For the last few months, I’ve been taking periodic votes in my VIP Facebook Group. Readers have been voting on writing prompts for me to write and publish on my blog. Each time, they’ve picked the same prompt and I’ve now written 7 chapters to the story and have decided to turn it into a novel. The first ten chapters will be available here. The original prompt was:
A girl steps into the mind of other people as she sleeps. She sees and experiences what they do.
And here’s the link to earlier parts of the story if you haven’t read them yet:
NOTE: These are just for fun and therefore aren’t professionally edited. I did self-edit, but please excuse any errors. If I do officially publish these stories, errors will be fixed.
Night Chaser #7 | Preparations
I wiped my damp forehead with my sleeve. Lydia’s basement was cold, but I’d been working on my chain whip all morning and had worked up a sweat. I picked up my handy work and inspected each link in the chain.
Each one firmly grasped the next. The handle felt heavy, yet comfortable in my hand and the pendulum I used for the pointed weight at the end would certainly do some damage to anyone within swinging distance.
The ceiling in the basement was too low to try it out, so I went up to the main level and into the living room. Matilda looked at me like she thought it was a bad idea, but I swung the chain around anyway. First, I spun it vertically on my right side.
A whistling sound tore through the air as I got up to speed.
I dared to attempt a maneuver that would switch the chain from my right side to my left. The transition went without a hitch. Now I attempted to move it back to my right side and again the transition worked out. I brought the spinning chain to a stop with a cushioned hit on my left arm.
So far, so good.
The training videos made everything look easier than it was, but I knew I’d get the hang of it. I set the weapon down and picked up my tennis ball whip to practice more difficult moves.
Hours later, I had graduated to the real thing, but my movements were limited as I didn’t want to take out Lydia’s decor. I needed somewhere to practice. Somewhere private, close, and large.
Night had fallen without my realizing it. I grabbed the chain whip and stuffed it into a bag along with a few other supplies. I pet Matilda on the way out to find a better practice space.
The streets welcomed me as I walked toward a more run-down district. Abandoned warehouses started coming into view. One after another, I peered inside. I wanted one that I wouldn’t have to break into. Finally, the perfect one popped up. The windows were concealed by the warehouses that surrounded it and the door was open.
I stepped inside and closed the door behind me. It was hanging on by one hinge so I handled it carefully.
An old broom was next to the door of the office. I set my bag down and used the broom to clear a space for me. Then I pulled out a table and set up some glass bottles as targets. I guessed that they’d been left behind by some teenagers looking for somewhere to drink away from the watchful eyes of their parents.
I practiced using my chain whip to take out each bottle in a different way. My tennis ball practice seemed to be paying off. I continued with the chain whip for a few more hours before finding my way back home.
At Lydia’s, I got ready to catch some sleep. I didn’t know whether I’d see someone in trouble or not, but decided I’d stick with my plan from the night before. The police may not be the fastest or most efficient, but with Logan’s men after me, I didn’t have much of a choice.
Matilda joined me on the guest bed and I stroked her fur as I dozed off.
Suddenly, I was in a low-lit apartment. I looked around through the eyes of whoever I inhabited. Instantly, I recognized where I was. I was in the same man from the night before. Now, he seemed to be sitting at his kitchen island having a drink. A bottle of whiskey sat on the table next to him.
Nothing to fear. Nothing lurking in the shadows. I couldn’t believe I was in his mind again. I couldn’t figure out why.
I stayed with him until he went to sleep. All the while, nothing bad happened to him.
The next morning I wondered why I couldn’t connect with people who were in danger lately. The whole thing made me anxious. I wanted to help people, not get stuck in this man’s head while he went about completing menial tasks before bed.
I knew there was nothing I could do about it for now. My mission today was clear: Go to the coffee shop and find Rodney R.
I stepped outside and locked the door behind me. The sun was coming up so there was some light, but not much since the building obscured it. Someone was coming out of the townhouse next to me. I glanced over.
To my surprise, it was the mundane man. The same one I’d been visiting in my dreams.
He looked up and smiled, then waved.
“Hello! You must be Lydia’s new roommate,” he said.
I was caught off-guard but forced a smile and a pitiful return wave.
“Yeah, I’m Abby. You know Lydia?”
“Of course. We’ve been neighbors for a few years now. I haven’t seen her in a while. Everything alright?”
“Uh, yeah. She’s fine. She decided to take a much-needed vacation.”
“Kinda risky to leave a new roommate alone in your house,” he joked. He seemed to be fishing for information.
I smirked. “Actually, Lydia and I have known each other for years. I’m not technically her roommate. I’m just staying with her while I get my place—remodeled.”
The man nodded. “Oh. I see. Well, my name is Henry. If you need anything, let me know. I’m just a knock away.”
“I’ll do that, Henry.”
“Have a good one,” he said before turning and walking down the sidewalk.
I knew I’d have to ask him some questions if I was to get to the bottom of why I kept ending up in his head, but for now, I had to focus on finding Rodney R. He was my only shot at finding Logan’s weakness.
