Author

Doors To Mirrors 100-119

Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 119) Hide

Looking up and down the empty street, Nadja pulls the hood of her jacket up over her head and quickly darts out of the main doors of the train depot. With a swift pace, she walks down the sloping hill toward the soap shop. Her nerves are on edge and she feels sick to her stomach. The fear that is rising in her is almost unbearable as she imagines Aaron running up and grabbing her. The sensation is so strong, she quickly turns around, but the cobblestone road and sidewalks are still vacant of any other individuals.

Most of the businesses have not yet opened for the morning including her destination, which she has now arrived at. Pulling the keys from her pocket, she fumbles through them. Once she finds the silver one, she shoves it into the lock, turns the key, and bolts inside quickly locking the door behind her. Leaning her back against the wooden frame, she takes in several deep breaths to calm herself down.

“I don’t want to live like this, in fear.” She says to herself as she stuffs the keys back into her pocket.

Looking around the quaint shop with baskets and barrels of soap and lotion neatly packaged and on display, her eyes tear up. Walking to the back room and on to the warehouse where her aunt’s creations are made, she wipes the corners of her eyes to avoid crying.

“I have to be strong, I have to continue with my aunt’s legacy and make her proud.” Nadja mumbles as she flips the lights on flooding the factory in a bright glow.

It will be two more hours before the workers will arrive and she is glad to have this time alone. Taking her backpack off and looping it over one shoulder, she walks up the spiral staircase to the second floor apartment. Her aunt would stay here with Carl if bad weather kept them from their mountain havens or if supply and demand became too heavy during the holidays. It allowed for more rest and less travel when things got hectic. She opens the door and walks over to the bed placing her bag on the floor next to it.

“I need to relax and get myself together.” She says softly as she sits on the bed. “I know I am going to have to stand up to Aaron at some point. I cannot hide for the rest of my life.” She lays back and closes her eyes.

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 118) Today

“Hi VikT100, before I talk with you anymore, I would like to see a picture of you.” Nadja types as she steps into a darkened alcove of the train station. “I am sorry you are traveling here because of me. I find it odd that a total stranger would do such a thing, so I am still confused about your true intentions.”

Glancing up, Nadja looks around at the now vacant depot. She begins walking past the ticket counter as she makes her way to the front of the building. To get to the soap shop, she must pass by several buildings but thankfully will not have to cross the road. She believes this will be an easy task and if Aaron is prowling about, she can avoid being detected, that is if she sees him first. Stepping to the side before reaching the door, she begins to type another note.

“I did see a man in my early morning dream today, but until I have proof your story is true, I will consider you my enemy.” She pauses as she reads this last line.

“Am I being too harsh?” She questions of herself for she is surprised at how forceful she is in this conversation. “No, stop and think about this, he knows too many details, I have every right to be suspicious.” She convinces herself in this conversation of her mind. “Send me a photograph, taken today, and I will decide if we will further this conversation.”

The message is sent and just as Viktor is about to reply to the first note he received from Nadja, the second one pops up on the screen of his cell phone. He reads it and immediately holds his phone up, taking a picture of himself. Within a few seconds, he sends it to Nadja and then the train enters the dark tunnel on its way up the mountain.

Taking a few minutes to look out the windows of the train depot, Nadja does not see Aaron anywhere. She still believes he may be staying somewhere near her aunts cottage in one of the rental cabins close to where Carl’s home is. However, he may very well be here in the village at the hotel across the street. Staring up at the windows, she watches for any movement from the curtains of the guest rooms. The lobby doors have not been active and she is hopeful most of the visitors are still fast asleep.

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 117) Hurried

“Nadja, I am begging you. You have to believe what I am telling you. I know once I describe the dream I had last night, you will realize what I am telling you is true.”

Nadja reads the lines carefully as she looks at the two men sitting a few seats away. Neither of them look up from their devices nor do they glance out the windows. Since they appear to be completely engrossed in what they are doing, she does not view them as suspicious, so she reads on.

“Nadja, I know you saw me in your dream. Maybe you do not remember it at this moment, but think really hard about your dreams last night. You looked right at me! I was sitting in your living room, in front of a warm fire and I was talking to your aunt. I know this because she referred to you as her niece. You stepped out of your bedroom and your aunt smiled. When I turned to look, you and I made eye contact. Nadja, I am on my way to see you and to help you. I am currently on a bus but will be in your village within the hour. Please let me find you.”

