Friday, 31 August 2012






Usually secluded this time of night, the streets of Perth had an unusual volume of the homeless. He’d been forced to feed on them once or twice—hunger ruled, although he much preferred his favourite food source. Always remorseful afterwards, he hated the being he'd become. Evil, it was the evil he loved most to snuff out. The blood of evil men gave him strength and satisfied his hunger more than any other. There was certainly no shortage of evil in this city. The trouble was finding it in time, before it had the chance to kill or take the virtue of an innocent. It was those times he had a sense of pride and felt almost like a hero . . . instead of the sickening, vile monster he really was.

He could still remember being human. He missed it more than he ever thought possible. He missed mortality and the prospect of growing old— qualities he no longer possessed. He knew many humans who longed to be like him. Fools! They couldn't possibly understand what his existence was really like. Hunting others and being so desperate for blood that almost any meal would do. Once the bloodlust took over he was powerless, resulting in the haunting regrets he was now trying to right. He missed the love of a woman terribly, a human woman. And really, what woman in her right mind could love a creature such as him? She would shy away in terror if she saw him in his real form. He cringed inwardly, knowing her reaction to his hunger and hunting lusts would break his heart.

Or what was left of his heart.

Sure, there were fantasy stories of how his kind could survive on stored blood. But in reality, only blood that came from a warm mammal with a beating heart would suffice. Anything else would just make him weak and anaemic. He needed his strength now more than ever. His mission, after all, was ridding the streets of evil.

He'd been roaming these same streets now for more than 20 years. It only seemed logical that at some point the evil would be purged. But as soon as he got rid of one monstrous human another was not far behind. So he wandered and listened intently for the cries of another innocent victim.  This stupid curse only allowed him to be seen in human form through a mortal’s subconscious. This made things even more complicated. When victims were fully awake and alert, they saw him as he truly was. This petrified them more than the human monsters he was rescuing them from. Surely tonight, just like any other night, someone would need him. He listened and waited, hoping it would not be too long. He was getting very hungry.

Chapter 1

End of a Nightmare

Cassandra cowered under her covers. She could hear her mother and stepfather arguing. They'd been drinking again as they did every payday. She hated to hear the way they yelled obscenities at each other and the screams of her mother when it got beyond arguing. Her stepfather would take out his frustrations, blaming her because he was worthless and a hopeless husband and father. He had never really been a man, but rather a fat ugly slob who thought the world revolved around him. In his mind, everyone should bow to him.

Only God knew why he had such a high opinion of himself. Everyone hated him and her mother was far too pretty to be married to an ogre. She, too, had become a pathetic excuse for a parent these days. She could hardly protect herself, let alone her 13-year-old daughter. She worked full time at the local hospital laundry, a thankless job, always stinking hot. Then she would be expected to come home and prepare meals for him as well as keeping a spotless house. When he got home from work he'd go and have a shower, then sit on the couch for the rest of the night expecting her to wait on him. Cassandra, too, would be made to help around the house. Doing the laundry, washing dishes, and helping with meals were her lot in life while the lazy slob sat on his fat arse, belly hanging over his jeans, drinking beer and watching TV.

She hated him with a vengeance, praying every night that he would not make it home from work, fantasizing about car accidents or heart attacks. . . anything sparing her from ever seeing his ugly face again. She knew in her heart that her mother would never leave him. Traumatized by the divorce and struggling as a single parent, she settled for this loser. He was the ugliest man Cassandra had ever seen in her life and still could not believe her mother had seen anything in him to begin with. With his skinny white legs and big fat stomach he reminded her of a frog, and a slimy one at that.

He was always putting her mum down, calling her fat and ugly. He should look in the mirror! Her mother had started going to meetings every Tuesday night to try and lose weight for him. And that is when the visits to Cassie’s bedroom had started. At first he had just tried kissing and fondling her, totally grossing her out. She told her mother after the first time. Yet her mother just dismissed it and told her he was just trying to show his affection . . . and not to be a little slut and encourage him. Her words had cut deep and now Cassie kept her thoughts to herself, no longer trusting her mother to save her from this monster.

After a while the fondling was not enough and one night he came into her room with her mother’s lubricant and raped her. Afterwards he laughed at her and told her that if she ever told her mother he would tell her that she had seduced him. "Of course your mother will believe me over you, her whore of a daughter," he said as he left the room, leaving her feeling dirty and sore. What had she ever done to deserve parents like these? She held on to the hope that her life would be good if only she could get through the next few years.

God, how she wished she had a Guardian Angel to take her away from all this!

Eventually things got even worse. She could hear furniture breaking and what she assumed was her mother being thrown around the room. Her mother screamed and was shouting something that Cassie couldn’t decipher.

The front door slammed and then all went quiet. Cassie’s heart was beating so loud that she could hear it in her ears. One night he is going to kill my mum, she thought. Her bedroom door slowly started to open.

Please be mum, please be mum, Cassie pleaded silently. But she knew in her heart that it wasn’t.

He almost fell onto her bed, staggering and swearing.

“Your fucking bitch of a mother has walked out on us. Fuck her, we don’t need her anyway!”