The sun was just beginning to peek over the tops of buildings. I walked up to Twin City Coffee just before they opened. It was a small franchise with shops in Curio and in our sister city, Cilmi. As soon as they unlocked the doors for customers, I went in and ordered a cappuccino. I took my drink to a table in the corner and set up my laptop so I could pretend to be working as I waiting for Rodney R.
I didn’t know what he looked like, but I knew if he was a regular he’d be recognized by the barista and would likely receive a warm welcome.
An hour passed. Each customer was greeted. Some by name. This gave me hope that Rodney R. would be greeted by name when he showed.
Another forty-five minutes and still no Rodney. I was starting to think I missed him when a man walked in. He carried a laptop case on a shoulder strap and wore glasses with thick black frames. The barista smiled.
“Good morning, Rodney. What will it be today?” she asked.
“I’ll have a medium chai latte for now, please,” he replied. He dug into his pocket and pulled out his wallet to pay.
Once his drink was ready he sat at a table near mine and opened his laptop.
It was now or never.
“Sorry to take you away from your work, but are you Rodney R. from yelp?” I asked.
He looked up at me and adjusted his glasses.
“Yes, that’s me. How did you know?” he asked.
“Well, your review is what brought me to this place. It’s fantastic,” I said.
“Oh. Well, I’m glad. It’s good to know that people are reading my reviews.”
I smiled. “I actually found quite a few of your reviews to be very helpful.”
“Really? Which ones?”
He was like putty in my hands. “Well, the ones about those clubs saved me a lot of wasted time. I’ll never go near those places thanks to you.”
“A girl like you would probably be treated a lot better than a guy like me,” he said.
“That doesn’t matter. I don’t want to go anywhere that treats their patrons like second-class citizens.”
He smiled and nodded nervously. “Well, in that case, I’m glad my reviews could help.”
“You seem to know your way around this city,” I replied. “If you’re not busy, maybe we could chat about some of the other places you’ve checked out.”
“I’m not busy. I mean, not too busy. I can put off my project for another time if you’d like to join me.”
I grinned and gathered my stuff. As I put my stuff down at his table, he moved his things out of the way.”
“I’m Abby Wilde,” I said.
“Rodney. Rodney Richards,” he said as he extended his hand. I shook it and sat down.
“So, are you new in town?” he asked.
It was time to ditch the small talk and cut to the chase.
“No. Actually, I’m looking for information.”
“What kind of information?” Rodney asked.
“Information on the owner of those clubs you bashed online. Logan Wingate,” I whispered.
“Are you some kind of private investigator or something?” he asked.
“Something like that,” I said.
“Can I see your PI license?”
I leaned back in my chair and crossed my arms. He was going to make things difficult. “I’m not exactly licensed,” I said.
“Then I don’t feel comfortable giving you information,” he replied.
“Look, you’ve obviously got an axe to grind with this guy. Tell me what you know and he’ll get what he deserves.”
“What are you gonna do?” he asked.
“I’m gonna put him out of business.”
“You’re not gonna kill him are you?”
“No!” I said a little too loud. “No. I just want to make sure he doesn’t hurt more people. That’s it.”
“All he did was throw me out of his clubs. I didn’t get hurt.”
“You know there’s something more going on. Don’t pretend you don’t.”
“I don’t know what you mean.”
“The things you wrote alluded to you knowing more than you let on. Knowing about some of the abilities his men have.”
Rodney’s eyes got big. Then he started gathering his stuff.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“I’m not gonna be part of this.” He stood from his chair and rushed out of the coffee shop.
I grabbed my bag and followed.
“Leave me alone!” he said as he half-walked, half-ran down the sidewalk.
“I can’t do that, Rodney. You know something that could bring him down.”
He stopped cold in his tracks and turned toward me.
“You’re one of them, aren’t you?”
“One of who?” I asked.
“You’ve got—abilities. You’re on the other team and you want to make sure your team has the advantage.” He took off at a fast pace again.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I said. “I just want to know about Logan and his men. They hurt people and I want it to stop.”
Rodney turned around and looked at me. “If you’re not one of them, why not go to the police? You know they won’t believe you. Or maybe you don’t want to expose yourself. Either way, I’m convinced you’re one of them. If you admit it, I’ll help you. If you don’t, I walk. Thirty seconds.”
I figured he was bluffing so I stood there with my arms crossed as he looked at his watch.
After about thirty seconds, he said, “Okay. See ya later.”
“Wait!” I said.
He stopped and turned around.
“Do you have what I need?” I asked.
“Oh. I have it,” he replied.
“Fine. I’m one of them.”
“You tell me your secrets. I’ll tell you mine. Trust me. You won’t be disappointed,” he said.
“Okay, but not here. Let’s go to my friend’s apartment. She’s out of town, so we’ll have it to ourselves.”
After a moment where he seemed to think it over, he nodded. “Works for me. Lead the way.”
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