“So what I am remembering about my dream is true. Aunt Josephine was there.” She thinks to herself as she looks down at the words written by Viktor. “Could it be Viktor who was sitting next to her near the fire?” She mumbles to herself and then realizes she spoke this aloud.

With her head still bent down, she looks up slightly to see if anyone noticed. To her surprise, the vocalized statement did not deter the other three individuals in the train car from what they were doing. Just as she begins to read Viktor’s note one more time, the train comes to a halt at the village station. Several individuals are at the depot’s landing waiting to board the train going in the opposite direction, which will be arriving shortly. Once all movement on the rails cease, Nadja and the other passengers calmly walk to the exit doors, and step onto the landing of the train depot.

With her phone still in her hand, and her focus on the screen, Nadja continues to read Viktor’s words from the dream blog. She is trying to stay in the shadows of the building in case Aaron is observing the station in search of her. Little does she know, Viktor is waiting at the ticket booth, only a few steps away, and unfortunately, he is not looking in her direction. Just as he finalizes his purchase, the train heading up the mountain pulls into the station. In a hurried rush, he quickly walks toward the waiting train without noticing the girl from his dreams, who he would recognize in a second, is standing just to his left.

With Nadja so engrossed in the words written by Viktor, and with him in such a rush to catch the train, they miss bumping into each other by only a few steps. Viktor boards the train and takes a seat as he looks at his phone for any comments or notifications that may have come in from Nadja. He is feeling shaky and nervous from his early morning trip and to make matters worse, he has not had a bite to eat. Just as the train begins to pull away from the station, SoapSuds1920s finally replies to the last message Viktor wrote.

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 116) Isolated

After walking the remaining thirty minutes of the path above ground, Nadja steps into the waiting room of the train station. The view here is generous with large windows looking south across trees and valleys. Sitting here waiting for the train is normally a very peaceful experience, but today Nadja is keeping her head down as she glances around at other individuals in the depot. There are only three others in the terminal. Two men and one woman but none of them are talking to the other, nor do they appear to be together. It is rare to see strangers at this stop for there are only a few cabins that share the ridge. Two more stops up, higher on the mountain range is a lodge, but patrons rarely get off here.

The sound of the train whistle alerts everyone that it is near, so they begin to gather their belongings and make their way to the landing. The air is still cool from the night as the sun breaks through the trees and shines golden beams of light into the windows of the depot. The powerful train engine rumbles its way past the station as it brings the cars to a halt to allow passengers to board. As usual, no one is getting off at this stop, but Nadja and the other three individuals do enter the cars, each taking separate seats scattered away from the others.

Nadja finds this comical for it shows how society has become isolated. Not one of the three acknowledges the other as they take out their phones and tablets to keep themselves entertained. Grinning, Nadja does the same for she can easily admit she is just as dependent on technology as the others are.

The train ride into town is slow but steady and Nadja finds herself glancing out the window more often than usual. She feels as if she is trying to take in the entire view looking for all the details that she has taken for granted over the years. No one is waiting at the two stops between her station and the village depot, so no other passengers boarded, nor did any of the three get off. In the distance are snow topped mountains to the north and along the rails tiny fall flowers are in full bloom, the last ones of the season. Up ahead is a tunnel and once the train passes through, they will be a mere fifteen minutes away from the village. Nadja taps the application on her phone that opens the dream blog and finds another message from VikT1000.

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 115) Fascinating

The bus stops at the top of a sloping hill near the train station, and everyone on board begins to unload their belongings, then the group disbands in multiple opposite directions. Looking at his phone, Viktor compares the current time to the train schedule posted on the station wall. He knows he will have nearly an hour to waste before the next train is scheduled to leave for its trip up the mountain to the west.

“This is the exact place I have visited so many times.” Viktor thinks in his mind as he stands at the top of the hill looking down the cobblestone road. “Awesome.” He says just under his breath and he does not know where to begin.

