Author

.Doors To Mirrors 1-19

Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 19) Forward

Dreams consume Viktor’s nights, much like Nadja’s, but he has abundant control in the lucidness, much more than most individuals. This is partly due to his photographic memory and the fact that it is incredibly hard to cause him to slip up. He too blogs about the oddities he finds hidden in his dreams but lately, the same recurring images seem to be seeping their way into his wanderings.

Not only does Viktor recognize the repetitiveness of this odd sequence of images and experiences, he can actually count on revisiting the same place almost every night. This has him confused for he believes there has to be a reason for it to be happening. His mental notebook continues to retain each and every twist and turn and he knows without a doubt, the dreams must be caused by something, but what? With the control he has grown to have, what is he missing during his sleep state that will push the occurrence forward? Why does he feel as if he is hung-up?

Ex 19

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 18) Advice

It was raining in Nadja’s dream and when she first heard the footsteps, it sounded as if the man was running. Was he chasing her? Did he even see her? What is it her subconscious was trying to tell her when he pulled his hood up, is he hiding something? More disturbing yet, who pulled her back into the shadows of the buildings when she was ready to follow him? The thought of being tracked by someone Aaron has in place causes her to shiver.

A few months back, when Nadja joined the large group of individuals who blog about dreams, she was seeking answers. Many of the people ask for clarification to their night wanderings while others offer advice on what the dream could possibly mean. Using her phone, she begins searching through the sites dream dictionary section, which assists readers in deciphering the meanings of the various things they encounter. Hundreds of miles away from this secluded cottage, a young man finds himself doing very much the same.

Viktor is not much older than Nadja. He has dark brown hair and his eyes match this tint perfectly. His neatly trimmed beard makes him appear ten years older than his actual age, but this does not seem to bother him. He likes the fact that others mistake him for a more mature self.

Unfortunately, he is not at all in a good place in life. He is unsure of the direction he is to go on his career path and his employer’s appreciation falls very short in comparison to what he gives to them of himself and his time. In fact, he has now surpassed the burn-out stage and is completely bored with his position. All interest has been lost and he no longer strives for perfection for it has not taken him any further than the slackers and misfits around him.

Ex 18

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 17) Aroma

“Beep! Beep! Beep!” Sounds the oven timer indicating the pizza is cooked and ready to eat.

Nadja lost track of time sitting here in her own thoughts and memories. She had no idea enough minutes had transpired for the frozen pizza to be completely cooked. As she pops the oven door open, the thick crust is bubbling with sausage, cheese and mushrooms.

“Ummm, this is going to hit the spot.” She says as she breathes in the spicy aroma.

Placing her hand in an oven mitt, she pulls the pan out of the heat and places it on top of the stove to cool. Looking in the pantry, she finds several options of flavored teas neatly stacked in tidy rows. She prepares the teakettle by rinsing it out and pouring in fresh water. It comes to a boil rather quickly and within minutes, her tea is steeping in the cup and she has sliced off two large pieces of pizza.

“I wonder who the man was in my dream.” She questions to herself. “I know it was not Aaron, so who have I passed by in the last few days that would trigger such a mysterious character?”

Ex 17

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 16) Lost

Now, after Nadja has had a moment to think, she believes the popping sound she heard on the window was merely the glass responding to the drastic change in the outdoor temperature after sunset. She proceeds to place the pizza in the oven and after tossing the box in the trash can, she turns the light back on in the room. Taking a seat at the small table for two, which fits snug up against one wall of the kitchen, she glances at the objects on the table. Upon it sits a small vanilla candle and a crystal salt and pepper set. Not really thinking of anything particular, she begins shuffling the three items around, sliding them across each other and from side to side, much like a magician would with the ball and cup trick.

“What am I going to do with my life?” She questions. “Where am I going and how did I find myself in this mess with Aaron?”

She recalls the first time she met him. He was as crazy about her as she was of him, or so she thought. They laughed and spent all of their free time together and she had no problem dismissing her best friends so she could be with Aaron. Little did she know this was exactly how he wanted things to be. He did not want her to have anyone other than him in her life. He became controlling and demanding, even told her how to cut her hair and what she could or could not wear. She became his puppet and over time, her own identity vanished.

