Welcome to Part 8 of The Psychology of Dreams, in which things turn dark. Awe, come on! You knew they would, didn’t you?
What if you got punished when you didn’t get your dreams right? That’s the dilemma our heroin, Leah, and her psychology of dreams teacher, Al. The Psychology of Dreams 101 is a romp into the sexy unconscious as Leah Kent takes a Psychology of Dreams adult education class, only to discover that the required Dream Journal leads to some seriously kinky night journeys.
No, I didn’t dream it, and I’m seriously hoping I don’t get punished like Leah and Al do if I don’t get it quite right, but The Psychology of Dreams did bubble up from somewhere in my unconscious and I had to share it. Since then,the Muse has been back knocking around in my imagination in some pretty unusual ways, and never taking the path I’d expect, but then dreams are like that, aren’t they? Enjoy episode 8!
I have no idea how long this little ditty will be, nor where it will lead, but I’m willing if you are. Please, read and enjoy The Psychology of Dreams 101.
WARNING ADULT CONTENT! It occurred to me halfway through writing this episode of The Psychology of Dreams that this little tale might be a bit of a shock for those who just finished reading In The Flesh. While In The Flesh is dark paranormal romance, The Psychology of Dreams is just raunchy, fun erotica, a bit of light relief after Magda and her Consortium. Be warned, light it may be, but filthy it most certainly is. Enjoy!
Chapter 8 In The Dark
“In a coma.” Leah repeated the words in barely more than a whisper. A wave of vertigo washed over her and the diner suddenly tilted as though they were on the deck of a ship at sea. “In a coma,” she said again, a little louder, and the lovers shot her a worried glance from across their sundae, full spoons halfway to their mouths. Before she realized what was happening she grabbed Al by the shirtsleeve and all but dragged him from the booth, with him slapping down twenty dollars for the untouched food as she headed for the door, the lovers and the waitress looking on.
“Leah. Leah! What are you doing?”
She shoved through the door, him right behind her. “I’m going to your car and you’re going to drive us to Dr. Clyde and have him undo the hypnosis and then,” she turned so fast that he all but ran into her, and they stood nose to nose in the darkened parking lot, “then I’ll have a thought as to whether I want to bring charges.”
He grabbed her arm and pulled her back so quickly that the vertebrae in her neck popped in protest. “What are you going to charge him with, Leah? What? I can’t prove he’s done anything, and it wasn’t like the dreams were bad, was it?”
“And that’s another thing,” she said, jerking her arm away so hard that she nearly went over backward, “you were in the dream; you seem to know exactly what was going on or how else would you know that he’s manipulating my dreams unless you’re doing the same thing?”
“Seriously? You think I would do that?” He seemed offended by the obvious.
“Under the circumstances, what the hell do you expect me to think? And if it’s not so, then how about we ask the good doctor to send us into your dream instead of mine, hmm? How about we give that a try?”
“Christ, Leah, do you really think it’s that simple? You make it sound like Derrick is going to put us on a plane and send us to Mexico or something. It doesn’t work that way, and I really don’t want to discuss this with you in the parking lot at Eddie’s Diner.” He took her arm again, this time more gently, and she didn’t protest as he guided her to his car. “Get in.”
She settled into the care in another wave of vertigo, struggling to get her head around the horror story he’d just told her and the fear that she might have just landed in the middle of her own nightmare. When the feeling of being at sea passed and she could focus again, she realized they were heading out Highway 26 toward Mount Hood, and she was fine with that, though it disturbed her a bit that she still trusted him. Once again, in spite of all his reassurances to the contrary, she wondered if they were still in a dream.
When he remained silent, offering no information, she screwed up her courage and asked what happened next, even though she was pretty sure she would be sorry she asked.
For a long moment, she thought he was ‘t going to answer her, and she was about to ask again, more adamantly, when he hauled a deep breath into his lungs and spoke. “Obviously I couldn’t wake them up, but I could find nothing wrong either of them. For all practical purposes, they seemed to be simply sleeping, only no matter what I did, I couldn’t wake them of. Of course I wanted to make it right as soon as possible, I thought if I could pull them out of it before morning, then I would send Diana on her way, that was the woman’s name. She was a mutual friend – and no one would be the wiser. As for Derrick, well I wasn’t sure if I’d kill him or just beat the shit out of him. I was bigger then. I worked out in a boxing gym for stress relief, lifted a few weights.” She could see the curve of his lips in the pale lighting of the dashboard, a smile that was anything but happy, as he found himself transported into the past he’d rather not remember. “Looks like we’ve changed roles. Though I haven’t seen him since …” His voice drifted off and she could almost hear him thinking.