Cassie’s head was spinning. How could her mum walk out and leave her alone with this monster. What kind of a mother was she? The ogre started to unbutton his pants.

“You're a good girl, you know what daddy wants.”

She felt sick and decided he wasn’t going to rape her anymore. She would fight him with all she had and die trying if need be. What kind of a life was it anyway? She'd be better off dead.

He took off his pants and started to climb onto her bed. She kicked at him and he almost fell over. He wasn’t at all happy and punched her really hard in the head. She screamed and bit and scratched, making him very angry. He grabbed her around the throat and choked her. She could feel her life draining away. He was calling her names and swearing and squeezing. He smelled of stale beer and cigarettes. His face was so close to hers that she could see all the veins sticking out in his forehead. She tried to fight but he was too strong.

Please someone help me, she pleaded silently.

And there He was.

The Guardian Angel she had prayed for was there. At least he certainly looked like an angel, tall with dark hair and the most beautiful eyes she had ever seen. He was standing behind her stepfather smiling at her. Maybe he had come to take her to the other side? She felt calm and stopped fighting. The darkness came and she slipped away.

Her mother came home an hour later. She found Cassie unconscious in her bed and her husband was nowhere to be found. She tried to wake Cassie, who was incoherent and rambling about an angel. The poor girl couldn't be brought around. Frantic, Cassie's mother rang an ambulance wondering in the back of her mind where her husband was and if he'd done this to her daughter. She had to get away from him. She had to be safe, not just for her own sake but for her daughter’s as well. She made the decision on the way to the hospital that he'd never hurt either of them again.

She rang the police and told them her husband had tried to strangle her daughter. They were dispatched to the hospital and put out an APB. It didn’t take long to find him. His car was down by the beach. Inside were the remains of his body, ripped to pieces like it had been attacked by some sort of animal. Strangely, the doors were all locked and the windows rolled up. There was no evidence of anyone else ever being inside the car.

Dental records confirmed it was definitely him and forensics found nothing to explain what had killed him. It had been the third crime like this in as many weeks. It seemed the police had a serial killer on their hands with no clues on who he was or a motive for the killings. The only similarity in the three cases involved ramblings from each victim about a dark haired angel. All gave the same description of this tall, dark and handsome man who appeared out of nowhere just as they thought they were dying. This Guardian Angel saved them from their assailants and left behind no footprints, fingerprints or DNA of any kind. He, somehow, gained access to residences when all the doors and windows were locked. Obviously these were going to be extremely challenging cases to solve!

Chapter 2

De Ja Vu

Cassie slipped in and out of consciousness, rambling about the man who had saved her. It seemed she was reliving the nightmare over and over again, crying out at times. Doctors concluded the man was a figment of her imagination, invented by her to save her from the abuse she'd suffered from her stepfather. They found extensive faded bruising and evidence of continual sexual abuse. Her mother had cried, ashamed. She hadn’t listened to her daughter’s pleas about her husband's advances. She thought Cassie was exaggerating his motives. Cassie hadn't told her how far it had gone. No wonder . . . It's not like she'd been much of a mother to the poor girl over the last few years. Why? Why had she let that bully of a man drag her down so low?

She sat at Cassie’s bedside praying her daughter would recover without serious brain damage. The poor child had suffered an oxygen shortage while that bastard’s hands had been around her throat. She'd never forgive herself if her baby died or never totally regained consciousness.

She was consoled by Cassie’s father, who sat beside her and held her hand. She rang him when they got to the hospital. They hadn’t spoken in the last two years and he hadn’t seen Cassie— not because he hadn’t wanted to, but because it was too painful to see the love of his life with such a man. He had tried to get his ex-wife and daughter to come away with him, but that man had some sort of hold over them and his ex-wife’s spirit seemed broken.

He should never have let it happen in the first place. His stupid midlife crisis had caused him to let her down. He'd succumbed to the flattery of a younger attractive female workmate. Harmless flirting turned into a liaison at a seedy motel. He regretted it as soon as it happened. God, how he loved his wife! What was wrong with him? Of course she saw the signs and left him. He begged for forgiveness, but he'd shattered her trust and she felt humiliated and worthless. She took Cassie and they left. He hadn’t tried hard enough to get them back.

This is my fault, he thought to himself and he started to sob.

His ex-wife turned to him and squeezed his hand tighter. She still loved him and knew he was blaming himself, just as she was. Her heart went out to him.

Cassie stirred.

“Mum,” she muttered. “Where am I? My throat hurts."

Her mother burst into tears. She jumped up and grabbed her daughter’s hand.

“I'm here baby. It's okay. You're safe now."

“Where’s dad, and has he finished painting my room yet?”

Her parents looked at one another not sure what to say. Her father had been painting her room the day before her mother left. She had picked a bright pink colour for the walls and a pretty green for drapes and bedding. He finished painting the room and it hadn't been touched since the day they separated. Her father stood up.

“Yes, Sweetie, I finished it and it looks beautiful.”

“Cool, Daddy! When can we go home?”

He squeezed his wife’s hand and looked into her eyes.

“When the doctor says you can, Hun,” he assured her.

They were both crying now.

“What happened to me?” Cassie asked.

“We're not sure, Baby . . . Do you remember anything?”

