Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
mickeyjohn would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Once Upon A Nightmare

By mickeyjohn All Rights Reserved ©

Romance / Fantasy

prologue

Fear has an aged flavor; it tastes how you might imagine the common thread of all humanity to taste, like air, like a hundred lives at once.

My hunger is mild, compared to some. I'm the fear of hell. My primary victims sleep in jail cells and Christian monasteries. No one's handing out dream pills to convicts. I should share the precious mind in my hands. Instead I run my fingers along its soft, milky surface as if it belongs only to me. An average mind is about the size of a plump grapefruit. "Hello, sweetheart," I murmur, bringing the glowing orb close to my face, stroking the edge of its barrier with a finger. "Let me have a look at you."

It belongs to a girl—more than that, a teenage girl in America.

So many Nightmares howl for her insecurities, beg for what frightens someone of her gender, culture, and age. The fear of high school acceptance? The fear of romantic rejection? The fear of ugliness? They're starving, because most of the minds they feed on are forced into artificial dreams of bliss by the pill.

I can't let this mind get lost in the billions of others. Her mind expands in my practiced hands and I slip through her Circadian Clock, stepping into the traffic of her organic dreams. My arrival melts the chaos into the deepest stage of sleep—my territory. For a moment, I wait, letting her mind work on its own. The passages of her psyche drip with sweet darkness.

Minds nowadays are so shallow; the influx of media and fast solutions to pain have robbed them of the ability to create. Not so with hers. If anything, she's oversaturated with imagination—it's like trying to walk through a swamp. Her hyper-charged subconscious quickly notices me, breathing up my neck and into my hair. The strength of her sudden focus is so strong, I take a nervous step back, and when I do, a tendril of her subconscious reach es out and latches to my wrist. Tight, like scribbled lightning up my arm.

"What the . . .?" I mutter, trying to shake it off. But another tentacle sucks onto my ankle, until soon all my limbs are incapacitated, strings of her subconscious trapping me like some kind of web.

I struggle to at least free my arms, but she only holds harder. More tendrils wind up my throat as if to choke me.

The nightmare. Start the nightmare.

Eagerness pulses through her mind. She's asking for it, petting me like a stray pet, whispering feed me in my ear, and I—

—am afraid.

"Get off,"I gasp, summoning the fire and brimstone of hell and releasing it in a surge of desperation.

She lets go. I breathe heavily, on my side. There's a faint smell of smoke in the air. I sit up, and immediately see her ruined Circadian Clock. The middle is broken and charred; the hands have stopped moving.

The portal is gone.

No.

I rush over and touch the wood, trying not to panic. It can't just be . . . broken. Dread trickles down my spine. Did I do this? Or did her insane, clinging mind?

Out—

I have to get out, now.

I spin, igniting her mind into a blazing nightmare. I'm overdoing it, I know, but it has the desired effect. After only a few minutes, I'm nearly choking on her fear and her mind shakes her awake, desperate to escape the terror of the nightmare. I wait for the pull of the Circadian Clock, the portal which should send me home. She's waking up; I should have no choice.

As the girl bolts up in her bed, gasping and sweating, her subconscious shrinks and her conscious mind takes full dominance. I expect to jettison back . . . but nothing happens.

I'm trapped, stuffed into a dark closet until she falls asleep again.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Felisa Yoder Osburn: I really enjoyed the story. Civil War stories are some of my favorites and the intertwining of the past with current times was wonderful. I look forward to reading the next stories.

Alex Reltin: This is a great story! I love how well you go into detail and emotions of Capri, and Mel. You have amazing dialogue and overall it's just a thrill to read!The only critique I could find is that some of the paragraphs should be separated. For example:-"If Nia would have just let me take the car an...

Lauren Suzmeyan-Raine: I'm so glad you found a place to post your stories. I was horrified when I saw yours had been taken down, they are definitely the best 'reading' stories I've ever read. And I've made it my business to read every one I can. Well done.Lauren

Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...

Alice Liu: Whoa! I've been wondering how would the Maurauders react to Harry's life and here we go! YOU ARE THE BEST! All the characters are consistent with their personalities shown in the book! I love how you compare Lily with Molly and it's definitely true for her being a mother! I wish Peter comes have ...

Marijana1: The melancholy present throughout this story has the power to influence and etch into the minds of the readers, to stay there and refuse to leave even after they have finished reading the story. This is a deep, powerful story, making the readers wonder about everything – about love, about their e...

Silviu-Dan Mateescu: I was very, very impressed with this story. Great plot and pacing, likeable characters. very pleasant writing style. I think the author is very talented and hope this is the beginning of a series which I believe will be very successful. Some minor formatting errors, like missing words, but they d...

Jenn Deering: This is a go-to story for when you're needing a little happiness in your life. It's well-crafted, and characters are true to their show-selves. The pace is right, there are minimal grammatical errors, and the plot is fresh.

Jean Tryon: As a beta, I found this story outstanding!! Plot, grammar, phraseology, etc Rachel gives us it all. She takes the story into the future from where due South ends. She is an exacting and thoughtful author.

More Recommendations

jessiehs: This was absolutely amazing. I loved how it went back and forth between perspectives. I actually cried at the end I was so happy. This was amazing. I can't even think of another word to describe it. Thank you for writing his.

ernbelle: When I first started this story I was a little unsettled by all of the information that appears in the prologue, and wasn't sure if I would continue. However, I am very glad I did. The plot was very well thought out and really interesting. There were not any page breaks or markers to acknowledge ...

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral stories!
King's Lament

FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"

The Cyneweard

Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral story!
Spectra

Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."