Excerpt From Chapter 14:
MAC AND I raced up the stairs to find Rabbit sitting up in bed, screaming hysterically. Rosheen was beside him, covering his face in frantic licks, whining in distress—a pretty good sign there was no real danger in the room.
I sat down on the edge of the bed and pulled him into my arms, holding him as close as possible, and making shushing noises as I rocked him back and forth. Mac checked the windows and closets to be sure we were alone, then stood beside us, face pale and distressed.
“It’s all right, Rabbit. Everything’s all right. Mac and I are here. You’re safe with us now.”
His arms twined around me, but gasping sobs continued to wrack his thin shoulders for several more minutes, before they slowed down, fading into sad, little whimpers.
“Open your eyes, Rabbit. We’re here. See? Tell me what happened. Did you have a bad dream?”
His whimper turned into a moan. “He’s comin’.”
His voice was ragged and hoarse from crying. “He’s comin’, Sarah.”
“Who’s coming? Can you tell us who you mean?”
Mac went to the bathroom, came back, and handed me a damp washrag.
Rabbit’s face was splotched and red, and his hair was plastered to his head with sweat. I wiped his brow with the cool rag, and grabbed a Kleenex from his nightstand. “Here you go. Blow your nose.”
He complied, hiccupped twice, then turned his frightened eyes to mine.
I gave him what I hoped was a reassuring smile. “Better, now?”
He nodded, but his eyes reflected nothing but stark terror.
“Do you remember your dream?”
“Do you want to tell us what happened in it?”
A shuddery, frightened sigh escaped him. “He’s comin’ Sarah. He’s bad…an’ he wants me.”
“Who wants you, Rabbit? What do you mean? What happened?”
“I was downstairs, on the front porch, waitin’ for somethin’, an’ the sun was all bright and shiny and hot, an’ then it went grey all over, like when clouds come, only there weren’t no clouds…just all the sunlight dyin’ away…an’ the air got shivery cold. My gran was there…standin’ right by the bottom of the steps, watchin’ down the drive. She turned to me, real fast, an’ she yelled, ‘Run, Boy. Run! He’s comin’. Don’t let him see you. Run, NOW!’ An’ then there was a big sound like a car, only lots louder, an’ all the grey turned to black, an’ I knew it was too late for me to run… he was already here.”
Shock and fear jolted through me, as I listened to his words. Terror wove through the fabric of his dream, giving it weight, and his fright was a solid presence in the room with us. Mac moved past me, scooped Rabbit up, and carried him to our room. Rosheen and I followed.
Mac’s voice was soft and gentle, filled with tenderness. “Tell you what, Little Rabbit. We can talk about this more in the morning, but for tonight, how about you sleep with Sarah and me? I’ll make sure no one comes for you, I promise. Rosheen and I will guard you all night, and Sarah will be right there beside you, in case you have any more dreams. You’ll be safe with us watching over you. Okay?”
Rabbit nodded, arms around Mac’s neck, and sleepy head tucked against his chest.
Moving around them, I arranged the pillows to accommodate all three of us, then turned back the blankets. Mac laid Rabbit in the middle of the bed, and pulled up the covers. The boy’s eyes grew heavy, and in seconds he was asleep again, his breathing deep and regular.
We stood watching him, then Mac shrugged an apology in my direction. “There was no way I could leave him there by himself after that, Sarah.”
I leaned into his chest, and slid my arms around his waist. “You did the right thing—exactly what he needed. He takes those things his gran told him very seriously, even in dreams.”
“Stranger things than a grandmother who had The Sight have happened to the two of us. I’m not going to scoff at a warning like that. “
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