by E. J. Mellow
It’s night. Always night. Dreams guard against the evil forged by nightmares. Infinite shooting stars illuminate a moonless sky. A city stands alone, surrounded by a darkened field. On its fringes, a man watches one star separate from the masses and fall. What survives the crash will unveil a secret centuries long hidden.
Molly hasn’t slept well since the night of her twenty-fourth birthday. Being struck by lightning might have something to do with it, but then again, her chicken did look a little undercooked at dinner. Whatever the culprit, her life quickly catapults from mundane to insane as, night after night, Molly is transported through her once dreamless sleep to a mysterious land illuminated by shooting stars.
There she meets the captivating but frustrating Dev, and together they discover Molly possesses a power coveted by his people—the ability to conjure almost anything she desires into existence. Seduced by the possibilities of this gift, Molly shifts her attention from waking life toward the man, the magic, and the world found in her dreams.
But Molly must ask herself—does something truly exist if you only see it when you close your eyes?
Faced with the threat of losing everything—her job, best friend, boyfriend, and most importantly, that little thing called her sanity—Molly will learn just how far she’ll go to uncover what is real and what is merely a figment of her imagination.
The first in a spellbinding contemporary fantasy trilogy, The Dreamer opens doors into the subconscious and follows the journey of a young woman torn between two worlds as she questions the power of the mind and battles between fate and freewill.
Heading back to my apartment, which is only a few blocks away on Jones Street, I check my phone to find a missed call and a voicemail from home.
“Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear Mols, Happy Birthday to youuuuu!” My parents’ voices sing off-key. “Hope you’re having a great day, love! Dad and I are eating a cupcake in your honor. Give us a call when you can. Love you!” I smile and am about to hit Redial when the wind picks up and the ominous rumbling of another sporadic April shower sounds in the distance.
I quicken my pace, hoping that I’ll make it to my apartment before it starts raining too hard. I’ll give them a ring then. I hardly make it another block before the skies open and pour down a monsoon.
Well, Happy Birthday to me.
Cursing six ways til Sunday, I push on, my dress clinging unceremoniously and my feet slipping forward in my heels. Stopping under a doorway to wait it out will only make me more irritable—nobody deserves to stand around in drenched clothes on her birthday—so I keep slopping home as the storm grows increasingly more violent.
My hair’s completely soaked, and I’m in the middle of pushing it from my face when a huge crack of lightning flashes nearby. Shocked, I fall forward, dropping my purse, but luckily catch a streetlight to steady myself. I’m about to step away when another loud CRACK explodes and the brightest light I’ve ever seen surrounds me.
Time stops as a million things happen at once: The most excruciating pain I’ve ever felt extends from the palm of my hand up my arm to envelop me as a scream tries to escape my lips but gets stuck in my throat. My whole body burns like the hottest part of a flame and fights being torn from the inside out. Agonizing splinters of energy course through my body and pierce my brain like a knife jamming into my forehead. Then suddenly, I sense myself lifting off the ground, suspended in midair, and with a rush I slam down onto a hard surface.
Finally, time moves forward and everything goes black.
I’m in nothingness, floating inside a heavy silence. Through the thickness, someone says my name, and I try opening my eyes, but they stay shut. Yet I begin to see things: The color blue pulses in front of me, receding into the deepest crystal-blue eyes I’ve ever seen. A smile appears. The mouth and eyes are surrounded in blackness, but the form speaks in a calm, deep voice. You’ll be okay, Molly. Trust me. As soon as the words are uttered, I begin to relax, though I can’t pinpoint why the sound of that voice comforts me.
The vision changes, and the silhouette of a city bordered by a never-ending field flashes before me, the dark sky covered with an infinite amount of shooting stars. I take in the smell of night and spice. The vivid blue eyes appear again, this time accompanied by the blurred outline of a man’s face, and I desperately try looking through the haze to make him out. His features come into focus for one beat of my heart, and my stomach flutters at the raw, masculine beauty that materializes. He’s all darkness and angles and moon-kissed skin hidden under forgotten stubble, sapphire jeweled eyes blazing against the shadows that surround him.
The face begins to blur again as he whispers the words Terra Somniorum and cocks his mouth into a mischievous grin. Callused yet soft hands brush across my cheek. Molly, he whispers. I can’t mistake the urgency in his tone.
“Molly.” This time it sounds different, muffled and female. Like the shock of jumping into freezing water, I’m swiftly aware of my whole body, and an all-consuming pain radiates throughout me. I moan, forcing my eyes open only to be temporarily blinded by sharp white light. Though it feels like I have earplugs in, I pick up the constant beeping of a heart monitor nearby.
“Oh, Molly! You’re awake. Can you hear me?” I carefully turn my head to my mother, sitting next to the bed I’m lying in. I blink.
“Mols, you’re in the hospital. You were struck by lightning.” Her voice cracks as she grabs my hand and begins to sob.
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ABOUT E. J.
E. J. Mellow is the author behind the NA Contemporary Fantasy trilogy The Dreamland Series. When she's not busy moonlighting in the realm of make-believe, she can be found doodling, buried in a book (usually this one), or playing video games.
Residing in Brooklyn, NY she is a member of Romance Writers of America and their Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Chapter.
Find her online:
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