By Robert Logan
The Peppertree Press (www.peppertreepublishing.com)
Hardcover, ISBN: 978-1-61493-090-7, 222 pages, $25.95
Trade Paper: 978-1-61493-029-7, 222 pages, $14.95
Magnolia Creek, Colorado native JackCorbitt is thrust into extraordinary circumstances when the past and present collide in a most unusual—and terrifying—way.
It’s the last place on earth where a grisly crime should happen: Magnolia Creek, a sleepy little town framed by the majestic Rocky Mountains. But series of gruesome murders have put Magnolia Creek on edge. In only ten days, three women are murdered, harkening back to a time over forty years ago when the women of Magnolia Creek were stalked by a serial killer known as The Hillside Ripper. Could history be repeating itself? The police think a copycat killer is at work.
When a life-threatening health condition leads Jack to try an experimental treatment, he begins to experience bizarre, vivid dreams where he is transported back in time. Somehow able to open this mysterious portal to the past, Jack soon realizes that the police are wrong. Dead wrong. And he’ll be forced to race against time….because the only way to stop this psychotic murderer is in his dreams. Can Jack solve the murders—and stop a killer—while his own life hangs in the balance?
A haunting tale that will leave readers breathless, In Dreams is a mesmerizing page turner that fuses the high-octane speed of a psychological thriller with the mysteriousness of dreams and the telepathic phenomenon linking the past and the present. An exhilarating novel with an extraordinary storyline, In Dreams is a gripping read from a dynamic new voice in the world of thriller writing.
A few days later, Jack was at the hospital, lying on a gurney, I.V. tubes connected to his arm, running to the I.V. bags hung on the stand beside it. He anxiously awaited the second treatment, eager to get it going so that he could try to connect with Maggie again, during the recovery sleep. As the nurse adjusted the valves on the tubes beneath the I.V. bags, Dr. Farrell entered through the curtain that enclosed Jack’s area of the room.
“All righty, Jack! Everything is calibrated and ready to go. How are you feeling? You ready to do this again?” Farrell queried.
“As ready as I can be, Doc,” Jack replied, fighting the drowsiness from the sedative and rubbing his bald head.
Farrell smiled at Jack, then looked to the nurse and calmly stated, “Okay, then. Let’s do it.”
Dr. Farrell slid the curtain open on both sides, then motioned to the two surgical assistants to wheel Jack into the operating room. Mary and David were waiting at the
double swinging doors there and, as the surgical team pushed Jack past them, Jack reached his hand out to his mother’s hand. Mary grabbed his hand and put it to her face, then kissed it.
“Go home and rest, Mom. You can come back tomorrow. I’ll be fine. It’s going to be a while and then I’ll be sleeping it off for quite some time,” Jack said, trying to reassure his mother.
As the gurney was pushed through the double doors, Mary let go of Jack’s hand and looked at Dr. Farrell.
“He’s going to be just fine, Mary. You should do what he says. He’ll be sleeping until tomorrow sometime,” Farrell advised as he walked past her, following Jack’s gurney through the surgery doors. “Don’t worry. He’s in good hands,” Farrell said just as the double doors swung closed behind him.
Jack was wheeled to the center of the room under the familiar surgical lights that he had just seen several days earlier. The surgical team was once again surrounding his
gurney with surgical equipment and instrument trays in preparation for the procedure.
Dr. Farrell came up to the bedside and looked down at Jack. His face was concealed by the surgical mask and a scrub cap covered his head.
“We’re going to begin the treatment now, Jack. Just try to relax,” Farrell advised, his voice calm. “When I tell you to, take deep breaths and let them out slowly.”
Jack was not as nervous this time around, as he was actually looking forward to getting to sleep, so he could try to make a telepathic connection to Maggie again. An oxygen mask was placed over Jack’s nose and mouth.
“Okay, Jack. Here we go. Deep breaths and let ‘em out slowly,” Doctor Farrell instructed.
An anesthesiologist attached another tube to the I.V. that was in Jack’s arm. Jack immediately began to feel extremely sleepy and his vision was beginning to blur. He could feel the gentle placement of the electrodes, one by one, on his shaven head, then someone turning his head to the side and gently removing the bandage that covered the
port at the base of his skull. Slowly, the echoing voices around him faded into silence.
As he drifted deeper and deeper into his sleep, Jack again felt as if he were rising into the air. He could not feel his body anymore. The darkness around him began to turn into the same grayish fog that he remembered from the last time. Jack thought to himself that this was it. This was the place where Maggie’s thoughts from 1971 were lingering from the last time. Urgently, Jack scanned the fog, looking for the emerald colored orbs. And, he spied several of them off at a distance. Jack could feel himself effortlessly gliding through the grey fog at enormous speed, directly toward the orbs gathered in a tight “clutch.” Without hesitation, he forced himself into the nearest one. Disembodied though he was, the excitement was something that he could still somehow “feel” as he was instantly thrust into the same vortex of spinning, colored lights. He “felt” the rapid descent, knowing that he would emerge at the origin of this thought -- Maggie’s mind.
With no warning, the rapid decent ended in a blinding white out; and, as the whiteness dimmed into faint images, becoming clearer with each passing second, Jack could see a newspaper on a table and a cup of coffee being raised in front of him. Maggie. She was about to take a sip from her coffee cup and was looking down at the newspaper on her kitchen table. Jack could see through her eyes once again, as she raised the cup to her mouth and sipped on the coffee.
“Maggie!” Excitedly, Jack immediately called out. Maggie jumped, frightened by the unexpected voice coming from inside her head. In the same instant, she spit her coffee from her mouth, nearly dropping the cup from her hand.
“Jesus! That just scared the crap out of me!” Maggie yelled out. Her entire body shook.
“No. Not Jesus. Jack. It’s Jack, remember?” Jack responded jokingly.
“Yeah, I know. I remember. Do ya think you can give me some kind of warning or something, before you just invade my mind?” she asked with ill-concealed annoyance. “You just scared me to death.”
“Sorry. I couldn’t help it,” Jack said, meaning he couldn’t really give her any warning. Quickly, he asked, “What day is it, Maggie? Am I too late?”
“It’s the 12th, I think” She answered. She quickly glanced down at the paper to see the printed date; ‘June 12th, 1971.’ Jack could see it too.
“Yeah, the 12th,” she confirmed. “Too late for what?”
“The fourth victim Maggie, remember?” Jack snapped. “It hasn’t happened yet for you. I looked it up from the newspaper archives. It happens tonight!” Jack said, getting excited. “This is perfect timing!”
“Tonight? Are you sure?”
“Yes. I’m sure. It’s tonight,” Jack responded testily, frustrated that she didn’t believe him. “They’ll find the body tonight, behind Mountain Peaks Restaurant, next to a trash dumpster.”
“Mountain Peaks,” she responded, trying to think of where she saw that name before. She repeated the name again, slowly. “Mountain Peaks.”
“Yes. Mountain Peaks. Do you know it?”
“Well, it sounds—“ Maggie was cut off by Jack’s excited voice.
“Her name is Terri Schultz, a prostitute and drifter from the Denver area. No known address. She was killed sometime.