Do you dream about the same thing over and over?
For years I had theme dreams. How I wish they were of nice things. Meadows. Carnivals. Melting ice cream cones on a beach. I’d even take being naked in public.
Nope. Mine were scary. A man with a machete chasing me to whack off my head. Or falling through snow to a burning lava river below. Slice and burn. Not my choice to exit this world. And I can’t forget the wolves racing across the tundra to devour me.
Of course I never actually died in these dreams. I always wake up just before being diced. Dreaming in color just makes it that more vivid. Especially when its monster armadillos riding motorcycles throwing giant cupcakes at you.
Perhaps we’re better off not remembering our dreams – or re-living them over and over. Perhaps they need to stay as dreams to ward the dark away.
In my paranormal suspense novel, A Human Element, Laura Armstrong is also haunted by nightmares of an evil man chasing her. Only, this man is not a figment of her imagination. He is very real and very capable of killing her from afar. And when her dreams become a reality and she discovers her stalker is part of her own destiny she has to decide whether to kill him or redeem him.
But back to machetes. I ran for miles in my dreams avoiding decapitation from that unknown machete wielding maniac. He swung blades of steel seeking my neck. Across dark woods. Through houses. Down lonely roads. He chased me. On and on.
Then one day a crowd came. They surged onto the brute and whacked him to death with garden hoses. He disappeared and never returned. For the first time someone came to help me. And they destroyed the thing that haunted me most. They gave me hope. Someone finally came to my rescue.
Laura Armstrong is also not alone in A Human Element. She has many loved ones who put themselves in harm’s way to save her from the man who wants her dead. But can they win out over such evil?
Maybe this is the reason I write from the darker side with a touch of hope. No matter how dark things are, there is hope for survival.
And then it hit me. The machete man was awfully familiar to the villain in my book. I think he hides inside me and comes out when I write, and that is the only place he’ll remain safe from now on. If not, I’ll send back in the angry hoard of garden-hose attackers to get him good.
The power of dreams. Have your dreams had power over you – in writing or in life?
The man that stalks Laura:
Laura’s alarm clock blinked a repetitive florescent green and she stared at it as flashes of her nightmare came back. She had been running through dark woods. An evil man chased her in the silent shadows of trees and moonlight. It was the woods by her lake back home.
She could not hear the man chasing her as she dodged around trees and rocks. He was silent. They raced together over leaves and branches. She did not know who he was, only that he loomed taller than the average man. She glimpsed a frozen leer every time she saw him not far behind her in the brush.
He played with her. Was it a game of cat and mouse and she was the prey? To survive she knew she had to find a hole to hide in. She also knew if the tall man found her he would slash her throat open with his monstrous hands, all the while grinning as her lifeblood pumped into the wet earth. He would then carry her drained corpse up the mountain and bury her deep where no wild animal could dig up her remains and feast on her flesh.
She stopped as she came out of the woods to find herself teetering on the edge of an enormous pit. She scrambled down the slope of the hole, scraping herself on dirt and pebbles. She reached the bottom and threw herself on the ground clawing at stubby grass. She flung dirt to the side, tearing her hands and nails. She peered up at the pit’s edge to see the man standing above her in a dark silhouette. They were connected. But how? The clouds raced behind the man. He stood with arms crossed, mocking her meager attempt at escape.
She knew she couldn’t stop now and resumed her digging when her hands hit something hard. She cleared away the dirt to reveal a small black metal door. She pushed away the moist muck on it and pulled down on the handle.
She looked once again to the top of the pit. The man had stopped grinning. He unfolded his arms and began to trot down the crater’s steep walls. An evil scowl shadowed his face. She knew his descent would be her death.
Donna Galanti is an International Thriller Writers Debut Author of the paranormal suspense novel A Human Element (Echelon Press). She’s lived from England as a child to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. If she couldn’t write she would bike, hike, and kayak every day. Donna lives with her family in an old farmhouse in Pennsylvania with lots of nooks, fireplaces, and stinkbugs but sadly no ghosts.
Connect with Donna here:
About A Human Element: One by one, Laura Armstrong’s friends and adoptive family members are being murdered, and despite her unique healing powers, she can do nothing to stop it. The savage killer haunts her dreams, tormenting her with the promise that she is next. Determined to find the killer, she follows her visions to the site of a crashed meteorite–her hometown. There, she meets Ben Fieldstone, who seeks answers about his parents’ death the night the meteorite struck. In a race to stop a mad man, they unravel a frightening secret that binds them together. But the killer’s desire to destroy Laura face-to-face leads to a showdown that puts Laura and Ben’s emotional relationship and Laura’s pure spirit to the test. With the killer closing in, Laura discovers her destiny is linked to his and she has two choices–redeem him or kill him.
Praise for A Human Element:
“Be afraid. Be very afraid. And be utterly absorbed by this riveting debut that had me reading till the wee hours of the night. A thriller star is born. Don’t miss A Human Element.” – M.J. Rose, International Bestselling Author
“A Human Element is an elegant and haunting first novel. Unrelenting, devious but full of heart. Highly recommended.” – Jonathan Maberry, New York Times best-selling author
“Lyrical and creepy, Donna Galanti’s A Human Element tugs on our heartstrings and plucks the gut-strings of horror. This debut thriller author is a true storyteller, highly reminiscent of Dean Koontz.” -Dakota Banks, award winning author
Purchase A Human Element here: