Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Ones Who Stayed Behind--A short story WIP

I started this last night, and it's actually a spin off from Tell Me Your Dreams, which I hope to enhance in the near future. I'd love your opinions on what you think of this. It's not my normal genre, although there will be a mystery aspect. It's also slipstream, which is something I've never tried before. All crits and comments are definitely welcome.


"Goodnight, Ms. Barnes."

"Goodnight, Jamie. Have a great weekend, and don't bother locking up I'm shutting down early tonight myself."

Closing the file on Sylvia Scott, Jenna Barnes breathed a sigh of relief and satisfaction. Contrary to what most people believed, nightmares weren't always just dreams. Some became real, terrifying and deadly. The human psyche had an amazing ability to create things. Things that could actually manifest. Things that could not only scare you, but trap you forever in the nightmare of your dreams.

Leaning back she closed her eyes, allowing the quiet to relax the stiff muscles around her neck and shoulders. She felt it then. The slight chill in the room. Another amazing aspect of the human psyche. The subtle ability to sense what we can't see. The physical reaction to an unknown mental stimulation. The room grew colder. She could feel the hair rising on the back of her neck. The slight increase in heartbeat accompanied by shorter breaths. A surge of adrenaline creating a strange sensation in her bowels that slowly spread upward, down her arms, causing a slight tremor in her hands as they gripped the arms of the chair. Someone was watching her.

Opening her eyes she watched as her breath formed a small stream of mist. He was standing in the doorway, watching her with huge pale eyes the color of a cold morning grey mist. He was young. Five, maybe six. Sandy blonde curls were tousled as if he'd just woken. His clothing was period, but it was his feet that bothered her most. Barefoot and covered in mud that left small impressions on her Rose colored carpet. "I'm sorry, I didn't hear you come in. I'm Dr. Jenna Barnes. And you are?"

"Matthew. My friends call me Mattie." He took a step into the room. "Are you the dream lady?"

"Some people call me that. Are you having bad dreams, Mattie?"

He nodded, shuffling one foot in front of him. "She wants to stay with them, but I don't want to."

Moving slowly Jenna reached for a note pad and jotted down several notes. A million questions were racing through her mind, but she knew she had to go slow. He needed to be able to trust her, and she would have to earn that trust. "Would you like to talk about it?"

He nodded, taking one step closer to the sofa. "It's my birthday."

"Really? Well, happy birthday. And that makes you how old?"

Reaching the sofa he rubbed one hand up and down the arm. "Six."

"You can sit down if you'd like, Mattie."

He walked slowly around the sofa, letting one hand slide gently over the fabric. "You can't help me can you?"

Jenna felt her heartbeat quicken as she sensed his retreat. She was going to lose him unless she acted quickly. And she knew she had to be honest with him if she was going to gain his trust. "I think I can, Mattie. Maybe not exactly in the way you really want, but I can help."

"I have to go now." He let his hand slide slowly along the back of the sofa, head bowed as he moved slowly toward the door.

"Would you like to make an appointment to come back? I'd really like to talk to you about your dreams."

He nodded, stopping just inside the doorway. Grabbing her appointment book Jenna turned the page. "How about the same time tomorrow?"

He nodded again, shuffling his feet slowly toward the front door. He turned, hand on the doorknob, pale eyes misty. "You know they're not really dreams, don't you?"

Jenna swallowed hard, trying to dislodge the lump that threatened to choke her. "Yes, Mattie, I know they're not really dreams."

# # #

Love the mystery and suspense of the The Killing? Check out The Jacody Ives Mysteries.


  1. Ooo...yes. Definitely continue (FB question). Fabulous beginning, very chilling and mysterious. I think this has a ton of potential...

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Grabbed me, and I didn't want to be grabbed! Yes, keep going!

  3. Keep going . . . really good horror story building here.

  4. Yes---keep on with this intriguing start!