Two brothers, a mysterious girl, an ancient prophecy, a dangerous secret; one destiny.
It had all begun with his mother's death: the vivid flashbacks, the haunting, recurring dreams, even the ominous feeling that someone was following him.
As a doctor, Alec Gregory had tried to consider reasonable explanations but as a young man feeling alone and confused he could not be reasonable. Alec wondered if it would all make more sense if he told someone what had really happened the day his mother died. Who was there to tell?
George? No, he knew what George would think; knew his twin brother would not, could not believe him. Besides, he had not been able to reach George by telephone for over a week. Who else was there? His co-workers at the hospital? No, they would think he was crazy, and who knew they might be right.
It had been an accident, nothing more, and, however strange the facts were, it was still an accident. An accident that had killed his mother, but by some miracle had left him alive.
In the months since that day, Alec had asked himself the same question over and over; why? Why was he alive when his mother, who had been more alive than he would ever be, was dead?
That day was imprinted so clearly in his memory, he remembered every detail; the lorry that had sped around a corner far too fast, swerving across the road, the brief, shocking glimpse of the driver’s face, the jarring shock of impact, and the scream of crushed metal. And then...there had been no then, he had was rolling down an embankment to land stunned and bruised on the hard packed earth below.
The police had been baffled; the passenger door of the car had been jammed shut by the impact. It was impossible for Alec to have gotten out, but he had. He had lived, and his mother had died, killed by a careless driver who hadn’t even bothered to stop. It would not have seemed so strange if not for the driver‘s eyes...
“Doctor Gregory, are you alright?” The familiar voice of Doctor Ann Lewis pulled him back to the present with a shock.
Alec rubbed a hand across his forehead, trying to dispel the memories. He looked up at her, blinking in the bright, artificial glare of the hospital.
“Are you alright?” she asked again.
Alec forced a smile, despite the escalating pain in his head. “What can I do for you Doctor?” He was avoiding her question, but she didn’t pursue the point.
“Your brother’s on the phone, he says its important.” She ran a hand through her short grey hair like she always did when nervous. “Didn’t they page you?”
George? It was about time. He looked down and shuffled his feet, unable to meet her steady gaze. “I-I didn’t hear, I must have dozed off.”
The room was spinning out of focus around him. Alec rubbed his burning eyes and tried desperately to concentrate.
Doctor Lewis laid a hand on his shoulder. “Alec, I can only guess what you’re going through, and I don’t blame you, but you’ve been very distracted lately. I’m suggesting-”
Whatever she was saying Alec didn’t hear the rest, he was staring past her at the window of the reception room.
He saw her reflected there, the girl he had dreamed of for months. Alec knew if he turned she wouldn’t be there, she wasn’t real, she was too real. Her dark eyes met his in the glass warning and pleading. "Please, please!"
Doctor Lewis shook his shoulder urgently. “Alec!”
Alec blinked and the girl vanished. He turned back to Doctor Lewis and she was watching him with eyes the color of fresh blood. Her fingers gripped his shoulder with bruising force.
He struggled to break free but her grip was like iron. She spoke and her voice was strange, cold completely unlike how she usually sounded. “You’re mine Alec, no matter what you do, you’ll always be mine!” her eyes glowed with red light, just like the lorry driver’s had.
Alec jerked awake, shaking and drenched with sweat. He took a deep breath trying to calm the racing of his heart. A dream, that was all it was, but it had felt so real, and he had dreamed it before, ever since his mother’s death.
Even though the dream terrified him, it was also intriguing. He remembered the girl’s eyes meeting his through the glass, and remembered other dreams he had seen her in. Whatever he dreamed she was always the same; always there, but never quite real, more like a dream within a dream.
She had always been the same, though it seemed she was always from a different time. Alec had seen her dressed like a Greek goddess, then in a foreign nurse’s uniform, and dressed like a security guard at a museum, but she herself never changed.
Alec glanced at the alarm clock; it was half past two. He should go back to sleep, but he didn’t want to, couldn’t, dream again.
A cup of tea might help him relax, then maybe the dreams would not return that night. Alec got up, anything was better than laying there, fighting back sleep and trying not to think.
It was dark and he didn't want to bother with finding the light switch, instead Alec felt his cautiously along the wall. As he reached the bedroom window, a flicker of movement in the street outside caught his eye. A man was pacing restlessly up and down in the muted glow of a streetlamp.
It's not unusual for someone to be out in London even at this time of night, Alec thought watching him; still he felt strangely disturbed, as if something were about to happen.
It was crazy, only the lingering feeling of the dream, but there was something distinctly out of place about this nighttime wanderer; he didn't belong in a dim London street.
Alec was about to turn away when a taxi cab crept past its headlamps shining full in the stranger's face. The light seemed to reflect off his eyes and they glowed with a strange, green, brilliance.
He jerked down the shade, strangely unnerved by an occurrence that was commonplace enough. I must be mad, he thought abstractedly as he leaned against the wall.
After a few minutes Alec remembered his tea and moved towards the kitchen, drawing the shades as he went. He put on the kettle and sat at the kitchen table, the familiar sound of heating water slowly relaxing him.
George, he should try to call him again. No, he couldn’t. George had more than a few personal demons to face without Alec adding to them. Did it really matter so much? No. Yes, it did matter; it mattered because always before when he had been hurt or frightened, his mother had been there. So had George. Now he was alone
Absentmindedly, Alec looked down at the table and saw he had been drawing again. Art had always come easily for him but the past few months it had been different, drawing had become something he did subconsciously. Effortlessly capturing his thoughts on paper.
The girl he saw in his dreams stared up at him from the sketch, her eyes holding a note of accusation. Why won’t you listen? she seemed to say.
“Who are you?” he barely registered speaking aloud, but a moment later he felt anger at himself. She isn‘t real! She a dream, a product of your imagination brought on by feeling alone. And somehow referring to himself in the third person wasn’t going to help him be any less alone.
His mother was dead, his brother wouldn’t talk to him, and his subconscious mind apparently thought his co-workers were demons. Oh, and he was talking to a drawing of a girl who didn’t exist.
"A dream, only a dream," he spoke in a low voice and was not even aware of the faintly wistful note in his words.
The kettle, unheeded, boiled dry, as Alec sat there twisting the pencil between his fingers, and staring at nothing.