Cassie frowned and tried to think. All she could remember was being excited because her father had brought the paint home and was prepping her room ready to start painting. Her mother sighed and hoped that Cassie's memory loss would be permanent, sparing her from the horrors of what her so-called husband had put the innocent girl through this last year.

“Don’t worry about it too much, Sweetie. You need to rest now so you can heal faster."

Cassie had to admit she was tired and let her heavy eyelids close.

The doctor came in and her father pulled him aside.

“She doesn’t remember anything about the attack. She doesn’t remember the last two years at all!”

The doctor assured him it was normal with this type of trauma— it was the mind's way of dealing with such things. Her memory might return gradually or never at all. It was hard to tell with these cases. Her father, like her mother, prayed it never would.

Outside in the corridor Cassie's parents made a pact. They would try and put their marriage back together and let Cassie forget that the last two years ever happened. Certainly she'd realise things had changed and that she'd grown older . . . but she'd never have to know about her father's affair or the horrible man who had taken her innocence and almost her life. They would think of a way to explain the attack and tell her the man had been found dead. Cassie would never need to worry about him trying again. Together they would put their shattered lives back together for the sake of their daughter and never speak of it again. They would be a family as they should have always been.

Chapter 3

Shattered Dreams


It had been a long night. We always seemed to be short staffed at the hospital these days and literally run off our feet. At last, I was home. All I could think of was jumping in the shower and snuggling up to Paul, who was sound asleep. It was 2 a.m., after all. A two whole week’s holiday stretched before me. I couldn’t wait for the morning.  

I let the hot water run over my body for 20 minutes. It felt so good, relaxing my aching muscles. I dried myself and walked into the bedroom naked, the cool air feeling good on my skin. I slid in between the sheets and snuggled up behind Paul, looking forward to a sound sleep. Startled, Paul pulled away from me and moved to the other side of the bed. I was taken aback.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“Nothing,” he replied groggily. “I’m just tired."

I was beyond hurt. He'd never done that before. It wasn’t like I was trying to seduce him. I just wanted to cuddle him and go to sleep. Now I felt sad and alone, wondering what was going on in his head. So much for a peaceful night's rest, I'd be worrying all night.

It took me ages to finally sleep. I tossed and turned, trying not to cry. It occurred to me how dependent I'd become, needing Paul's warm back to lull me into dreamland. But eventually exhaustion worked its magic.

The same reoccurring dream filled my subconscious. The dark haired man, once again, joined me in the sleep realm. I have no idea who he is or where he came from, but I've been dreaming about him for years. He'd been present in my dreams since I was 17 and lost my parents in that horrible car crash.

We'd been out together for dinner and a movie and were on our way home. Out of nowhere a drunk driver veered across the centre line and hit us head on. I was the only survivor and mysteriously ended up at the hospital just moments after the accident happened. No one could explain it, except that maybe some Good Samaritan driving past had dropped me off and left before the police could ask questions. I couldn’t remember anything about the accident or how I had possibly survived. I certainly had no knowledge of the person who rescued me. It was a tough time in my life, being alone and orphaned at such a young age, hospitalized for weeks.

Perhaps this tragedy drew me to nursing. After I was discharged, I decided to enroll in nursing training and have worked in the profession ever since. I met Paul, a friend of a friend, 10 years later. We seemed to click straight away and within a few months had moved in together.

My dreams about the dark haired man are always happy. I have no idea if he is real, a figment of my imagination, or someone I knew in a past life. He always makes me feel safe and protected in his arms. I never felt completely alone even during the loneliest times of my life. Maybe I invented him to help cope with the huge loss of my parents? I really don't know where he came from but am very glad he lives somewhere in my dreams.

He visited me again tonight.

I'd been restless, drifting in and out of reality before hearing his voice.

Are you okay, Cassandra? Whispered my dark haired man.

I'm so confused! I confided. I don't understand why Paul is being so cold to me. Everything seemed fine until I got home from work tonight. Now he's acting strange and I have no idea what's going on!

My dark haired man took me in his arms and pulled me close to him, so safe and warm. It felt like home.

I am so lucky to have you, I said, looking up into those soft green eyes. He always made me feel so wonderful, like nothing could ever hurt me. What did I ever do to deserve you?

He pulled away and led me to the grass, emerald green in the sunlight. I stood over him as he sat, relaxed. It was such a beautiful day, as it always was in my dreams. Soft grass, wildflowers everywhere, birds were singing . . . and of course his presence. I could feel the sunlight on my face and the scent of lavender filled the air. I felt so loved when I was with him, so at peace.

Why can't I feel like this all the time? I thought to myself. Of course, he heard my thoughts.

I'm the lucky one, he said, smiling up at me. I thought I saw a flicker of sadness in his eyes. You have given me so much, more than you will ever know, Cassandra.

I sat down next to him and took his hand in mine. He smiled that beautiful smile, melting my heart and then leaned towards me. My cheek warmed from his soft kiss. His chest and arms enveloped me, pulling me around my waist . . . against him.

I'll be here as long as you need me.

I woke in the morning to find Paul had already left for work. He hadn’t even come in to kiss me goodbye. Something was definitely wrong. I dragged myself out of bed and slipped on my dressing gown, stomach churning. I hadn't a clue what had happened. The day before everything seemed fine. What had suddenly changed so drastically? Why was Paul so cold to me? I picked up the phone and tried ringing his mobile. It went straight to voice mail. I left a message for him to ring me back and then made myself a cup of tea. I sat down on the couch, worried.

A million things ran through my head. Was it something I'd said or done? I couldn’t think of anything. We visited his mum and dad for lunch yesterday and everything seemed fine. His sister had cut my hair and he'd been really attentive. He even told me I looked beautiful. What possibly could have changed between then and my shift at the hospital?

What had I done?

The phone rang and I almost jumped out of my skin. It was Paul. He said he had a lot on his mind and not to worry too much. His workmate had died a couple of months ago and he had been under a lot of stress at work.

"It isn’t you," he assured me. "You haven’t done anything and we'll talk properly when I get home."

I felt relieved. Perhaps it really was just work stress. Feeling better, I set about getting dressed and planning what to do with the wonderful two weeks I had off.

I was chatting on the phone to a friend of mine, Maria, when Paul turned up. He'd come home for lunch. I said goodbye to Maria and hung up the phone, happy to see him. As I approached him with a hug, he dodged me. "We need to talk, Cassandra," he announced. Uh oh, there went that churning in my stomach again. He kept his distance. It made me feel really uneasy.

“Okay, Paul. What is going on?” I asked.

“I've been doing a lot of thinking,” he said, somber and reserved. “I’m just not sure if I still want to get married and have kids anytime soon.”

I was shocked.

Where was this coming from? We'd been planning to get married and have a baby for years. Why this sudden about turn?

“Alright,” I responded shakily, trying to stay calm. “We can wait a while longer.”  But how much longer?  I was 33 and felt my biological clock ticking. We'd been together for nearly six years and the whole time he knew I always wanted kids. At this moment I felt a bit cheated. Cheated and torn. I loved him and didn’t want to lose him.

“We can wait until you are sure,” I continued, dreading his response.

“I don’t know if I'll ever be ready. Hell, I’m not sure I even want kids. I know you do, though, and that you're getting to the age that it might be getting harder to conceive. I don’t want to stop you from having a family . . . so I think we should break up, Cassandra."

He was dead serious.

“Break up?” I cried. “Yes, Paul, I do want kids but I don’t want to lose you! Can't we talk about this? I’m sure I'll be fine if I don’t end up being a mum. Can't we compromise somehow?”

“No,” he said sternly. “The honest truth is, I don’t think I even love you anymore. I don't want to spend the rest of my life with you."

It was a knife in my heart. The shock nearly floored me. I was crying now, an uncontrollable reaction to this unthinkable statement. What had just happened? Had he just dumped me? This was like a nightmare! If it had been building up and I could see the tell-tale signs, maybe it wouldn’t have come as such a blow. But I honestly could not think of a single reason, not one little hint, that foreshadowed Paul's words.

He watched my reaction, unmoved.

"I'll come home tonight after work and pick up some stuff. I’m going to stay with mum and dad for a while.”

“You’re moving out? Don't you want to talk about this some more?”

“No, I’ve made up mind. I’m sorry, but I can’t help the way I feel." With that he turned around and left me a crying heap on the couch.

I felt as if I had been punched in the stomach. It was all so sudden. I was miserable and mourned on the couch for the rest of the day. The wait was unbearable as I braced myself for him to come home and get his things.

He turned up around 5 p.m. When he saw the state I was in he came over and gave me a hug.

“I'm so sorry, Cassandra. I don’t know what came over me. Of course I'm not going to leave you."

I was reeling from the roller coaster of emotions. Relief flooded me. I rationalized that poor Paul had simply been in a bad state of mind. He saw the error of his ways and knew this was where he wanted to be. Everything was going to work out, right? I comforted myself with these thoughts.

He had to go out for a few hours for work but would be back that evening. We'd sort everything out properly then. He kissed me and departed, leaving my head spinning. For the next several hours I pondered the situation. Paul was like a yoyo, wavering back and forth, leaving then not leaving. I clung to his assurance but, honestly, was unsettled. To clear my head I ran a warm bath and soaked in it for ages. I climbed into bed, exhausted.

He turned up around 11 p.m. and started packing up his stuff. He left that night. I never really found out what had happened but a year later he was married. Not long after that his first child was born. I guess it wasn’t that he wasn’t ready. He just didn’t want to do any of it with me.

Paul's abrupt departure turned my whole world upside down. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. My stomach hurt all the time and I couldn’t stop crying. After a few days of suffering I went to the doctor to get something to help me to sleep. That, plus a few glasses of wine, seemed to do the trick . . . until I woke every new morning faced with reality. Thank God for timing. I didn’t have to report to work and had the remainder of my time off to pull myself together.

I tried to start planning my future. Let's see, what should I do from here? I couldn’t think straight. Everything had changed. I had no family and didn’t want to burden my friends. Once again I decided to take a sleeping pill, go to bed, and deal with it later. I felt the drug working and slowly started to drift off to sleep.