“I tried everything I could think of. You have to understand, I was scared. I was desperate.”
“What did you do?” The feeling of dread around her was thicker than the darkness in the evergreen woods on both sides of the road.
He glanced over at her as though she’d just asked the stupidest question ever. “I did the only thing I could do. I entered their dream.”
“Like you did mine?”
His laugh was nearly a growl, surprising in its bitterness. “Oh it was nothing like what’s happening with you, Leah. I didn’t come into your dream intentionally. You dreamed me there, and I have no idea how I actually became conscious of being there.”
“Then what?” She asked, seriously not wanting to know the answer and yet knowing she had to – needed to.
“I did the self-hypnosis ritual we’d been perfecting, careful to make sure all the safeties were in place. I was always the most safety conscious of the two of us, and yet it was Derrick’s willingness to take a risk that had been responsible for a log of our break-throughs. Anyway, never mind that. It doesn’t matter now, except that it would appear nothing has changed. In my case, it was wise to take every precaution though. I was the only one in the waking world who had a clue how to deal with what was going on, and even I could barely get my head round it. I was afraid they wouldn’t let me in. That was always a possibility, that a subject wouldn’t let us in or they’d push us out. It happened occasionally. In fact it was responsible for almost 75% of our failures. I needn’t have worried though. Derrick all but dragged me on by the collar.”
“What, did he want you for a bit of ménage? Was that it?”
“He needed my help.”
“To talk Diana back from the dream.”
“Jesus,” she whispered, as another wave of vertigo hit, and she laid her head back against the seat and forced her feet hard against the floorboard to keep the car from tilting.
He continued. “I found them both in the middle of some dark city. I didn’t recognize it, but it was a sea of skyscrapers that went on forever. You know how dreams are. The were so high that, from the roof, you could barely see the street below, and they were standing on the roof of the highest one.’
There was another pause as he turned off highway 26 onto a forest service road that led deep into the woods, and her chest clenched and vertigo gave way to panic.
“Where are you taking me?” She undid her seatbelt, ready to leap from the car, which had slowed for the turn. “Al where the hell are you taking me?”
“Leah! Leah, calm down.” He stopped the car gently, and reached across to touch her shoulder, and the panic dissipated with the sound of his voice. “I’m sorry, Leah. I didn’t mean to frighten you. I should have asked first before I decided to bring you here. It’s just a campground where my parents used to take me when I was a kid. We always spent a week here at huckleberry picking time.”
That still didn’t make her feel really comfortable, but then nothing did right now.
“I can go somewhere else if you’d like. It’s just that I wanted … I just wanted to be some place neutral, you know, someplace with good memories attached to it.” When she made no effort to jump out of the car and make a run for it — not that she was sure her legs would have supported her anyway – he reached across her and buckled the belt back around her.
“No it’s fine. I’m fine.” She wasn’t, but she reminded herself again that she wasn’t likely to be any better wherever they were.
He started the engine again, and they drove in silence for a few more minutes before he turned into the deserted campground and, in another wave of vertigo, her adrenaline spiked at all the horrid possibilities of being alone with a man she barely knew, and yet here she was. Here they were, and Al was the only one who could tell her what was going on. He drove to a grassy spot near the back of the campground where a stream gurgled softly over rocks, and she couldn’t help feeling they were still in a dream, though a peaceful dream. Well, peaceful at least for the moment. No doubt that would change when he continued his tale.
“Are you sure you’re all right?” He asked.
“No. I’m not all right, but here’s fine. It’s nice.”
“Leah, I would never hurt you.”
“I know.” And she did, thought she didn’t know how she knew. She opened the door and stepped out into the velvety warmth of one of the few summer nights in the Northwest that didn’t have at least a little nip to it. Not looking to see if he followed suit, she moved across the grass and sat down by the edge of the water, which filled the quiet night with its tinkle and murmur. Somewhere close by an owl trilled in the trees. Al came and sat beside her. For a moment neither of
them said anything. For a moment she wanted to pretend that everything was normal. For a moment she wanted to pretend that they were just two lovers who had found a lovely spot for some sex al fresco and, for a moment, she wanted pull him down on the grass and make love to him. For a moment she knew he would let her if she did. She brushed her hand against his and he caught her fingers in his slightly calloused ones and gave them a squeeze. She was just about to lean on and kiss him when he shattered all illusion.
“I said that Derrick was trying to talk Diana back from the dream. It was more than that, Leah, way more than that. He was trying to talk her back from the rooftop. She was about to jump.”