“I’m lost.” She mumbles as she slides the candle and crystal shakers up against the wall. “How do you find yourself if you are lost?”

Ex 16

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 15) Fireflies

Fearing Aaron may have followed her to this mountain hideaway; Nadja immediately runs across the room and turns off the light in the kitchen. Slowly walking back to the window she stands up on her tiptoes to look out at the dark landscape. There are no streetlights here, no cars passing by or lamps in other windows. The only light is from the moon and stars as well as the last fireflies of the season.

Looking left and then right, Nadja presses closer to the window to see if any movement is detectable. Even though Aaron never came here with her, his business and the connections he has around the world within the security company he works for is far-reaching. It would be nothing for him to have placed her under surveillance by a member of his personal staff. With all of the possibilities rushing through her mind, the tension in the air is almost unbearable to her. She lifts herself forward, leaning on the kitchen sink, and her toes are no longer touching the floor. Suddenly the preheat timer sounds off on the oven to her left nearly causing her to slip and fall.

“Geez!” She says to herself as she places her feet down firmly on the wooden floor.

Ex 15

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 14) Care

Knowing that many of the foods her aunt would have had on hand at the time of her demise were perishable, Nadja decides to look in the freezer first. Happily, there she finds several small casseroles, French breads, cinnamon rolls, two small pizzas and various bags of frozen fruit. All of which are items Nadja would have on hand in her own kitchen.

“You are still taking care of me, aren’t you?” She whispers to herself as she pulls one of the frozen pizzas out of the freezer.

Setting it on the counter, she turns the stove on to the appropriate cooking temperature. At this moment, she hears what sounds like a tap at the window. Now that it is nighttime, all she can see when looking at the glass is the mirrored reflection of her own self. She begins to shiver for that paranoid sensation she was experiencing in her dream is upon her now. It is not often that she brings the feelings of her dreams into the real world, but tonight, this trepidation is very strong.

Ex 14

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 13) Glow

The gentle glow from the lamp is soothing and not harsh to Nadja’s tired eyes. As she steps over to where she left her trunk and backpack, from out of nowhere her stomach growls loudly. She quickly presses her hand against it but this does not aid in stifling the sound, which causes her to grin. The last time she ate was seven hours ago right after she boarded the train headed for the mountains. She then had an hour on foot as she navigated the path to the secluded cottage.

“I am famished.” Nadja says as she opens her backpack.

Digging her hand inside, she pulls out several apples, a bag of peanuts, a small loaf of bread, two oranges and a bag of sunflower seeds. She stacks each item in a row on the small lamp table near her aunt’s rocking chair.

“Well, this does not look promising. I wonder what I can come up with from the kitchen.” She mumbles as she reaches around the door frame for the light switch.

Ex 13

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 12) Figure

“There is nothing to fear here.” Nadja says to herself in her dream. “Aaron is not here, and even if he was, I would do battle and win!” She states as she kicks a rock with her foot sending it off the side of the road between two buildings and down a steep embankment.

The sound of approaching footsteps behind her causes Nadja to stop and turn. She can see the figure of a man approaching but it does not look as if he has noticed her as she dodges into a deep dark crevice between two gold-colored brick buildings. It begins to rain again and just as the man passes, he flips the hood of his jacket up over his head and she cannot get a good look at his face. However, he appears determined to keep going in a very hurried manner. Just as she begins to step out and follow, a hand grabs her neck from behind pulling her backwards and she feels as if she if falling.

“No!” Nadja screams as she leans up on her arms from where she was sleeping on the bed.

The sun has set and the bedroom is very dark. With her breathing rapid, she takes a few minutes to let her eyes adjust to her surroundings. The cottage is chilly which explains why she felt cold in her dream. Slipping off the bed, she walks into the main room of the dwelling and clicks the switch to the tall floor lamp. Immediately, the room transforms into as deep amber color.

“Oh you always knew how to set a cozy mood.” Nadja says in reference to her beloved aunt’s love of candles and low lighting.

