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Regurgitated Nightmares
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ISBN-10: 1-55404-056-6
ISBN-13: 
Genre: Supernatural/Horror
eBook Length: 115 Pages
Published: May 2003
OUT OF PRINT

From inside the flap

Come, take my hand and journey with me through ten levels of Hell that will leave you shaken, stirred, and remembering the tormented screams of the damned long into the black night. Live in the nightmares of a small girl plagued by nightmares that are all too real, feeling the terror beating in her little heart as a witch straight from Hell haunts her every dream. Follow as we descend into the horror of sleeping with the dead, which only those sacred few will ever know or understand. Take a stroll on a deserted beach, but be careful not to step on the bloated little body that has washed up there with its bulbous eyes accusing you of murder. Join us as we watch the angel of death come to take our beloved into the next life, all the while wondering if we will be received in the same gracious and loving manner. Join us, for death is a beautiful evil that none can escape.


Reviews and Awards

All in all, a superb collection by one of my favorite authors. This book is available currently as an E-Book from Double Dragon Publishing ( www.double-dragon-ebooks.com), with a Paperback release date in the Fall of 2003. Despite the fact that I had read many of these stories in various magazines over the past few years, it was a joy to read them again along with some new ones that had somehow escaped me, together in one volume. If you're a fan of spooky horror, fantasy, tales that make you sit back and scratch your chin in wonder or speculative poetry--take it from me, you won't want to miss out on David Bowlin's REGURGITATED NIGHTMARES; A Tour Of Lost Souls. Now, I just can't wait for the Paperback to be released next year, it will make a great addition to my vast collection of books.

-- Shawn P. Madison July 2003


David Bowlin is a very comfortable author to read. You feel you can settle down to his voice, knowing he will not only spark your imagination, but tell a tale real well. He includes a little science fiction in this collection; some stories are futuristic, others are set in the past, and there's a little bit of witchery too. He has a way of looking into a mirror and seeing a different image. With the help of a witch, he can calm a little girl's fears. He sometimes leads you along a path where there is a most unexpected twist at the end, or where the whole event is looked at from an unusual perspective. He explores the minds of the insane, visits with the uncanny. If you want something a little quirky or different, this collection of stories certainly won't let you down.

-- Celia A. Leaman, reviewing for www.ebook-reviews.net

Regurgitated Nightmares (Excerpt)


Contents

Dance with the Dead
To Each His Own
Dances In Hell
The Turtle God
Reflections of the Damned
A Beautiful Evil
Mirror, Mirror
Where Angels Tread
Mirror's Reflection
Old Debts
A Daughter's Silent Prayer
A Glimpse Of Death
Just Suppose
The Tale of the Pink Troll
Faerie Knots
It Happened In The Rain
A Shallow Grave
The Lost
A Kiss From Beyond
Sleepless in the Garden of Remembrance
Dying To Heal
The Most Beautiful Woman In The World
Ticking Of The Clock
A Stranger, My Lover




Dance with the Dead


The blackness slithered into the room, choking out the light as a palpable substance, destroying it, killing it. The silence screamed unimaginable torments into the ears of the room’s single occupant. She was huddled in the farthest corner of her bed, watching with horror-filled eyes as the darkness crept slowly forward, coming for her, and bringing the terrifying creature of the night with it.

Nothing she could do would protect her now, and she knew it. She?d been brave, she had fought hard, but she was just a little girl after all, and she had lost.

The night was complete, the hour was late; dying time had arrived.

With a final terrified whimper, Jessica’s eyes closed in sleep.

Within moments, the demon that haunted her dreams ? a beautiful young woman with a smile of purest evil - was chasing her through the black and endless forest from which there was no escape.

A single, silent tear trekked down her cheek and dissolved on her pillow.

***

The bright morning sunlight filtered through lacy curtains and spilled onto Jessica’s cheeks. The room that had been so terrifyingly dark during the night was transformed into a lovely, doll-laden paradise with the coming of dawn. The pink canopy bed in the center of the room was adorned with dolls and stuffed animals, perfectly matching the wallpaper of dancing children and white, puffy clouds.