With the early morning glow casting shadows onto the various earthy colors of the buildings, Viktor starts walking. The images of his dreams seem to flash in and out of his mind’s eye. All the details he is witness to now and here in his waking world, have been intricate parts of his dreams for months. It is almost exact to what he was expecting and it is mind-boggling to think about.

As he strolls down this slop of quaint buildings, his thoughts are fixed on one place. He wants to find out which business it is that first revealed the secret door to him. He would like to know if the hidden door truly exists. However, if it does, he is not sure what his next move will be.

“That would be cool though, if there really was a door behind the door.” Viktor says to himself as his steps slow in pace.

He is walking down the right side of the street, which is how he traveled in his dreams. Looking behind him and to his left, he scans the rows of businesses and doors. Some have awnings hanging over their entrances, a few have signs that swing and squeak with the breeze and most have antique looking lanterns on ornate metal brackets over the doorways. This too is evidence confirming he is in the right place. Turning back and facing forward, he recognizes the color of the buildings up ahead where the road begins to level out.

“I remember in the dreams I passed a couple of alleyways and the door was on the right, just before the road gets completely level.” Viktor turns around now realizing he came too far and at this moment, he sees the sign.

“Soap Suds!” Viktor says under his breath as he walks up to stand under the sign. “This has to be it! She is soapsuds1920s and that would be too much of a coincidence.” He grins and then realizes another familiar aspect of this building. “The lavender door, I remember being locked out right here when it was raining.” He mumbles with excitement.

The unfortunate thing is, none or at least very few businesses are open at this hour, and Soap Suds appears to be one that is closed. He cups his hands and peeks in through the large display window.

“This is fascinating.” Viktor says quietly.

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 114) Let Me

Nadja flips the last switch off bringing this final section of the tunnel into total darkness. Closing the door behind her, she pulls loose ivy over the entrance to help conceal its location. After taking a moment to glance at her surroundings, she walks past the rangers hut and on to the last portion of the trail.

“I need to keep my eyes open and listen very carefully for footsteps. It would be my luck to have come all this way only to run into Aaron on the path.” Nadja says in a whisper to herself.

Once Viktor’s plane landed, he boarded the bus to take him to the village between the mountains. While riding along on this twisting turning road, he logs into the dream blog to see if Nadja replied to his heartfelt message.

“Nothing.” Viktor says just under his breath.

He is very disappointed that their conversation is at a standstill. He desperately wishes she would see him for who he is and not some perpetrator trying to hurt her. He decides there is nothing to lose at this point and begins to draft another message.

“Nadja, I am begging you. You have to believe what I am telling you.” He pauses in his typing as he thinks of his next sentence. “I know once I describe the dream I had last night, you will realize what I am telling you is true.”

He looks out the window of the bus at the beautiful landscape. The grass and trees seem to be reaching for the distant mountain ranges on both sides of the road. Small pastel pink flowers are in bloom along the highway and dappled throughout the waving meadows.

“It is beautiful here.” He mumbles to himself as he thinks about all the hard gray concrete surrounding his apartment and the city he calls home.

“Nadja, I know you saw me in your dream. Maybe you do not remember it at the moment, but think really heard about your dreams last night.” He quickly types. “You looked right at me. I was sitting in your living room, in front of a warm fire and I was talking to your aunt. I know this because she referred to you as her niece.” Viktor states as fact. “You stepped out of your bedroom and your aunt smiled. When I turned to look, we made eye contact.” Viktor begins to feel nervous. “Nadja, I am on my way to see you. I am currently on a bus and should be arriving soon at your village. Please let me find you.”

As soon as he reads over his words and sends the message, the bus rounds a corner exposing the small village. Just as it has been in his dreams, it is nestled between two mountain ranges. Viktor’s heart races for he never believed this place to be real, let alone travel here and walk the stone streets of his dreams.

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 113) Reflection

“Why am I such an idiot?” Nadja questions to herself. “Why did I get involved with Aaron? What did I really think would come from such a controlling environment?” She shakes her head as pressure builds along her neck and shoulders. “Was I that afraid of being alone? How could I have been so blind to his arrogant and destructive ways?”