Ex 12

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 11) Influence

“You are a beautiful child of light,” she remembers her aunt saying during a phone conversation. “You shine so brilliantly my dearest girl, I can see you from thousands of miles away.”

This recollection of positive words spoken by aunt Josephine, just a few weeks prior to her death, brings a smile to Nadja’s face as she opens her tear filled eyes and looks up at the window. Soft rays of sun trickle in through the small oblong panes of glass causing the entire room to glow in a mystical radiance. The comfort and safety of being here at the cottage calms her and she can no longer keep her eyes open. As if floating on air, like a bird souring on the wind, she feels herself drifting into the dream world she finds so peaceful. Happiness consumes her in warmth as Nadja slips off to sleep.

There is some lucidness to the dreams Nadja experiences. She does not have total control of the places she goes or the steps she takes, but she does possess a bit of influence when in a deep stage of sleep. This moment of rest is no different as she finds herself on a dark street that is wet from an earlier rain shower. The road is made of cobblestones and tall buildings fill in around it creating a closed-in alley affect to it. A bit of paranoia is upon her but she knows, even in this dream world, that this is due to the fear of running from Aaron in her waking life. A cold breeze brushes past her as she continues on her way down the hill.

Ex 11

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 10) Self-esteem

“You are nothing without me!” She can hear him saying repeatedly. “I can have any woman I want and you should be proud that you are with me!” He says in a stern way as he grabs her by the wrist. “And another thing, you will never leave me, I will not allow you to embarrass me in such a way, so I suggest you get used to the way things are!”

Nadja cannot remove the image of him glaring at her nor can she dismiss his arrogance. With her eyes closed, she frowns as her memories play out. Yes, he is very handsome and in a prestigious position with his employer, but the demands he places on her is unbearable. He wants her to worship him like a god, there is no other way to say it, but the torment he puts her though in public has embarrassed her numerous times. So many demeaning moments have been displayed in front of his family, friends, and coworkers that she nearly has an anxiety attack at the onset of any gathering.

When she first fell in love with Aaron, he was everything to her and she did all she could to please him. She freely wanted to make him happy in every way, she felt it was her duty.  It was never enough though and his bitter side began to show once he knew she was completely infatuated with him. He began to use her own feelings against her putting those sensitive emotions on display, mocking her actions and making jokes. She began to feel bad about herself and the more she fell into despair, the harder he pushed her down. It is Nadja’s aunt who gave her the strength to make an escape, to run from the depression, to free herself of the demands, and to focus on rebuilding her despoiled self-esteem.

Ex 10

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 9) Entry

Nadja lies across the bed and takes the journal from its resting place on the pillow. The cover is made of red canvas binding that looks like an old school book. Pulling the thin pen from where it was smartly placed by her aunt, at the first empty page, she begins to make her entry.

“I arrived at the cottage today, August 21st, 2:00 p.m. and just as I knew it would be, the sweet scents created by you enveloped me as soon as I opened the door. I can feel your loving arms around me dear Aunt Josephine and I know I always will. Love you forever and beyond the end of time.” Nadja writes in a slow methodical way.

She then gently closes the small book and places it on the end table near the bed. Rolling over on her left side she rests her head on the pillow and watches a small bird as it flutters on the variegated green shrub just outside the window. Maybe it was from the long walk in the warm sun or perhaps the emotional draining of her energy these past few days, but she cannot keep her eyes open any longer.

“I just need to rest.” She whispers to herself as the images of her estranged boyfriend emerge in her mind.

Ex 09

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 8) Paralyzed

Setting her laptop on the dresser, Nadja pops it open and clicks on the dream blog she finds herself becoming addicted too. Many individuals share their thoughts and analysis of their own dreams as well as nighttime images of other bloggers. Nadja is new to this and has only interacted a few times on the site. She very much enjoys reading what others have dreamt and how fellow bloggers interpret what the images could possibly mean. She finds herself laughing most of the time due to the various decoding processes the bloggers take. Some are incredibly extreme and articulate, while others are merely being silly for the sake of it.

