Genre: New Adult Urban Fantasy
Title: Lucid Dreaming
Word Count: 72,000
Song: The orchestral version of “Enter Sandman” by Metallica
When Melaina banishes a nightmare spirit from a client, she draws the murderous ire of the nightmares’ master. Hiding inside human minds, he could be anywhere, inside anyone: a complete stranger or her dearest friend.
“So, um, I’ve never done this before. Visit someone like you, I mean.” The man swallowed hard, Adam’s apple bobbing.
Way to make me sound like a prostitute, pal. But his reaction was hardly unique. I extended a hand. His palm was sweaty despite the cold outside, his handshake weak. Ew. “I’m Melaina. Why don’t you take a seat, Mr Heaney?”
“Sure. Okay. Call me Larry.” He struggled out of his jacket and hung it on my hatstand, which wobbled. One of these days it was going to collapse in a pile of cheap timber and overcoats, but apparently not today.
I flashed my dimples at him as we sat on my battered armchairs, each of them wearing a throw rug like a shawl to hide the bare patches on their shoulders and arms. The chairs were at right angles with a corner table between them. Nice and cosy. Larry didn’t relax, though.
“Why don’t you tell me why you’re here?” I said.
“My Aunt Mim organised it. I think she knows the lady out the front.” He waved toward the door he’d come through, which led to the storefront of Serenity’s New Age Gifts. I rented the room in back. “She’s a bit batty to be honest, but her heart’s in the right place.”
I assumed he meant his aunt, not Serenity. Although the description fit either way. I nodded for him to continue.
He spoke in a rush, as though that would make it less embarrassing.