Content copyright © 2019 Robert Jack

Doctor Leitchfield was having the nightmare again. As usual, the narrative was mostly the same, with only a few key differences. This time, for instance, the window was open, and instead of having its face pressed against the glass, the monster was entering the room.

 

She was the perfect predator, and even within the dream, his fear was tempered by pride. He found himself captivated by her flawless, silvery eyes – the only part of her visible in the dark. When she locked onto him, her vertical pupils slammed shut. Her hackles raised, long quills flared up along her neck, and her dexterous hands flexed. The attack was imminent, and with it he would wake.

 

The phone rang. This was also new to the dream. Even the creature seemed startled, cocking her head like a curious puppy. He knocked a glass of water and a bottle of sleeping pills off the nightstand – his futile attempt at dreamless sleep – and found the phone. “Hello?”

 

“Subject 16 has escaped,” said Cox, head of security. “We’re sealing off the lower levels and evacuating staff quarters. She’s your baby, doc. We need you to get down here before the blast doors close.”

 

Alarms began to howl throughout the facility. Red emergency lights blinked to life, revealing his living space in hellish color. Sixteen was at the foot of the bed now, inching nearer with tails that flicked in anticipation. He dropped the phone and curled up against the headboard, waiting for an attack that would not wake him but, instead, bring on his dreamless sleep.

 

Copyright (c) 2015 Robert Esckelson