A Dream of the Dark
by John Andreula
This story contains graphic content!
Reader discretion is advised.
When Bounce finally returned to the family’s manse it was almost morning. Slight embers of dawn were creeping into the eastern sky.
The ride home from VIM tower had been one of those peculiar drives that Bounce couldn’t recall after completing it. The powerful woman’s mind was on other matters.
Bounce pulled up to the estate’s ornate iron gate. She rolled the driver’s window down and looked directly into the lens of the stationary camera. A click sounded.
Bounce rolled her window back up and cruised slowly past the gate and down the long driveway. On either side of the asphalt road were exquisitely manicured hedges, hydrangea, and peony bushes in a multitude of colors.
Bounce parked her Blizatti 732ix on the circle near the entry of the old vicarage. Swelter’s dented red truck sat askew, across the pavement from her neatly aligned opal roadster.
Normally the dark-haired woman would have snickered to herself at the sight of Swelter’s ridiculous pickup. Its suspension lift and orange and yellow flames confessed an obvious over-compensation on the little freak’s part.
But there would be no laughter tonight. Bounce mood was balanced on the needle tip between frustration, self-doubt, and exhaustion.
Bounce climbed the lavish white and gray marble stairs toward the opulent front door. Her belt and chains wept their standard clanging song. The macabre woman paused a few steps up. She attempted to rid herself of the remnants of the day she so wanted to end.
Bounce took a deep breath and continued up the stairs. She pushed through the white, stain-glass adorned entrance doors. Inside the monstrous house the entrance’s ceiling rose high above the polished black-and-white checked floor she stood on.
Oftentimes, Bounce appreciated this palace the Controller had provided her and the other Family members, but not today. She had more than enough of the Controller and his boy, Nero, for a lifetime. Bounce had grown weary of her work with the boy. She understood that his abilities made him an exceptional addition to their menagerie of grim characters. However, and despite her own inner-darkness and cruel nature, the boy was unstable and unpredictable. That made him even more dangerous than any of the others. And that was quite frightening.
Bounce made way up the wide, cold marble stairs to the second floor where she and the others slept. At the top of the stairs Bounce noticed the flashing of Swelter’s television along the opposite wall of the tiny man’s bedroom door. Carnal moaning erupted from within the room.
Bounce peered in. Swelter had fallen asleep in front of his television again. On it a woman was bound. She was being sexually brutalized on the screen and appeared to be enjoying it.
Swelter’s mouth hung agape as he slept upright in his chair. The arm of the lounge was drenched in the dribble leaking out of his mouth. Swelter stirred briefly before erupting a rasp from deep within his nose and throat. The tattooed man closed softly his lips three times, before beginning to snore noisily.
“Should we all be so lucky,” Bounce muttered to herself as she pulled the door shut. The sounds of dark pleasure still escaped the room. from beneath the door.
The last few days had eaten away much of Bounce’s strength, actual and perceived. She hadn’t felt this way since before Stanton had found her and made her his black queen. Now she was felt like a prisoner within her own skin.
Bounce retreated down the hall to her own room. As she entered she began unbuttoning her sheer black blouse. She almost uncovered the fair skin of her chest and breasts when she remembered that Stanton could, and likely was, watching and listening to her. Usually she had fun with the thought. The kinkiness and depravity had aroused her in the past. Tonight she shuddered as she rebuttoned her shirt.
Bounce sat on her bed and crossed her left leg over her right. She bent over her and undid the thin strap on her left heel. She did the same with the other and kicked the pair of stilettos onto the floor.
Bounce lay back on her exquisitely soft bedspread. She stared at the empty ceiling above in hopes that sleep would come quickly. It wouldn’t. The woman’s mind was being bombarded by thoughts of Nero and Stanton. She recalled the girl on Swelter’s TV. She thought about trading places with her. Let that bitch deal with her problems instead.
Eventually, the flood of activity had run its course. The dark beauty slipped off into her slumber. . .
But her rest would be anything but peaceful. . .
Alison opened her eyes. . .
The young girl blinked several times in an attempt to adjust to the burn of the light from the ceiling fan above. The fair-complexioned girl relished in the safety of her warm bed and its covers.
The smell of bacon cooking was wafting upstairs and into her bedroom. If she listened closely enough she could hear the sizzling of the fatty meat. Her mother was making another delicious breakfast. Alison was truly blessed.
Alison popped out of her bed and ambled over to her vanity. She brushed her long dark brown hair in rough, deliberate strokes. Once satisfied that her bedhead was under control she headed out toward the kitchen.
Outside the bedroom, something was amiss. Alison couldn’t make out any of the faces ib any of the four-by-six and five-by-seven framed photographs arranged all along the hallway wall
At the end of the hall, and at the top of the stairs, a large portrait of Alison and her mother was mounted. It was from Alison ‘s First Holy Communion. The faces were blurry on the huge picture as well.
The sound of sizzling ceased below. The smell of the cooking bacon shifted into the smell of spoiled flesh.
