Marie was surrounded by several women she felt were dear friends. Not from this world, but from what she could only comprehend as her dream world. Marie didn’t have to know their names, for in this magical place names seemed unnecessary. She’d visited them often and felt their friendship more strongly than any ties she had back in her “real” life. She could feel the love they had for each other, even though few words were spoken. But she also felt the time had come to leave this strange place where she could do just about anything she wanted and go wherever her mind would take her. It was time to wake up. The way of leaving was rarely the same, though.
It used to be that all she had to do was utter the word “dream” and she would return to her body. Now that was not strong enough somehow. She could tell anyone that it was, in fact, a dream and nothing would change. Marie sat down on the floor in the house with the other women and began swirling her arm around and around in front of her. Many colors began to coalesce as her hand moved them in a circular motion.
Beautiful colors worked their way into the circle: blues, scarlets, magentas, greens, purples. Then she was suddenly gone from that place. She groggily lifted her head and felt an intense tiredness. Looking around, Marie discovered she was not in her own bed at home. She felt a man’s clumsy hands on her. She tried desperately to see his face, but it was clouded. Her surroundings were strange to her, but she knew she had to be awake. Her legs felt all stretchy and weak; she couldn’t move because of the bindings holding her down to a hard table. That was when she saw the hypodermic needle held in the man’s hand. It was coming at her thigh. She tried to scream.
Reality sunk in quickly. She had somehow been kidnapped in her sleep. Oh, please, no! she thought. Dread and fear coursed through her body; tears fell down her cheeks. She was completely helpless and had no idea or memory of how she came to be here in this place with this horrid man. Uselessly, she tried to push away the hand with the needle in it. Then she watched as it found its mark on her thigh. She almost passed out from fear. She felt the prick of the needle. She was terrified.
Screaming hysterically, Marie suddenly found herself in her own bed again. But how could that be? She thought for sure that she had truly woken up in that place with that monster. Nothing like this had ever happened to her before. It was the worst nightmare she had ever had—because she thought she had been awake.

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