A warm body cuddled up behind me. I tried to open my eyes but they were too heavy from the sedative. I could feel kisses on the back of my neck. A hand caressed my stomach. Soft fingers touched my breasts, slowly moving down my body. I pushed myself backwards and snuggled into them, so relaxing, so arousing. I let the sensations take over, drifting in and out of sleep, seeming to dream . . . but it felt so real, very real.

Someone was on top of me. My arms were wrapped around his waist and my legs rested over his. I could feel the soft strokes inside me gently bringing me to orgasm. The sensation was so intense that I managed to open my eyes . . . but could see no one. My arms were still wrapped around my invisible lover and I was quivering slightly. It was so familiar and I felt no fear.

I'm in a drug induced dream, I thought to myself and fell back into a deep sleep.

I woke with a start at 3 a.m. feeling groggy from the sleeping pill. I thought I heard something outside and decided to go out onto the balcony to take a look. My legs were heavy and my eyes didn’t want to open properly. I opened the sliding door and walked out into the night, relishing the cool air. It felt wonderful against my skin, sensitive and still a little aroused from the dream. I looked around but couldn’t figure out where the noise was coming from or even what the noise was. Curious, I looked out over the railing, leaning further than was safe in my impaired state. Something moved out of the corner of my eye, startling me. I lost my balance and the next thing I knew . . . I was falling. It was surreal. I wasn’t frightened and remember thinking that perhaps the pain in my heart would soon be over. I wasn’t afraid of dying; it might be the easiest way out of all this.

 I felt strong arms around me and warm breath on my neck. Then everything faded to black.

Chapter 4

Dream Lover

I woke in the morning feeling like I'd just had the most wonderful night’s sleep in my life. I vaguely remembered falling from the balcony and someone catching me. I must have been dreaming about Him again. Oddly, I felt renewed— calm and in control for the first time in days. My stomach no longer churned and my head felt clear again. Today was the first day of the rest of my life and I was going to start living it!

I got up, showered and decided to get dressed in something nice and summery. I found a pretty dress and decided to venture out. I wanted breakfast in the sunshine. I felt alive again, better than I had in years. I didn't know what had bought on this sudden change in mood . . . but I liked it!

I was sitting at the table outside Dome Cafe drinking coffee, eating pancakes, and reading the paper. I felt a hand on my shoulder. I spun around but there was no one there. Was it just my imagination? As I went back to the paper a wonderful, warm sensation spread up my body. Euphoria, almost drug-like, caused me to catch my breath. Wow, what a feeling! My whole body felt alive and almost glowing. If pancakes in the sun could do this, I would eat here every morning! I no longer missed Paul and the anguish of him leaving had all but disappeared. Instead, I had a sense of wellbeing and utter happiness. I didn’t feel the slightest bit lonely and was looking forward to the rest of the day.

What to do now, maybe a bit of shopping? I could do with some new shoes. A woman could always do with new shoes! I still had 10 days of my holiday left. I owned a beach house in Lancelin left to me by my parents. The weather was beautiful. The shops were beckoning. I decided I should grab some new clothes and a new bathing suit while I was at it. Then I'd go to the beach for a few days. Excited, I couldn’t wait to start my holiday!

Although my parent's death left a void that would never quite be filled, I was fortunate they'd left me quite well set up. I didn’t want for much as the interest on their estate was enough to live on comfortably. The family house in Ellenbrook was freehold. I didn’t really have to work but enjoyed my job and needed to do something to keep busy.

I withdrew a few grand from my account and went on a shopping spree. Morley Galleria, here I come! Morley was only about 20 minutes from Ellenbrook and had an excellent mall. Going all out I bought new dresses, bathing suits, shoes and perfume. I loaded it all into my jeep and headed off to the beach. I would grab a few supplies in the little shopping centre there . . . I could already taste the wine and chocolate!

The day was gorgeous and I felt invigorated. I turned the radio up loud and sang along. It was a miracle to feel so wonderful after just a few short days of being dumped. I honestly had never felt better. The beach was only an hour’s drive from Morley and it was still quite early in the day when I arrived.

The house looked cosy and inviting, just as I remembered it. I couldn’t wait to unpack the jeep and haul my stuff inside. It was a little musty as all the curtains were drawn. I hadn’t used it in a while. I opened up all the windows, turned on the stereo and started putting away my new clothes. On went the bathing suit, as there was still plenty of time for a swim. It was very flattering and showed my figure off well. Not that I needed any confidence at the moment . . . I was flying high! I grabbed a towel and dashed down to the water.

The beach was deserted. It was spring and not a lot of the people from Perth would think it was warm enough to go swimming. There were a few people at the pub just down the beach, but my little spot in paradise was still quite secluded— just the way I like it!

The water, a little cold at first, made me gasp. But I soon acclimated and enjoyed the coolness of the waves moving over me. The water here was so clean and clear. All my senses were alive and even the water touching my skin felt amazing. I went up on to the sand and grabbed my towel. As I dried myself I felt a kiss on my check and then hot breath on my neck. I spun around. This time I saw a wisp of what looked like smoke but again no one was there. I was sure I hadn’t imagined it this time . . . could my mind be playing tricks on me? It hadn’t changed my mood but left me a little intrigued..

