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"Jessica! Jessica where are you baby? Please"...laughter echoed tauntingly in the recesses of Steven's nightmares. Then Jessica's image appeared along with the image of a very attractive, athletic looking man's image.

"I'm way over you!" Jessica said coldly.

"I got me a real man." She began kissing him softly on his ear, caressing a spot that used to belong to Steven.

And the two of them started laughing, looking through Steven to his heart.

"Nooo!" Steven awoke in a cold sweat.

How could she betray him like that? What demons had come from the depths of @#!*% ? He knew what he had to do now. He set out to work reading up on all he could on the art of lucid dreaming. He was going to have to conquer his own monsters before he could hope to rescue the children from their own; but how? How could he keep himself awake while in the dream state of mind? That was going to be the trickiest challenge. Challenges of course seemed nothing to him. He had after all gotten a degree in psychology while growing up in the poor side of town. He recounted all the countless nights he had been waiting tables while his buddies were at clubs or the movies. He had wanted more in life. He had wanted to give back something, to put a heart beat in someone's heart so to speak.

Through the next few weeks he read up, listened and watched all he could on the subject of lucid dreaming He also went online and surfed the web, becoming as proficient as he could on the dream world. He meditated to calm his Spirit.

But he did not give up on his children. He even had two more join in on the journey toward healing. He decided that five children was all he would try to take on for now. He wanted to make sure he could give he child plenty of one on one time with him alone. Since this was a new therapy he would give each child the whole entire day alone with him, one child at a time.

The two new children that had joined were Lindsey and Johnny.

"Hi Lindsey!" Steven had said.

"Hi!"

She sat on the couch, holding her pretty Raggedy Ann Doll, shivering all the while.

"Are you scared honey?" Steven asked.

"Yes!" She said.

"Are you scared at home?" Steven replied.

"Yes!" She said timidly.

"What place at home scares you the most." He asked.

"Under the bed." She said, looking around the room.

Steven thought for a moment. As she was leaving, she waved good-bye. Her
father grabbed her hand and a look of horror crossed over her face. It was
then he knew. He wrote in her records, possible sexual abuse.

"Hi Johnny!" Steven said chipperly the next day.

"You have toy cars?" Johnny's eyes lit up.

"Yes we do. But we need to talk first ok?"

"Can I play with them?" He asked, looking around Steven to the toy cars.

"Maybe later. You're here because something made you upset... can you tell me
what that something was Johnny?" Steven asked.

"Yeah...that was my nightmare." Johnny looked at the floor.

"What in your nightmare made you upset?" Steven asked.

"The man. He just stares at me all the time. He won't let me play." Johnny cried.

Steven let Johnny play with the toy cars for a while.

"Who was this nightmare man who haunted Johnny's dreams. What was Johnny trying to tell me?" Steven thought for ages.

"Good-bye Johnny. We'll get that nightmare man."

Johnny suddenly had a terrified look on his face as he walked out.

Steven sat up late that night thinking. He had mastered the art of lucid dreaming to the best of his ability. There was only one way to put it to the test. He had been having the save nightmare every night for the past week like clockwork, this was his way to test his lucid dream therapy on himself and put his own demons to rest.

But he also thought of his five children:

Daniel, Sarah, Donald, Lindsey and Johnny. Could he help them? Could he rescue them? Their parents had put their complete trust in Steven's care, signing his document, giving him complete reign over their children. What if he failed them? No, that was not an option. He could not let them down. He took two sleeping pills and dozed off to sleep for the night.

"Jessica! Jessica! Where are you baby? Please come into the light. Where are you honey?" Steven called out helplessly once more into nothingness.

Her image was there once again with him, just like the many other horrific nights.

"Baby, you don't have to do this... you are just dreaming. You can wake up. You can do whatever you want to in this world. See how I am flying here?" Steven pleaded with his Jessica.

"Really? I can do what I want?"

"Yes, Jessica. Isn't it great?" Steven asked.

She slapped him once, hard on the face.

"That's for all the nights I spent alone because you would rather study than spend with your girl." It had been a wake up call. And Steven's dream had ended... Jessica had moved on and so could he. Now, he could work on the children's monsters.

------
Lisa M. Hunt


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The following comments are for "Dream Warrior chapter 2"
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