Author : Debbie Mac Rory

Jennifer staggered and fell to the ground. Barely feeling the impact, she forced herself forward, straining her tired legs to run faster.

Throwing a glance back over her shoulder, she let out a strangled cry. The strange figure was still there. She willed herself faster, straining to reach the peak of the dune ahead as her feet slipped and sank in the fine black grains.


Jennifer’s breath caught in her throat and she stumbled to a halt. It had never called her by name before.

“Jenny, do not run away from me”

Jennifer turned, something in the voice compelling her. A man dressed all in black stood at the bottom of the slope, extending one gloved hand towards her.

“Come here”.

Slowly she began to move towards him. Something in her mind screamed at her to run, to keep running, not to go near this too-solid stranger, but her legs moved with a power of their own, and within moments she stood facing him.

He smiled as he placed his hands on her shoulders, leaning forward to whisper to her. Her eyes rolled back in her head and he caught her weight easily as her body went limp. He lay her down on the ground and turned on his heel, vanished from the disintegrating dreamscape.


Derek’s hands quivered as he took a long pull from his cigarette. He started suspiciously across the table at the man seated opposite him, seemingly asleep with the points of three fingers resting gently against his temple. He drew hard on the cigarette, starting at the credit chip lying on the table in front of him. He looked up again to see the stranger’s sharp blue eyes regarding him and jumped, spilling ash across the fine linen of his trousers. Silence stretched for what seemed like long moments…

“It’s done?” he demanded, impatience making his voice harsh.

“It is done” the stranger said, sitting upright and stretching languorously. “She was already dreaming, so investigators will find nothing. They will probably settle on heart failure, an autopsy will show nothing”.

Derek heaved a sigh of relief, stretching some of the tightness from his shoulders. He took another drag on the cigarette, before picking up the credit chip and tossing it across the table. The black clad man still smiling cocked his head to look at the chip for a moment, before reaching to pick it up.

“Paying in full”, Derek said, watching his associate twirl the chip in his fingers. “And yeah the thing’s unmarked. Don’t ya think I know how easily ya could track me down if I tried cheatin’ ya?”

The stranger’s smile broadened to a wide grin. He stood and tucked the chip into his jacket pocket. “A pleasure to complete business with you” he purred, turning on his heel to stride out the door.

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