Nadja is very hard on herself. No one can beat themselves up more than her. Ever since she first began to notice how proudly Aaron exhibits his evil tendencies, she knew this was not how she wished to live. However, by the time it was obvious to her, she had already lost her self-worth. Only the past day or two has she felt stronger, yet here she is, changing her plans because of Aaron. She is going into hiding to protect herself and she knows it is wrong. She knows she must be strong and stand up to him but fear crawls through her veins. At this moment of escape, she realizes this is just another way Aaron is in control.

“I have to learn to stop giving him power over me, I know this.” Nadja mumbles as she pulls the latch that closes off the entrance of the tunnel to her aunt’s room. “I keep allowing this to happen but, I don’t know what else to do. I just need to get to the soap shop, talk to Carl, and get myself together.”

With the flip of another switch on the wall where the tunnel and underground room meet, the lights in the room go off, while another section of the tunnel begins to glow. Roots from the trees above have broken through some of the area and curled themselves around the support beams creating little nooks and pockets in the ceiling. She passes by a large opening to her right that looks like an entrance to a cave and just as Carl had stated, as the tunnel twists and turns, long mirrors hang along the wall to give sight to what is around the bend. Nadja continues forward, flipping each switch as she comes to it causing the lights behind her to go out, while engaging the bulbs in front of her.

“So far, so good.” She says to herself as she makes her way along the underground tunnel. “The mirrors kind of freak me out though.” She pauses as she comes to another one where water is trickling down around it from a freshwater spring.

The trip seems to take longer than the path above but Nadja knows this is due to the lack of scenery. The only thing of interest from inside this passageway, are the sparkling rock walls that were cut in half to form this trail and the occasional reflection of the mirrors. As she nears the end, the stones are now seeping with water from underground streams and little droplets splashing here and there echo around each curve and bend. Finally, she arrives at a wooden door that opens on the hillside. Slowly pushing the door just enough to peek out, she can see the rangers hut to her left and further on from there, the path that leads on to Carl’s cabin and the train station.

“Whew, I made it.” She says with much relief.

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Copyright © 2012-2016 All rights reserved
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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 112) Confused

As Nadja continues to gather her things, she cannot get the images of her aunt and the young man out of her thoughts. He was very handsome with dark eyes, dark hair and a close trimmed beard.

“I wonder if Viktor has a photo of himself on the dream site.” Nadja says to herself as she picks her phone up.

Signing into the dream blog, Nadja realizes there is a personal message to her from VikT1000, but as she reads it, she becomes confused.

“Nadja, I wish I could make you understand that I am not involved with tricking you. No, we have not met, but you have appeared to me in my dreams for months, even as recent as last night!” She reads to herself. “There has to be a reason this is happening. You are a beautiful person, even my dream self knows this. I feel you are in danger and I want to help protect you. It is odd, the way I am feeling, it is as if I have known you forever and thankfully through my dreams, I am finding my way back to you. Is it possible to fall in love without ever meeting or speaking to a person? Yes, I believe it is.”

Nadja stands alone in her room perplexed by this long note. She then scrolls up to past messages and realizes, Viktor is responding to a message she did not write.

“VikT1000, I despise everything about you and never wish to speak with you again. Do not write or try to contact me in any way!” Nadja reads.

“I didn’t write that!” She says to herself as she looks up at the window and then at the timestamp on the message. “I was asleep during that hour. There is no way I could have sent that message to Viktor!”

Nervously, Nadja places her phone in the bag with the rest of her belongings. Stopping at the front door, she removes the chair from under the handle in case she must return and enter this way, then quickly marches over to her aunt’s bedroom. With ease, she unhooks the lock on the cabinet and the bottom portion slides back revealing the ladder to the dark room and tunnel below.

“I wonder if she ever felt like me, did she ever use this to escape the cottage undetected?” Nadja questions to herself as she begins to go down the ladder. “Knowing you, Aunt Josephine, you built it because you knew one day I would need it.”

Nadja laughs at her own statement, but she knows this could very well be the truth. Her aunt was always seeing into the future and could predict many things, so for her to know a tunnel was needed in the future is not too farfetched.

At the fourth rung of the ladder, Nadja pauses to flip the switch on the wall, just as Carl showed her. This causes the lighting fixtures to glow in a clear white light and is much more inviting than the darkness she was venturing into. Moving on down she lands on the floor and looks over at the long tunnel that leads through the woods to the rangers hut. This underground and secure path will take her halfway to the train station. Even though she knows Carl left this way the night before, she is still nervous about what may be ahead in this subterranean trail.