Soft music drifted through the room from somewhere else in the large house. The aroma of bacon, eggs, waffles, and homemade biscuits wafted through the air, stirring the sleeping child from her hellish dreams.

Jessica sat up in bed; this was one swift motion, nothing like the gently washing up from dreaming to waking of most children. She sat up so fast her head hurt and her vision, already blurry from sleep, dimmed to near-complete blackness. Her breathing was coming in painful, ragged gasps and her whole body trembled as if from exertion. She stifled a scream by plunging her fist into her mouth; she didn?t scream anymore, not since the last time. She didn?t dare.

The last scream had landed her a week’s stay in the psychology ward at the expensive private hospital on Downs Street, with needles being jabbed into her every few hours, and all kinds of "therapy sessions" of electrical shocks and ridiculous questions. No, she didn?t scream anymore. She did, however, bite her fist every morning until it almost bled. The small, white-knuckled fist was always bruised from this morning ritual, but it didn?t matter; her parents were too busy to notice things like a bruised fist.

When she was sure the scream was once again buried in her chest, Jessica pulled back the covers and began the agonizing chore of pulling splinters out of her bare feet.

Tears clouded her eyes, spilling down her cheeks and onto her muddy, torn nightgown.

***

"How did you sleep, Jessie?" Before the question was even finished, Samantha Grear, Jessica’s mother, was already leaving the room, putting diamond earrings into her ears. The question was a formality; it was asked every morning, but Jessica never had a chance to answer. She slipped into her accustomed chair at the breakfast table and helped herself to eggs and bacon. Her father patted her on the head as he passed by, on his way out the door.

Within three minutes, Jessica was alone in the house with the maid, a polite old lady that hardly ever spoke. She poured Jessica a glass of milk and brought it to her with a kindly old-woman smile, and promptly disappeared into the kitchen once again. She ate her breakfast in silence, drained her glass of milk, and headed for the front door, on her way to school.

Miss Charlotte, the maid, was waiting by the front door with Jessica’s lunch box and backpack. She helped Jessica with the backpack, then handed her the lunch box. Jessica reached for the door, but stopped within an inch of the handle. Miss Charlotte was speaking to her.

Slowly, as if in a dream, Jessica turned her head to face the elderly maid.

"Time means nothing there, does it dear? You can run all night, but you never reach that old cabin in time."

Jessica’s eyes widened with alarm and disbelief. How could the old maid know about her dreams? She?d never told anyone this part of the dream, not her parents, not the few friends that she had, not even the doctors on Downs Street.

Sighing, the old woman continued. "Yes, dear, I know all about your dreams. I watch you, you see. I watch you from inside that old, rundown cabin, but I can never get the door unlocked, and you never make it to the door. Almost, but you never make it." The old maid’s bottom lip quivered as she continued. "That red-lipped, green-eyed witch always gets you just before you reach the door, doesn?t she?"

Tears swelled in Jessica’s eyes, relief and disbelief battling for room within her mind. Could it be true? Could this old woman be sharing these same nightmares?

"Poor, poor Jessica," crooned the old woman. "My precious little Jessie. It’s so hard to run sometimes, isn?t it, Hon? Poor little dear." Suddenly Charlotte pulled Jessica to her and hugged her mightily. Relief won over disbelief and Jessica’s eyes poured tears all over the old woman’s apron as she returned the fierce hug. Sobs wracked her small body; the relief of not having to hold a secret so unbelievable that you would spend the rest of your life in the hospital on Downs Street if anyone found out came out in a rush of tears and soul searing wails.

After a few minutes, Miss Charlotte pulled Jessica away and held her at arms length. "Now you listen to me, Jessie. You don?t tell anyone about this dream, okay? It’s our secret, and together we?ll get through it. Okay? I need you to be strong now. Be brave. We?ll beat this evil witch by and by. We?ll beat her together, okay?"

Jessica could only nod her head, wiping the tears from her eyes. She smiled weakly at the maid whom she hardly ever spoke with and, for the first time in her life, she knew love.