I went back up to the house and had a quick shower. I jumped back into the jeep and headed to the shop to grab some wine, chocs and a TV dinner. I thought about going down to the pub for dinner, but I'd been there a few times with Paul. I felt like a bit of a loser going on my own, so down to the little shopping centre I went. The shop had a good selection of DVD's. I grabbed a couple of my favourite flicks and headed back.

With dinner in the microwave and a bottle of wine opened, I put on a DVD and snuggled down on the couch. It felt so comfortable sitting there, eating my dinner and drinking wine.

Wow, this is the life, I sighed, quite drowsy and content.

He was back and utterly gorgeous. Dark hair and green eyes, tall and muscular, and that smile . . . it took my breath away. And he’s all mine! He was lying on the couch shirtless with his arm around me. I had my head on his shoulder. He stroked my hair, telling me how much he loved me. I felt so happy and content. Life was wonderful. He lifted my face to his.

I love you and you can be sure that I will always be here for you no matter what. I'll never leave you as he did.

I knew he meant it. His eyes were so sincere and I felt overwhelmed and completely loved for the first time in my life. He kissed me tenderly at first. His lips were soft and moist. I felt a surge of warmth flooding my body. Then his kisses became more urgent and I felt like I would utterly explode with desire. I wanted him to make love to me desperately.

He started to unbutton my blouse and then slipped it over my shoulders, all the while kissing me passionately. He rolled towards me and pressed himself against me. I could feel him hot and hard and hear his breathing getting heavier. I'd never felt so out of control in my life! He undid my bra and gently started caressing my breasts. Every part of my body was alive and aching for him now. I couldn’t hold back any longer and started to rub up against him while unbuttoning his shorts. Oh, how I wanted to rip his pants off! Within minutes he was above me and then inside me. Oh my God, it felt good! He was so hard and I could feel every inch. I lost myself in the moment and relaxed completely. This was so amazing and I didn’t want it to end. Every part of my body felt unbelievable. My skin was awakened to every sensation, every touch. He kissed my neck, my lips, my breasts….

Please don’t be over quickly. I wanted this feeling to last forever.

I shouldn’t have worried. He took me to the edge and then stopped, leaving me begging for more time and time again. He teased me over and over then rewarded me by making my whole body shake with ecstasy. Every stroke felt like heaven. His body was so beautiful and felt so at home between my legs. His lovemaking took me to the heights of ecstasy as I felt myself shuddering against him again and again— my first ever multiple orgasm!

I was totally exhausted but felt wonderful. I had never been made love to like that and never felt such rapture, such love. I was totally and utterly satisfied. He was the most amazing and considerate lover. I snuggled up to him and he smiled at me and pulled me close.

Always remember that I love you, no matter what. Promise me.

I promise, I replied. I love you too.

We lay there for ages with him stroking my hair.


I woke to the sun streaming through the window. I was lying alone on the couch and was fully dressed! I felt a little confused. Had it been a dream? Surely I couldn’t dream that! I got up and started to search the house for my dream lover. There was no sign of anyone else ever being there. I must have fallen asleep watching DVD’s and dreamt the whole thing. I sat down, puzzled. It certainly felt real, very real. And my body still remembered his touch vividly. What was going on? Was I losing it?

I was puzzled. Where did he come from? Obviously, he wasn’t here last night before I fell asleep on the couch. I didn’t even know his name. But he must be the dark haired man that I dreamt of almost every night. Was my dream lover actually visiting me or was this just a figment of my imagination? I felt disappointed but at the same time strangely content. Once again I had that amazing feeling as if I was finally alive and nothing could ever hurt me again. If it was just a dream . . . well, then I would look forward to going to sleep every night!

Chapter 5


As my holiday at the beach house flew by, I enjoyed the beautiful weather, lovely beach, awesome views, peace, tranquility . . . and wonderful dreams!

I resigned myself to the fact that I'd dreamt the whole experience with my lover. Maybe, somehow, it was more than that . . . but all I knew was that every time I was totally relaxed or asleep he was there. I slept late, swam in the ocean, read, watched movies and just totally regenerated from the devastation I felt just over a week ago. And in my dreams he'd come to me and literally wipe away all the stresses of the world. Bad memories were replaced with new visions of love. This was the life!

But soon I'd have to get back to reality. How I'd miss this little recluse, but I was also looking forward to going back to work soon and catching up with my friends. I loved my job and my friends were a lot of fun. I hadn’t even told any of them about Paul yet. Would I mention the new man in my life? Or should I keep him all to myself? Since he was probably  just an illusion, I opted to keep quiet.

I grabbed my iPod and stepped out onto the patio. It was another beautiful day, so I thought I'd chill out on the deck lounge and listen to music. The sun felt nice on my skin and a soft breeze was blowing the wind chimes just a little. I snuggled down, put my earplugs in and switched on my iPod, closing my eyes . . .


You make me feel so wonderful, I said, looking up at his angelic face. Where did you come from?

He smiled that beautiful smile of his.

I've always been with you, my love, always just a whisper away. I watch you from afar, making sure you are safe. You cannot see me, which is saddening. But you feel me, I know you do. That's enough for me for now, he answered. When you are asleep and your mind is open I can come to you and show you my love. You feel my caresses and hear my voice. This is my time with you and I savour it more than you can imagine. I wait patiently for you to fall asleep, my darling, so I can show you what it is to be loved completely.

He bent down and kissed me. I felt a wave of passion sweep over me.

I long for this too, my sweet, more than you know, I answered.

He picked me up in his arms and carried me inside. The bed cover felt cool compared to the warmth of the sun. I could feel his heart beating faster and his breathing was getting louder. My own heart was racing and, once again, my senses were alive. My insides ached for him, but he wasn’t one for rushing. He gently teased me with his lips, his fingers and his tongue. Oh God, his tongue! He did amazing things with his tongue! I could hardly control myself. He was masterful at his art and knew exactly when to stop. He seemed to enjoy torturing me and making me beg. His skin was so soft and smooth and I loved the feeling of his naked torso brushing against mine. Everything about him was beautiful. When his hands touched me it was almost electric. No matter what part of me he touched I tingled all over. Nothing or no one had ever made me feel this way. I wanted him now like I'd never wanted anything in my life.

He moved up closer to me, positioning his body above me as if reading my mind.

My eyes must have been pleading with him.

Yes, I am ready!!!!

He paused . . .

I heard a crow squawk and woke with a start, once again lying outside on the deck lounge with my iPod.

“Damn it!” I cursed. "Stupid bird!

I felt frustrated and annoyed. I tried to get back to sleep but was too wound up and couldn’t relax.

Oh well, to be continued tonight, I thought to myself.

I decided a cold swim was in order!

Chapter 6


Jenny kept looking at the clock. God, it was quiet tonight! She should have closed up early but needed this business to do well. She was really putting in the hours now. She had always been a talented designer and decided to open her own boutique. It was doing quite well, but she needed that big break before making her first million.

9 p.m.! Finally she could close up and head home. She'd been working all week and was looking forward to a hot bath and a glass of wine.

She punched the numbers into the alarm pad and quickly went out the door, locking it behind her. Her car was just across the road, which was good because the street was pretty deserted now. She started to walk across and then noticed the man. He was standing in the alley just back a bit from her car. Her heart started thumping. God, what to do now? She could go back into the shop and wait until he'd gone. Or maybe she should just get her keys ready and enter the car as quickly as possible, locking the doors straight away? She decided on the latter— a decision she regretted almost immediately.

He lunged at her as soon as she neared her car, grabbing her from behind and putting a knife to her throat. She was so scared she forgot all about her self-defense training. She couldn’t see his face but knew he was white from his arm.

He never said a word, dragging her into the alley while holding the knife close to her throat. Her mind was racing.

God, please don’t let him rape me or kill me!  She silently pleaded.

She told him she had money in her purse, hoping this was just a mugging. But as soon as she opened her mouth he pushed the blade harder into her skin.

Panicked, she tried to struggle. This made him angry and he threw her onto the ground. She hit her head hard on the pavement and started to feel groggy.

As he tried to remove her underwear, she fought weakly. His strength overwhelmed her easily and he pinned her down with one arm while removing her panties with the other. She felt dizzy and nauseas. She knew she was going to die. He started to remove his own pants. She knew what was coming and was helpless to stop it. Her head wound seeped blood onto the concrete and she could feel the world fading away.

Why was this happening now just as she was starting to get her life together? She was a good person . . . why didn’t God stop this from happening?

Please, please don’t let him rape me, she begged inside her head.

Something moved in her peripheral vision then suddenly vanished. Her assailant disappeared. She could hear a man screaming and what sounded like an animal growling and hissing. Too disoriented to realise what was happening around her, she went numb. Nothing mattered except the rapist didn’t return. There was crashing and banging and what sounded vaguely like slurping.

After what seemed like an eternity, Jenny felt herself being picked up and carried in strong arms. These were not the arms of her assailant, but rather comforting arms. She no longer felt in danger and knew, somehow, that she was safe and protected. She'd been spared and someone— or something— was now telling her she'd be okay. Just hang in there, said a voice, and you'll be fine.

The next thing she remembered was waking up in the hospital.

                                                      * * *

Nana sat staring at the computer screen.

"I wish these darn people would write in capitals or in a bigger font so I could bloody well read what they're trying to tell me!" She sighed. She had spent the evening trying to upload photos onto one of her many web pages, in between reading emails and messages from friends. Her eyes were getting tired and she was starting to see double.

"Oh well, Freddie, time to shut you down and try to catch up on some much needed sleep."

She knew sleep would probably elude her as it usually did when her mind was racing. But she needed to at least try. Even a few hours would do her some good.

The computer screen went black and she stood up, stretching her aching back. Sitting hunched over a computer screen wasn't exactly good for her arthritis, but she loved interacting with people. It could get very lonely in this big old house. Her husband had died a long time ago and her only son had disappeared. Nana and her daughter had searched and searched long after the cops had given up. She just didn’t believe he was dead. She thought she would feel it if he was.

She pushed the chair in and walked down the hallway.


The young man waited outside in the shadows for the woman inside to go to bed.

I thought these old ducks went to bed early? He thought to himself, annoyed.

