What would you do if you could see other people’s dreams?
What if you could watch their hidden fantasies and uncover their deepest, darkest secrets…without them ever knowing?
What if they could get you killed?
Sara Barnes thought all she had to worry about was final exams, Christmas shopping and deciding whether she liked the cute freshman in the next dorm that has a crush on her. But then she starts seeing dreams that aren’t hers and learns more than she ever wanted to know about her friends, her classmates…and a strange, terrifying man whose dreams could get her killed.
Dream Student is the thrilling first installment of the Dreams series.
… Sara is awake, sitting in a chair, her eyes wandering around a large, expensively furnished bedroom. There are details that seem familiar, but Sara can’t quite remember why: a Rolex watch on a dresser, an expensive painting on a wall. And then, suddenly, a large man and a much younger, much smaller girl come through the door.
What happens next is also familiar, and terrible: frantic shouting from the girl as the man throws her onto the bed, and screaming from Sara, which no one else hears…
…Something’s wrong. I’m awake. Someone is screaming.
It’s me. Goddamn it, I hate this!
I turn on the light, and what I see doesn’t make me feel any better. The first thing I notice is the blood on my pillow. I can taste it in my mouth. I guess I must have been biting my lip to keep from screaming, and I bit so hard that I drew blood. And then I screamed anyway.
No more sleeping.
It’s almost three o’clock in the morning now. It seems like it’s three o’clock a lot lately.
The door opens, and Beth comes tip-toeing in. She takes one look at me and she knows she doesn’t need to worry about making noise. She doesn’t need to ask what’s wrong, either; she can see it’s last night all over again.
I haven’t looked at myself in the mirror, but I can picture what she sees all the same: dead eyes staring out at her, clutching my bloody pillow as though I’m drowning and it’s a life preserver. Beth doesn’t say a word, she just throws her coat on her bed and strips down to her underwear. I never really gave it much thought before, but she really does that awfully quickly. She puts on the double extra-large Van Halen t-shirt she always wears to bed–she keeps telling me there’s a really juicy story behind that shirt, but after two and a half years of not hearing it, I’m not sure I believe her. “Move over.” It’s the first thing she says to me. “You obviously need someone to hold you. Scoot over.”
I do, and she gets into the bed with me. “You really ought to be doing this with a boyfriend. When are you going to start dating again?”
J.J. (James) DiBenedetto was born in Yonkers, New York. He attended Case Western Reserve University, where as his classmates can attest, he was a complete nerd. Very little has changed since then.
He currently lives in Arlington, Virginia with his beautiful wife and their cat (who has thoroughly trained them both). When he’s not writing, James works in the direct marketing field, enjoys the opera, photography and the New York Giants, among other interests.
The “Dreams” series is James’ first published work.
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