I was lying flat on my back and she was squatting astride my hips. Her eyes sparkled with glee like those of a playful child, while her hands, roaming my body, moved with the serpentine grace of an experienced seductress. Pausing for a moment, she braced herself on my chest with one hand while undoing the buttons of her amply filled blouse with the other. Giving up any pretense of resistance, I raised my hand toward the widening cleavage of luscious womanliness that was coming into view. Fractions of an inch from my fingertips, I could feel the heat radiating from her body when suddenly I realized something was very wrong.

Abruptly, she raised her head, her eyes took on a cold and lifeless stare and she opened her mouth. From between glistening white, razor-sharp teeth came an inhuman screech, repeated again and again as my heart froze in terror.


Half consciously, half in torpid reflex, I brought my hand down hard on the alarm clock, battering it into silence. Dazed by my dream, I sought briefly to find my way back there, then gave up and lay still for a moment while coming to grips with the reality of daily life.

Damn, I thought as the cobwebs cleared. Ever since saying goodbye to Astrid, dreams like this had been back periodically to haunt me. I creaked out of bed, cursing the morning, my job and my life, and generally feeling sorry for myself.

Last time I was sober, man I felt bad
Worst hangover that I ever had
It took six hamburgers and scotch all night
Nicotine for breakfast just to put me right1

That silly old song was going around in my head. Hamburgers? No way. Certainly not six for breakfast. Scotch? Now that was an idea. But hey, I had to commute to work, and while the clogged highway was no driving challenge, it would be just my luck to be stopped with booze on my breath. Oh well. I could always look forward to a bowl of cereal for breakfast.

  1. Heavy Fuel - Dire Straits