Suddenly, Alison recalled this moment from her real life. She was inside her memory; or perhaps it as a dream. Downstairs she was about to get into an argument with her mother. The subsequent emotions and screaming would lead to Alison discovering her ability to control the minds of others. This would come at the cost of her mother’s life.
Alison looked up at the portrait and its red background. Its paint started to bubble and run. Each bubble swallowed the smaller ones around them before bursting melted paint down the wall. A pool of red and brown sat on the carpet at the foot of the steps.
This is not right!, Alison thought to herself.
The girl turned and headed back toward her room and the comfort her childhood bed held within. But she was no longer a teenage girl, and she was no longer in her mother’s home. Bounce was in another hall altogether. This one was all too familiar as well.
“Alison Jeffries,” a cold, calm voice spoke into the sterility of the subbasement. “I’m waiting for you. . .,” slowly, deliberately, it went on, “. . .to show me more. Come.”
Bounce was once again her tall, muscular, beautiful self. She went down the hall toward the apartment at the end. The heavy metal door slowly swung open as she approached. Bounce went in.
Inside the chandelier swung softly from side to side; side to side. Its crystals sparkled.They reminded Bounce of the twinkling stars she never took the time to look at anymore. She could feel a pang of regret deep within her. She locked it away.
Bounce descended the stairs, her bare feet padded over the plush tan carpet. She made her way to the same living room she had contained Nero in earlier that day. Bounce turned gradually until she faced the giant monitor on the wall in front of the sofas. She craned her neck and tilted her head upwards toward the screen.
Purple flashed onto the screen. Just as quickly, it was gone. Another purple flash erupted, followed by another and more in quickening rapid successions. It should have reminded Bounce of an old film projector from her youth, but it didn’t. She was no longer in control of her mind or her body.
A screeching tear opened up in the center of the gargantuan screen. The video monitor split down the middle like the gash of a scalpel through soft flesh. Eight purple fingers, each with long fingernails, penetrated from the complete darkness inside the crack. The fingers pushed outward and stretched the tear wide open.
Cackling laughter filled the room. Bounce stood, mesmerized by the alien course her dream had just taken.
Lazily, the top of a purple head arose from the bottom of the rift. Clumps of gray hair were interspersed all over the mostly bald head. Two eyes with purple irises and bright white sclera followed. Finally, purple lips rose from the other side, fixed with a sharp white-toothed grin.
The purple man’s mouth and eyes didn’t move, but the head emitted a deep, bellowing chortle. The creatures long, pointed fingers reached through the gash and into the living room toward Bounce. Its purple arm stretched casually behind the hands.
The monster pulled its naked torso through the crack. Its smiling face stopped just inches in front of Bounce’s own. Neither she, nor the beast blinked.
The purple man spoke to Bounce. Its lips didn’t part, nor did its teeth move. “Hello, dear. Hello. Hello.”
The monster stared at Bounce for what seemed like an eternity before speaking with its mind again, “Out in the day world you are quite something, Alison Jeffries.” The voice resonated all around the room as well as from the inside of the thing’s mouth. “I almost cannot compare to you out there.”
The fiend chuckled. “In dreams, another story. This is my domain!!!” It yelled raspily, “Mine, mine, mine!”
The creature calmed itself and laughed once more. “I told you I’m not afraid. I told you. I told you. . .You are very afraid right now. I can taste it, smell it, feel it.” The purple man exhaled its hot breath into Bounce’s face. She remained entranced and unmoving.
Hovering wrinkled fingers of one of the hands crooked. It ran across Bounce’s forehead, down her cheek, and across her lips. The thing stared into her eyes as if it were looking for her soul. If it was in there, it saw it.
The purple man turned his hand over and pointed its index and middle finger into Bounce’s eyes. The monster’s lips twitched for a moment before it finally cracked a smile.
The beast spoke with its mouth this time, “I will have you now.” It stretched its fingers further and further until they entered Bounce’s eyes with less resistance than a rock lunging into water.
Although Bounce didn’t recoil or respond to the pain, she did feel the fingers slide inside her eyes for the briefest moment. A stream of tears flowed out the sides of both of her eyes.
Then everything went black.
Bounce awoke in her luxurious bed late the next morning. Her blouse was soaked in sweat. She stared up at the ceiling and no longer felt weak or afraid. Then again, she didn’t feel anything.
Nero had had his way with her. Alison Jeffries was dead and gone, or buried so deep within herself that she would never come back. Either way, her body and her power were both Nero Sepatu’s now.
Nero now controlled two bodies outside of his dreams. He would use Bounce’s powers to expand his reach further still. Then he would have no trouble contending with Seth Stanton, and his family and his resources.
And after he got done with the so-called Controller, he would find the other, the one who could effect reality from dreams, just like himself. He would track down the girl who had escaped him. . .
And just like Alison Jeffries he would make her powers his own as well.
Opening photo by: Siora Photography
Hands photo by: Daniel Lincoln
Hallway photo by: Veenit Panchal
Blue woman photo by: Daria Rem
Closing photo by: JxnGlxgxr
The Dreamer is an ongoing fiction epic about some very special people.
And if you haven’t read the rest, check it out here.