- Author: Cameron Dane
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DREAMING IN COLOR
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Dreaming in Color
This e-book is a work of fiction. While reference might be made to actual historical events or existing locations, the names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
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Copyright © July 2009 by Cameron Dane
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Printed in the United States of America
Editor: G. G. Royale
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
For Lilly. You'll get to read my stories in about ten years, if you are still interested. Maybe by then I will have written a book about a lady ghost, as you recently suggested. Or maybe you'll write one of your own. You're always full of good ideas. Love you.
Oh God, I'm drowning.
The swirling tentacles of the undertow wrapped themselves around Colin Baxter's legs and tugged, trying to pull him under the raging waves of water. Surrounded by a sea of moonlit sapphire blue, Colin fought to stay above the tide.
Swim, damn it, swim. You know how to do it.
Colin treaded water, turning in a circle, frantic for a direction in which to go.
A beacon of red suddenly showed itself in the distance, as if beckoning Colin home.
The flash of color disappeared with one blink of Colin's eyes, but it no longer mattered. His arms and legs could now feel the location to which he was supposed to swim. Colin wasted no time and started swimming freestyle toward an endpoint that existed only in his mind. Swells of water pushed him halfway backward for every ten strokes he progressed; after what seemed like hours, Colin slowed, his body battered in a way that brought back nightmares from long ago.
“Help me,” a rough male voice rippled across the night sky.
Colin jerked and whipped his head around, searching for a body to go with the words he had heard. Nothing. Just water and more water, illuminated by the light of a bright, full moon.
Exhausted, wanting to give up and sink to the bottom of the ocean, Colin gritted his teeth; something inside him refused to slip under the water. The strange pull of the suspended red object drove him to move once again. His muscles screamed with every churn of his arms and kick of his legs, but he could not stop. Something beyond his ability to physically endure drove him forward, swimming toward…nothing.
“Help me.” Ragged desperation laced the male voice again, haunting Colin.
Angering him too.
Revived emotions gave fuel to Colin's depleted body. Maybe if you help me, buddy, I could help you. Colin could only think the snapping retort in his mind. His burning lungs would not allow him to speak.
A white light flashed through the night sky right then, and everything moved in fast-forward, like in a film. Colin existed in a place of limbo, floating above his body. He saw quick snapshots of himself swimming, making progress toward a shoreline as the night sky changed with stop-motion progression and became a blindingly sunny afternoon.
Crashing down into his own body once again, Colin fell face-first into pure white sand, the warmth of which seeped into his nakedness and slowly brought his chilled body back to life. Colin's lungs heaved, and he sucked in great gulps of air, greedy for the oxygen. As his breathing returned to normal, he pulled his arms and legs under him and stood. He looked up, and his knees nearly collapsed him right back down to the sand.
In front of him, a colonial-style home sat up off the beach. Painted pristine white with black shutters, it had an unusual blue tile roof. Above the door, a rectangular stained glass window shone bright with multiple colors, but Colin barely took note of the design. The door itself commanded his full attention, gleaming in the sunlight with its shiny coat of bright red paint.
“Holy shit.” Colin blinked, certain the home must be a mirage. He opened his eyes, and there it still stood. And that door. That fucking cherry red door filled his vision.
His legs no longer lethargic, Colin trekked up the beach to a sandy path surrounded by tropical greenery on both sides and came to a stop at the bottom of the steps of the majestic porch. He walked up the stairs slowly, mindful of the smooth wood under his feet, as well as the cool metal of the railing under his hand. Reaching the landing, he planted his foot, and the creak of the porch caught his attention, drawing forth a smile. I'm going to have to remind him again to fix that. The thought not only filled Colin's brain without hesitation, but also tugged