{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.
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 copies left
You can choose from our best books below
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.

Stephen Warner: To start off, I am thoroughly impressed. The writing style is somewhat unique, and the plot seemed to move at a nice and steady pace. However, I was not expecting this to be a vampire book! I am usually not one for novels about vampires, but I was pleasantly surprised! You wrote with such grace a...

genlynne2379: I read the other review of this book and I must say that I disagree with it wholeheartedly. I do not believe the author put the apostrophes in the names just to be unique, but because the characters are supposedly of a different race than humans. They are Anmah. They should have different names a...

PokemænStivo: I have just finished reading this novel and I love it!First, the plot was very well designed. It tells the story of a person nearly kill herself. But then someone appears in her life. Someone who was already in this situation and came out of it. Someone who could hear, understand and help the oth...

Bri Hoffer: I couldn't put it down!! The characters are all incredibly likable, and it's so descriptive you can see, smell, and feel thier surroundings. Great story, and very well written. I cannot wait for follow up stories. there were a few grammatical errors, but nothing that I could move right over.

rihannabkj2: Great story,I can hardly stop reading this novel. it shows that compassion and love can still exist after so many years between two persons. I most say well done to the Author who wrote this book. Others should read this book inorder to know that there can still be LOVE among two persons no matt...

263Adder: Okay so I adore this story. I only knocked one star off plot for historical inaccuracies because I'm a bit of a stickler for that. The ending broke my heart though, considering you already changed history couldn't you (SPOILER) change it a bit more and have them together!!!! I want an alternative...

Shweta Somwanshi: I just chose to read this out of nowhere and now I can't stop. Hats off to the author who made the reader swoon away with words so beautifully! I loved how I was able to imagine everything so explicitly because the writing was simple and easily comprehensive with a touch of complexity somewhere b...

Atractivo Sumit: The story is an amazing blend of what we call natural, plain romance along with subtle emotions and interesting twists. The plot is so beautifully interwoven.

More Recommendations

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...

Shreya Biswas: Finally god...... I was tired of Charissa doubting Frederick's love... yes.. All's well that ends well.... i was getting really downright agitated at the author because the suspense was held really well on how things will work out in the epilogue and i just wanted them to have a happy ending.. An...

Dessie Williams: loved the book. the plot the characters all just great.I think it's a must read. once you start this book it's hard to put down. hope it gets published....I think this book is a must read.great job!!!!

izzymerchant: This book is truly special. The plot, the characters and the way the story flows is so engrossing and magical that I found it virtually impossible to put down. The character relationships were particularly fascinating and Melenthia's character was fascinating. Cannot wait to see what happens next!

LeahWrites: I love your use of writer's craft and how you use figurative language to enhance your writing. It great how you didn't have any spelling or grammar issues.

Sandra Estrada: I loved every minute of it and I thank my lucky stars that brought me to the story, it's been a whirlwind of emotions, plot twist after plot twist but I never got tired of them. Abby and Kade's story is a hard one to understand but once you're submerged in their story and love, you can't help but...

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.