There is one person though; whom she believes to be a male, who blogs rather frequently on how much he prefers his dream world to his waking world. Nadja can relate to this so deeply and often agrees with his renditions of the visions of others. She too would prefer to be asleep and walking through her dreams, even as crazy as they can be, than to be living in her current paralyzed condition. This man speaks so vividly of places that Nadja herself feels she has visited, but then again, to her a dream is your mind playing though the things it has learned in a day, a week or a year. She believes her subconscious is simply replaying what he describes in his blog.

“Or it is pure coincidence.” She murmurs to herself as she glances over a few of the new entries to the site. “I knew the trip would catch up with me, it always does.” She says with a yawn as she closes out of the website and sets her laptop to sleep mode.

Ex 08

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 7) Worn

Stepping into the guest room, Nadja cannot help but grin for there on the shelf are the other thirty-seven journals she has filled up with numerous day and nighttime memories. Running her finger along the top of the books, she turns and looks into the large full-length mirror of the antique wardrobe cabinet.

“Oh my, you are looking worn young lady.” She says to herself as she dabs at her eyeliner to brush away the smudges left by her tears. “It will never be the same here, but I will cherish every memory and make it as welcoming as I can.”

For as long as Nadja can remember, she has been fascinated by the images of her dreams. She knows this is a family trait for her aunt is the one who was so serious about journaling such things. The woman lived by what her dreams told her and enjoyed a good life. Now if only Nadja could master the same technique, she too hopes to overcome the negatives in the world around her. Most of all, she wishes for a way to escape the damaging relationship she finds herself trapped in and the narcissistic dominant man she has become terrified of.

Ex 07

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 6) Thoughts

Any other person would question how a note from a deceased family member could end up on a table for the right individual to read. However, this is not even questionable to Nadja for her aunt was very in tune with the world around her. She experienced vivid dreams and flashes of images that she said foretold the future and explained current events. Obviously, she knew she would be passing. The little house is tidy and clean and as Nadja leans back to look in at the guest bedroom, the bed sheets have been folded down at an angle just as her aunt would do for her each night before saying goodnight.

Nadja’s small journal sits upon the white lace trimmed pillow as if patiently waiting for her to make an entry. This was a ritual her aunt insisted she complete each and every night here at the cottage. She explained it was a way to wash away the day and it served as a tool to remember dreams through the night.

“If you dream and awaken, write it down, do not roll over and go to sleep. Your subconscious is telling you something and you must not forget it, so use your journal to cleanse the day and to never forget the night.” She remembers her aunt telling her when she gave her the very first empty book at the age of seven.

It was pale blue with cream-colored pages. Attached at the top was a thin ribbon, mint green in color and it served as the page marker. Nadja remembers the smell of the paper and the crackling sound the binding made as she opened the journal to place her first thoughts there.

Ex 06

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 5) Lavender

“Nadja my sweetheart, even though I am gone, you know how to be strong. Be bright, be beautiful, and never let anyone take the brilliant light of your soul from you.” Nadja reads aloud as she picks the note up to hold in her hand.

“I love you, Auntie.” She says with a grin as she softly folds the paper and slides it into her purse for safekeeping. “It’s as if you knew I would be here.”

Nadja takes a bar of the homemade soap, which is wrapped neatly in a parchment colored paper and tied with a delicate pastel tinted and transparent purple ribbon. She holds the bar to her nose then closes her eyes. Her aunt passed away in her sleep, here in the cottage, only two months ago. She had lived here for years and made her money from the patent she secured for her soaps, scrubs and lotions, which sell in elite shops and stores all around the world.

Nadja is the only other person who knows all the secret ingredients used in these specialty items. During her summers here, she and her aunt would stay up all night and day blending and testing scents and creams until they found the perfect mix. A small factory at the base of the mountain employs twenty workers who push out the products in mass production.

“Umm lavender, my very favorite.” Nadja says quietly as she continues to stand very still keeping her eyes closed tight and the bar of soap at her nose.

