warm golden glow that not only cradles me, but shines like a beacon inside my head until I can no longer feel the cold.

“Who, are you…”

“Bloody hell Eve, will you stop it with the screaming,” Jodie says, letting me know I’ve returned.

I rub at the sheen of sweat freezing my arms. Shit. “Sorry,” I say, hoping Jodie will soon forget.

“Yeah, fine. As of tomorrow scream all you want, I don’t care. But for now, can I please get some sleep.”

“Sure,” I say, as the thumping sound of her fist beats her pillow.

I’ve lost count of the nightmares over the past week. This one however, feels different. Sophie had left me alone, so how did I escape? Sleep weighs heavy on my eyelids, yawning I close my eyes. The answers will have to wait until the morning.

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