Authors: J.A. Schreckenbach
Tags: #paranormal romance
For all who Dare to turn a Dream into Reality.
It is possible to believe that all the past is but the beginning of a beginning,
and that all that is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn.
It is possible to believe that all the human mind has ever accomplished is
but the dream before the awakening.
H. G. Wells
Chapter 1 Family
Like most teenagers, Aimee never really worried too much about time. It dragged when she was doing something she hated, like cleaning the kitchen after her dad cooked. Then it whizzed by when she did something cool, like surf with her dad and his pal, Mel, at Otter Rock. But she didn't think about it other than just a sequence of minutes and hours and days, that passed one after another, measured by a watch or a clock, like the old mahogany grandfather clock her dad inherited from his Grandma Pat. Each second was announced as a reminder time was passing. Tick tock. Tick tock. And the only second she truly owned was the present tick tock, and the one after that, and the one after that.
But she knows differently now. Time isn’t linear. It doesn’t just pass one second after another, one hour after another, one day after another. Its existence is invisible at that second, but greatly discernible with the accumulation of seconds, hours, days. Its demand is titanic, and fluid, and pervasive all the same. It moves like the wind. Back and forth. Fast, then slow, but never stopping. It can't be measured. There is no beginning. And no end. Aimee knows she'll travel through it. Today. Tomorrow. And even yesterday. ...
…November 1943 Auschwitz, Poland
Darkness smothered everything but the three men. Aimee and James hid beneath its veil on the
damp, cold ground watching the officer -
judge and jury - decide his fate. The young private waited
to carry out the dirty work.
en!” ordered the lieutenant.
“No, wait! Don’t shoot!” pleaded the prisoner in a British accent.
The lieutenant yelled, “Soldat schie
t jetzt!” The private immediately readied his rifle to carry
out the command.
The watchtower’s light illuminated the British gent’s face. Sweat trickled down his cheeks although wispy, white smoke escaped from his mouth. He arrogantly stared at the child soldier.
“What are they saying?” asked Aimee. She didn’t understand German, but the officer’s hostile tone told her the Brit’s death sentence was about to be carried out.
The officer stepped behind the fair-haired prisoner and planted a massive boot into his back. He kicked the Brit face down into the dirt, then looked at the private and snarled, “Ich habe gesagt!”
James whispered, “He ordered the private to kill him.”
“No! We’ve gotta stop them!”
“Dammit, Aimee, this is friggin’ insane! Why were we sent here?! We’re gonna get wasted, too!”
She readied to dash across the dark yard. She didn’t know what she was going to do, but somehow she had to save him, or die trying. Aimee grabbed James’s arm and tried to pull him up. His body was glued to the ground.
to save him!”
“Yeah, why? Who the hell
She looked at the prisoner, then said in a low voice, “He…he’s my savior… and…he’s the...uh...well, we just have to, that's all.”
Aimee glanced at James. His face was scrunched. For once he was speechless. He stared at
her for a few seconds, then he studied the Brit. Finally, he leaped up and took off running towards the trio not waiting for Aimee. She raced after to catch up with him.
“NO! STOP! NICHT SCHIE
EN!” screamed James.
All three men whipped their heads James's direction. “Stoppen!” hollered both soldiers. The officer drew his pistol and fired narrowly missing them. The private pulled his weapon off the prisoner and swung it around towards the two. A machine gun from the tower sprayed an angry round of bullets just short of their feet forcing them to an abrupt stop in the edge of the watchtower’s light. James shielded Aimee. The private aimed his rifle square on James.
“Nein! Nein!” James shouted.
Without notice by his Nazi captors, the Brit stood up. Aimee met his eyes and immediately her fear vanished. He was her savior and they would be okay. She slipped her hand into James’s hand. Their fingers locked. James looked back at Aimee for a fast second, then without a word, he let go of
her hand and bolted towards the devils donned in woolen gray.
roared from Aimee's
mouth and echoed deafeningly into the black night.
The private’s twitchy finger touched the trigger of the rifle for a fraction of a second and then…
…February 2006 Aimee's bedroom
Aimee abruptly came out of the nightmare. A blood-curdling scream boomed out of her. Within seconds her dad pitched open the door. Zonker, her faithful mutt, leaped off the bed and got tangled in her father's legs trying to escape. Aimee continued screaming, oblivious to everything. Her dad sat down on the bed, pulled her into his arms, and held her tight. After a few seconds Aimee's shrieking died and turned to sobs.
“Shhhh, sweetheart. It’s okay. It’s okay, honey,” he whispered. She buried her face into his bare chest. After a long minute, her breaths calmed and she melted into his arms. He continued, “Amos, you’re awake. You just had another bad dream. It’s okay now.” Her dad relaxed his hold and checked Aimee's face in the dim light. “Do you want to tell me about it?” he asked. Tears dribbled from the corners of her eyes. She shook her head slowly and looked into his face. The worry that she had seen a thousand times before was visible in his eyes.
“It’s nothing. I’m…I’m okay now, Dad,” Aimee said through a sniffle. She knew what frightened him. It
frightened her, too. Remnants of her
dark past were returning to haunt her
“Well, it didn’t sound like nothing. Are you sure you don’t want to tell me about it? It might help you feel better.”
“No, Dad, it was just one of my stupid nightmares. I’m fine now. Really. Please just go back to bed.”
Her father looked at the alarm clock’s bright, green florescent numbers. Four thirty-two. It was too early to start the day. He kissed her forehead. “Well, if you don’t want to talk about it I guess I’ll try to get another hour or so of sleep. You should go back to sleep, too.” He got up to leave, but paused at the end of the bed for a few seconds, patiently waiting for Aimee to change her mind. She said nothing. Finally, he edged towards the door. “Well then, sweetheart,” he said, “sleep tight. See you in the morning.”
Aimee eased back onto her pillow and pulled the goose down quilt up tight around her shoulders, stretched, and inhaled a couple deep breaths of air. She desperately needed to chill. She glanced up at the white ceiling. The clock’s bright glow painted odd shaped, dark splotches across it. The shapes reminded her of the inkblot drawings Dr. Sanders used a few years earlier to test her sanity. Aimee
Memories, too many painful memories.
She shut her eyes trying to block them out and
whispered, “God, please don’t let it happen again.”
But she couldn’t stop it. Her heart raced. Sweat instantly beaded on her forehead. It had been years since she had one of her nightmares, but three weeks ago, without any warning, they started again, and now she knew they weren’t just dreams.
Every last detail of the nightmare returned. Aimee wasn’t sure who the young Brit was, but she had a gut feeling he was important, someone she
know. Something about him seemed almost mystical. He looked at her like he was looking straight into her soul, like he knew her even though she
had never seen this guy in real life.
At least I don’t remember ever meeting him,
What the heck
Man, I must be going crazy again! It's just a dream, stupid!
Aimee felt queasy. She couldn't shake it.
God, how could James have left me? What was he thinking?
None of the
dream made sense, but dreams usually didn't. She knew James loved her, and even though he could
be a real pain in the tush, he was her big brother, and had always been there for her.
Aimee peeked at the clock. Five thirteen.
Geez, I'm sooo wired,
she thought. The adrenaline still
pumped furiously through her veins. It was silly, but she needed to hear James's voice. Only he’d kill her if she woke him up, so Aimee decided to text him and ask him to call before he left his apartment. She grabbed her phone and quickly typed out a message.