Ex 05

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 4) Torment

Nadja’s relationship with Aaron, her long-time boyfriend, is nothing less than a frightening and depressing disaster. His controlling behavior and lack of concern for anyone other than himself has cut into Nadja’s self esteem and taken her to such a low place that she feels she may never recover fully. Abuse can happen in so many ways but to her, the mental aspect of what a demented, hateful and controlling individual can do to another person is by far the worst. To her, you can heal bruises and somewhat forget them, but emotional stress and torment can torture you for an eternity.

The solemn and hurtful state of mind Nadja finds herself in is overpowering. As much as she wishes to escape the world she has grown to know, she fears she will never be free of it. Her sense of safety is void and the loss of herself as an individual is a great disaster. The memories of Aaron yelling, throwing things and demeaning her while in the company of others eats away at her constantly. She needs for her mind to rest, to stop thinking so much, she needs a fresh start and to be alone. As she turns away from the door, she notices a stack of soap on the little table next to where she dropped her bags. Under the sweetly scented pile is a little hand written note.

Ex 04

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 3) Reclusive

Just as expected, the full aroma of scented soap flows out to greet Nadja in an intense flavored and concentrated way. As she takes a step inside, sunlight dancing in through the windows reflects off prisms hung there for that very reason. The room is all aglow with dazzling flecks of light and brilliant sunshine. Without a second to collect her thoughts, tears begin to form in Nadja’s eyes.

“Oh Aunt Josephine, you fun and amazing woman, I miss you.” She says as she brushes a salty tear from her cheek.

Setting her trunk down near a small table, Nadja pulls the backpack off her shoulders, dropping it to the floor with a heavy thud. She secures the door by latching it and then double checks it my pulling on it to make sure it cannot open. As much as she loves it here, she is very much in the middle of a dense forest, high on a mountain, and miles away from the next home. It takes about an hour of walking on the thin path from the train station, which is also the only place to park a car, to get to the cottage. This reclusive setting does not frighten her in the least, but the man who may be following her does.

Ex 03

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 2) Eccentric

Early autumn is impending and the air here in the mountains is crisp and cool even in the bright cloudless afternoon. The little dwelling is very unassuming especially when compared to its true owner, who is now deceased. Nadja’s aunt was an incredibly wealthy woman but never lived as such. Her clothing was always in need of mending and her newest pair of shoes had to be at least fifteen years old or more.

Of all twenty-three years of Nadja’s life, eighteen of those summers were spent in this very house with her fascinating eccentric aunt. In fact, she helped her plant most of the original flowers lining the path that she is currently walking on. Each year, the plants drop seeds and continue the tradition of rebirth for a new season of colorful sweetly scented blooms.

Approaching the cottage, there is a sadness that sets into Nadja’s memory. She knows when she opens the door the little home will be just as it always has been and will smell like the homemade soaps her aunt was so talented at creating. However, her beautiful family member will not be standing on the other side of the door, wearing a broad smile and arms extended for a hug. Nadja takes in a deep breath to slow her pounding heart as she inserts the heavy silver key into the keyhole. With a gentle twist of the wrist, the lock quietly opens and the door swings slightly allowing for a peek inside.

Ex 02

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 1) Flutter

Deep green moss clings tightly to the stout cobblestone walls of the small country cottage. Variegated ivy cloaks the tall chimneys jetting up through the roof as well as the large thick trunks of the aged trees standing nearby. There is a peaceful feeling to this place unlike any other location Nadja has visited before. Her strong craving to escape the cold world she has grown to despise, has led her here where she hopes to reassess her goals and rebuild her self-confidence. Solitude in all aspects is her desire.

Walking up the thin gravel path, her dark hair flowing out from under a tan sun hat, Nadja holds an old-fashioned brown suitcase in her right hand. It has the appearance of an aged travel trunk from the nineteen twenties, which is her favorite era in time. As a total contradiction, a navy blue backpack stuffed so full the zipper appears it might break, is snug against her back. The dust from the gravel path is collecting on her brown boots, which bothers her a little, but then again she could care less. The wildflowers along the edge of the walk have dried to a golden brown scattering seeds from their stems as she brushes by them.

“Survival” she mutters to herself as she watches the seeds break free from the plant and flutter to the ground.  Excerpt 1

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