The Dreamwalker

Charlotte Bucklebury has dreams. Not normal, peaceful dreams that make little or no sense, nor does she suffer nightmares that keep her up at night. Charlotte sees murders.

From the age of eleven she has seen the last few moments the victims of 'The Womanizer' suffer through. She sees the way in which he kills them, hears their pleas and begs for mercy and can do nothing. She know The Womanizer's tricks, his methods and the outline of his partner.

For eight years Charlotte lives in fear of the vision and the murderers behind them, not once daring to speak out to anyone other than her only friend. Even her parents are left in the dark.

But when the visions progress to the point where they're cutting into her life, things start to change. Charlotte finally sees the face of The Womanizer and his accomplice and what she sees terrifies her.

When the police have turned their backs and the killers start to close in, Charlotte's left in a terrifying situation: Kill or be Killed.

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1. Prologue

 

Dreams are a strange thing. There are so many variations and so rarely are they the same. You can wake from an amazing one but no matter how hard you try you can never return to it. Or rather, if you do, it is unlikely it will be exactly the same. The path taking you there is lost forever in the sea of useless information that you withhold in your brain.

There are healing dreams, prophetic dreams, signal dreams, cosmic dreams, progressive dreams, mutual dreams, lucid dreams, day dreams, false awakening dreams and nightmares. You can influence a dream by your activities before sleep and a select few can control the outcome of their dreams without waking.

Then there are the dreamwalkers. They work with you dreams to create, understand, heal and help you. The dreamwalkers chose to enter your subconscious world and from there decide how to help you. This was not the case for Charlotte Bucklebury. 

Charlotte Bucklebury was eleven years old when she first realised her ‘gift’. (Or as she called it; her ‘curse’) She had found herself in a darkened alley that smelled strongly of wet leaves. There had been a young woman cowering against the side of an industrial dustbin, her top lip split and a bruise forming above her left eye. At the other end of the alley, blocking her escape, had been the silhouette of a man.

“Come now, little lamb, where are you hiding?” even at her young age Charlotte could tell that the man’s voice was not his true one; it had been scratchy, rough, and shook in his throat. “Come out, come out, wherever you are!” he had taunted, slowly stalking though the alley. “Oh dear Izzy, where are you hiding?” the blade of the knife he held in his hand had glinted in the streetlight which, a moment later, had been blocked by the shadow of his body.

‘Izzy’ had drawn her legs closer to her body, pressing her hands over her mouth to stifle the sobs that wracked her body. Charlotte at tried to yell at the man, hoping to save the dream-girl from the dream-killer. But she could neither stop him nor wake herself up. She had been forced to watch as the man found Izzy, grabbing her hair and exposing her throat to the blade of the knife.

Only once Izzy’s blood stained the pavement red, heart finally lying still in her chest, did Charlotte succeed in waking herself.

She had laid in her bed, shaking with silent tears running over her cheeks. She did not want to untangle herself from her duvet but could no longer lie in the dark. Her parents both worked nightshifts and were not home when Charlotte pulled herself from bed, turning on all the light in her room. With shaking hands she had checked her wardrobe for the man and pulled back the curtain just enough to gaze out into the street. Both were empty of life but the yellow streetlights were so similar to the ones in her dream that Charlotte did not spend long looking out of the window.

She had lain awake in her bed for five hours until her parents returned from work at eight, grunting their welcomes. It had been a Saturday and all they wished to do was catch up on sleep. Yet their interest had been caught by a steady stream of police cars heading along the main road and headed into the living room rather than to their bedroom.

Charlotte had followed them, saying nothing of the dream which was yet to leave her mind. Sitting on the floor by the coffee table she had watched the news, growing still at the report that was currently playing.

At two thirty-five this morning the body of twenty-three year old Isabella Carter was discovered in the alleyway between two apartment buildings in the centre of town. As of yet there are no witnesses and police are urging anyone with information to come forward.

Charlotte could vaguely recall her father rising from his couch to call his work and ask them to hold the body for him. Her mother had sniffed, making an off-hand comment about murderers and dead things before retiring to her room. Her mother’s attitude to dead things had always made Charlotte question the wisdom in marrying a pathologist who spent most of the working night with dead people.

Once Charlotte’s father had made arrangements for work he had returned to the living room, sitting his daughter on the sofa. He was a tall man with a prominent limp in his left leg from a biking accident in his younger years. He was clean-shaven and plain but with an authorities air about him. “Be careful on the streets today.” He had warned her. “Stay with Aiden if you can and do not make any noise if you return home for the day.”

“Yes father.” Charlotte had nodded. An hour later she had left the house to meet her friend, the dream pushed to the back of her mind. Though she did not forget about it she did not dream another like it for some time. 

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