The Darkest Dream (The Darkest Trilogy Book 1)

By: Michelle Brewer



For Miss Murray—




This story began nearly fifteen (!) years ago as a short story assigned by my Freshman year English teacher. It was supposed to be, at most, five pages long. I turned in five times that, at the very least.



Thank you for not only supporting me, but for encouraging me always.





Prologue





In my dream, I watched from a distance. She was a beautiful girl, much older than my current seven years of age. Her hair was a rich golden blonde, with soft subtle curls. She wore a long and elegant gown.

It wasn’t until she turned around that I saw her eyes. They were the same as mine—bright green orbs, staring right through me.

For a moment, I thought the girl was my mother.

But it wasn’t her. Those were my eyes—and that girl was me .

She must have been around seventeen—her features the same as those I currently wore, only much more mature. She was grown up, and she was so pretty.

I couldn’t deny the pleasure I felt upon seeing how much I resembled my mother.

She had always been so vibrant.

Unlike me, though, the older girl was not smiling as I looked upon her. She was surrounded by darkness—the kind of suffocating darkness that never seemed to end, and I could tell that she was trapped there, caged in by the unknown that surrounded her.

Strangely enough, I was reminded of the ocean—a warm, salty scent filling my senses. I thought of the vacation my family had once taken to Hawaii—laying on the beach, the ocean all around us.

Again, I looked to the girl surrounded by darkness, her dress trailing behind her.

She looked so sad there, and so very alone. I wanted to help her, but I couldn’t.

I couldn’t reach her.

And then he arrived. A man emerged from the darkness—hardly more than a shadow himself—and suddenly the older version of me began to glow.

She smiled at the dark haired man as he took her into his arms, and I knew even from this distance that she belonged with him. There was a perfection in their grace as they casually began to sway, almost as if dancing, that even in my youth, I could not ignore.





Chapter One





I sat at the counter, drumming my fingers lightly on the surface as I glanced up at the clock for what felt like the millionth time in only the last few minutes. Sighing, I returned my attention to the countertop. The thought of repainting my fingernails crossed my mind briefly before it was swept away by the hand ticking ever-so-slowly around the face of the clock.

Time was dragging. A young woman walked past me and I smiled warmly at her before turning my attention back to the surface below my rhythmically tapping fingers, yawning quietly.

By the time I looked up again, the hand had finally struck the mark I had been waiting for. The Masons’, whose daughter Phoebe I had been best friends with for as long as I could remember, had a five minute policy. Five minutes early, five minutes late—no docking of pay.

I jumped off the stool and grabbed my timecard, quickly punching out and replacing it in the wallet on the wall. “Hey, Phe?” I called, my eyes looking toward the counter. A girl in an off-white waitress uniform, an exact match to the one I wore, looked up. “I’m heading out—I’ll see you tomorrow, right?”

“Unless you’ve changed your mind about staying the night tonight, then you assume correctly.” The girl called Phe replied, tucking her chin-length, fair-brown hair behind her ear. “Call me as soon as you get home, okay Luce?”

I nodded as I grabbed the black leather jacket I’d inherited, almost longer than the uniform I wore, and tossed it over my arm along with my purse. “Yes, Mother,” I smiled before laughing at my best friend. “As soon as I get home.” I added, this time more seriously, as I started putting my jacket on and walking toward the door.

“Good night!” I called behind me, then pushed the door open and walked out into the dark night air.

Absorbed by my own thoughts, I didn’t notice the man approaching me. He, too, was obviously off in a world of his own.

It wasn’t until we collided that we finally took notice of one another.

With impossibly quick reflexes, the man reached out to steady me, and I stepped backward, instinctually shying away. He looked down, giving me the once-over, and I eyed him skeptically for a moment.

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