It was already after 1 a.m. and he'd been waiting for what seemed like an eternity.

He didn't want to hurt her. He just needed to get in and get out quickly, grab whatever crap was easy to hock off or swap for drugs. Laptops, cameras, mobile phones, etc — all were  used as currency in the drug world, almost as good as cash. He could see her handbag sitting right there on the table. Very helpful! 

Finally the light went out. He'd been casing her house out for the last few nights trying to figure a way in without making too much noise. He was pretty sure he'd found it. The cat door wasn't too far away from the door lock and she always left her keys dangling. He grabbed one of the bamboo stakes out of her garden and carefully maneuvered it through the cat door and into the key ring. The trick now was not to pull the keys out too fast and have them fall on the floor. The last thing he wanted to do was wake up the old biddy.

Very slowly and carefully, he pulled the keys out of the lock and lowered them down and through the cat door. Mission accomplished! Now he just had to unlock the door and he was in!

It always made it easier when they didn’t have a dog. He was scared of dogs and always avoided those houses.

He quietly made his way over to the table. He could see her handbag clearly. Opening it, he peered inside. Jackpot! Purse, camera and mobile! This would do just nicely. There wasn’t a lot of cash, but combined with the other goodies this haul would do just fine. 

Now to get out of here.


Nana crept up behind the thief. She could hear her heart beating in her ears and was positive he must be able to hear it, too. She knew she should just let him take her handbag and not try and stop him. But that money had to last her until next pension day and the camera had pictures of her grandchildren she hadn’t yet downloaded. She kept a mini baseball bat under her pillow and was going to knock him out with it! She had already dialed 000 and left the phone off the hook. Hopefully the cops were on the way.

He turned around just in time to see the baseball bat coming down and ducked. It smacked onto his shoulder and he cried out in pain, dropping the handbag on the floor. Out spilled the contents.

“What did you do that for, you stupid bitch? All I wanted was the fucking handbag! You should've just let me take it!” he yelled. Losing control, he struck her across the head, sending her reeling backwards.

“I didn’t want to hurt you, I just need the money!”

“You need money for what, drugs? Then why don’t you get a job and stop stealing off people who actually need that money to survive? This is what I need to eat for the next two weeks!” she yelled back.

He was getting angry now. He hadn’t wanted a confrontation, just a quiet slip in and out. Then he'd be off to get his fix. He didn't need this sob story bullshit!

“Look lady, just stay out of my way. I'm taking your money and that's that. Not a damn thing you can do about it!”

He knelt down, picked up the handbag and started piling everything back into it. The old bitch had seen him now . . . and that wasn’t part of the plan. What if she'd already rung the cops? He really had to get off this shit as it was turning him into a thief and woman basher.

“Just one more hit,” he said out loud. “I'll give it up after that.”


The addict didn’t see the figure lurking in the shadows, watching and waiting.

Looking down at the bag and not watching where he was going, he walked smack into what felt like a brick wall.

“Fuck!” He said rubbing his head. He lifted his head and came eye to eye with a monster.

His jaw dropped and his eyes opened wide. He froze.

It was about 6 feet tall with long dark hair that was matted to its head. Its eyes were piercing blue, almost white. Fangs protruded from its mouth. It was covered from head to toe in blood and looking right at him . . . growling.

He tried to move but the monster grabbed him with a clawed hand and effortlessly lifted him off the ground.

Nana was peeking around the corner. She stifled a scream and froze, horrified but intrigued.

“Give the lady back her handbag,” it snarled. “Give up the drugs, get a job, and stop stealing from innocent people. Or I WILL be back, comprendo? You're very lucky that I've already eaten tonight.”

The addict nodded his head vigorously.

“Y-Yeah, sure I will,” he stuttered.

The thing threw him against the fence. He fell to the ground hard. It looked at him and hissed. He threw the bag on the ground and limped off as fast as he could go.

It turned around and saw Nana watching. She ducked back around the corner hoping it hadn’t spotted her. Her breathing was getting laboured and she realised her inhaler was in her handbag.

“Maybe it's gone,” she thought to herself.

She slowly crept back round the corner and came face to face with it.

Gasping, she stepped back. It walked towards her. She didn’t know what to do. She certainly couldn’t outrun it.

Something in its stature seemed familiar and its eyes seemed almost sad. She didn’t feel afraid anymore and sensed it was here to help her.

It bent down, picked up the handbag, and handed it to her. Then she thought it tried to smile, but it looked more like a grimace with teeth covered in blood. It opened its mouth as if to say something when the sound of sirens interrupted.

The knock on the door gave Nana a start and she spun round. She turned back to thank the thing for helping her, but it was gone.


He hung his head sadly. He had wanted to tell her, but how could he? It was obvious that she was terrified of him. She shied away from him and stared at him as if he was a monster.

That was his life now, scaring people. He was destined to live in the shadows, away from the light, hiding where people couldn’t see his face. It was a fate worse than death, never again to be surrounded by loved ones or friends. He was hideous.

A Monster.   

Even his own mother hadn't recognised him!
END OF PREVIEW........ :)

Please feel free to leave a comment or feedback.


No comments:

Post a Comment