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He woke with a gasp. The dream was slipping away from him already as he groped across the bedside table for the pad and pencil he’d left there. He tried to focus, but still keep his mind in that half-awake zone where dreams linger on, as his pencil moved across the page.

And there she was. Gazing out of the page at him, soulful eyes under elegantly arched eyebrows, her lips ready to break into a smile.

He flipped through the pages of the pad. A dozen pictures of the same woman. A dozen dreams – and those were just the ones he half-remembered. If only he could remember something else, anything else about the dreams.

She was beautiful, that’s all he knew. Far prettier than the faces he sketched by day. Those were usually pictures of hard men with cold eyes. Rapists, muggers, murderers. The stuff of nightmares, not dreams.

He glanced at the clock and got up with a sigh, switching off the alarm which would go off in just over ten minutes. The dream faded even further as he showered and dressed.

He had just poured his coffee when he heard the familiar thump of the morning paper landing on his doormat, and he wandered out to the hallway to collect it.

And there she was. Gazing out of the front page at him, soulful eyes under elegantly arched eyebrows, her lips ready to break into a smile.

“MURDERED” screamed the headline. He unfolded the paper with shaking hands to read more.

“MAN SOUGHT BY POLICE” a second headline yelled. Underneath it, a picture.

A picture of him.

© Kari Fay

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