Anna is a young woman plagued by nightmares, a sinister shadow offers her a way out...

Damn it's cold! That's all Anna Lee can think while waiting for the bus. It was a chilly Febuary morning, the sun just barely visible through the fog. Cars speed by, some drivers give Anna a slight nod before disappearing into the fog, towards the city. Anna sighs, a cloud of condensation billows out. She's alone at the bus stop for once. It was an unusual morning. The newspaper didn't arrive, and the usual call from her sister never came either. Of course, this was all an overraction caused by her anxious mind. Finally, the bus pulled up alongside the curb and the doors opened slowly. The driver was different today, the old man wore no hat, nor the watch his wife had given him. Kindly, Anna did not question the man, but proceeded to pay the fare and sat near the front of the bus. Leaning her head against the window, Anna quickly dozed off to sleep.

She was running. Anna was running through an endless field of snow and ice, the wind biting at her exposed face, but she pressed onwards. Where exactly, she couldn't remember. but she had to get there. Suddenly, the earth cracked beneath her feet, she couldn't prevent herself from slipping through the cracks, just as she felt herself fall towards death, she awoke. It was always the same dream, she would run, and she would fall. And it was always so cold! In time, the bus had reached her destination. The building wasn't anything elegant, just an old brick house with translucent windows. Anna knocked on the door three times, and it opened to reveal the smiling face of Glinda, her psychotherapist. " Anna!" she smiled. " Come on in, it's freezing out there!" Thankful to be out of the cold, Anna stepped inside the warm home. The cream coloured walls and mahogany hard-wood floors were comforting to her, this was a place she knew well. A few paintings lined the walls, mostly of fruit bowls and various safari animals. " Just wait for me in the living room while I get us some peppermin tea alright?" Glinda gave Anna a slight hug before leaving into the small kitchen. The living space was quaint and homely. The plush couch was draped with a blanket that smelled of lavender, Anna's usual seat. Glinda returned with a tray of tea and biscuits, some with jam spread. " Thanks for seeing me today Glinda" Glinda shook her head, a soft chuckle escaping her lips. " No need to thank me dear, have you been feeling today?" Anna filled her in on the unusual aspects of her morning, and her dream. " And this is the same dream as last time?" Anna nodded her head, taking a sip of the warm tea. " And each time you wake up right after you fall correct?" Nodding again, Anna bit her lip. " Anna, have you ever thought about what it is that your searching for in these dreams?" Anna hadn't really thought about it much, she was just tired of having them. " Not really, no" Glinda scribbled notes down in her book. " Maybe a key, a person, or yourself?" Anna shrugged and hoped she wasn't looking stupid. " Anna, do you know what lucid dreaming is?" Anna had only briefly skimmed the subject, it seemed too far out there for her. " No" Glinda smiled at her. " Lucid dreaming is when the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming, the dreamer can acknowledge what they are seeing in the dream" Anna's curiosity sparked, but kept silent. " It can be beneficial in the treatment of nightmares, I'd like to have you try it, ok?" Anna nodded, waiting for the session to start. " Now, I'm going to hypnotize you, once you realize your in a dream, think about what it is your trying to find" Anna's eyes concentrated on the movement of Glinda's special stopwatch, growing drowsy, until she fell into a deep sleep.

She was running through the same field of ice and snow, the same wind biting at her face. She didn't know where she was running to, but she had to get there. But what was it? Almsot instantly, the wind seemed to stop, the ice ceased to crack. " I'm dreaming!" Anna shouted excitedly. Anna stepped to the side, straying from the usual path of the dream. Laughing, she ran around a little more. " What am I looking for?" In the distance, a shadowy figure could be was moving towards her. Anna cautiously approached the figure, onyl to discover it was a man. The man was tall and very thin, dressed in a purple suit which contrasted sharply with his ghost white face. His eyes were bloodshot, his greasy hair was straw coloured. " I can help you with that m'dear" He said, his voice hoarse, almost like a whisper. " And who are you?" Anna demanded. The man smiled a wicked smile, holding out a hand. " I go by many names Puck, Baubas, you may call me the Boogeyman" A severe chill ran down Anna's spine, she did not shake the hand. " How can you help me?" The Boogeyman rolled his eyes, and made a clicking sound with his tongue. " I can teach you how to overcome your worst dreams, You want to stop being afraid don't you Anna?" Anna gasped. " You..know my name?!" The Boogeyman chuckled. " I know everyone's names, I've known you since you were born" Anna shivered again, taking a step backwards. " Everything you see in this world, everything you feel, was made by me" The Boogeyman waved his hand as he spoke. " The thing your looking for, Anna, is a door...a door that will lead you into yet another dream" Anna could see no door. " The only way to stop these nightmares, is to confront them, travel to the darkest corners of your mind and you will be free!" Anna narrowed her eyes. " And how can I trust you?" The Boogeyman let out another hoarse laugh. " You don't, but you can trust your instincts, what're they telling you?" Anna shook her head, the wind was picking up again. " To run" The Boogeyman grinned, and started fading away. " Think about it Anna..." Anna awoke on the couch in Glinda's living room, Glinda was smiling. " It's a good thing you talk in your sleep!" Anna smiled weakly. " And what do you think?" Glinda looked at her seriously for a long time. " I've had many clients who have had experiences with the Boogeyman, Anna." Glinda continued to frown. " And none of them fully recovered from it."

The End

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