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 111) Innocence

“Everyone please stay seated, we just have to get below this cloud deck and storm. Remain seated with your seatbelts secure please.” A man’s voice commands over the speaker system.

“Here, chew some gum. It will keep your ears from popping out of your head.” A man says from across the aisle as he holds out a packet of gum.

“That is nicotine gum.” Viktor replies as he notices the wording on the package.

“Yeah, what of it?” The man questions nonchalantly.

“I don’t smoke.” Viktor replies.

“Ah take one, maybe you’ll feel a little lighter in your seat than you already do.” The man grins just as the plan drops dramatically causing some of the luggage hatches to open and items to fall onto the passengers below.

“Ok, I’m in.” Viktor says as he takes a piece of the gum and plops it into his mouth. “Ugh, this is definitely not the kind of gum I chew.” Out of nervousness, he begins chomping down on it at a rapid rate.

Just as the plane drops again with a heavy shudder, sunlight flashes in through the windows on one side as they safely drop below the storm.

“Alright everyone, we are out of the turbulence but please stay seated since we will be approaching the runway shortly.” The man over the intercom states calmly.

Cheers and whistles from the passengers cause Viktor to feel better for this must mean it will be smooth sailing from here. The bright golden light of the sun is so brilliant that some of the individuals pull their shades down to block it out,  but all Viktor wants to do is look out at the beautiful glow. Down below in a patchwork of shapes is the landscape, still somewhat shadowed from mountains to the east and west. He knows they are close to his destination and he begins to feel slightly nervous.

Once the plane lands, he must travel by bus before stopping at the village he has grown to admire and memorize in his dreams. The next step will be to follow the older woman’s advice, travel west to board the train and get off at the third stop. He cannot wait to meet Nadja in person, but he knows she may not be glad to see him. How is he going to convince her that he is not a bad person? He is hopeful that once he is off the plane he can check his messages on the dream site to see if she responded to his plea of innocence.

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 110) Turbulence

Nadja’s biggest fear is that Carl may get hurt. Yes, he is a big man and very strong for his age, but Aaron, he is a monster and when enraged, can tear a man apart. If Carl believes someone broke into the cottage, he will go after them and she cannot allow him to be hurt. Aunt Josephine would never forgive her. As she thinks about her aunt, she smiles.

“I can take the tunnel that Carl showed me so if Aaron is out there or has someone watching, it will not be obvious I am leaving. I need to call Carl to let him know of my plans.” She says aloud. “No, maybe I shouldn’t, I will wait until he comes into work at the shop and pull him aside. For all I know, Aaron has tapped into my phone. “I know you are here somewhere, looking out for both Carl and me. I can feel you everywhere.” Nadja says in a calm tone. “Please be with me Aunt Josephine, I need your strength.”

It is now that Nadja remembers what she was dreaming as she woke up for the morning. She remembers being in bed and hearing voices coming from the main room of the cottage. One she recognized as her lovely aunt, but the other, she is unsure of.

“I remember knowing I was in a dream, I got out of bed and pulled my robe on.” Nadja mumbles to herself as she walks over to the doorway of her bedroom reenacting what she remembers. “I looked toward the fireplace and saw Aunt Josephine. She was sitting next to a young man, about my age, but I’ve never seen him before.” Nadja says in a puzzled manner as she continues to look at that area of the room trying to memorize the young man’s features. “Aunt Josephine looked up and smiled, so she was not trying to warn me of anything, she seemed content.”

Heavy turbulence and thick clouds cause the plane to jolt and drop, bouncing the passengers around as it soars through a storm. Viktor has only flown a few times and has never experienced a flight like this. He is glancing at the other individuals around him, a woman and child seem petrified but two men dressed in business suits are as calm as they can be.

“You ever experienced a flight like this before?” Viktor questions to the man sitting next to him.

“Yeah, this is nothing. I was on a plan once where I watched two bolts unscrew themselves from the wing due to the vibrations of the engine.” The man in a dark blue suit says in a nonchalant way as he continues to read his book. “Look at it this way, there is nothing you can do about it so just take it as it is.”

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 109) Elevated

Running hot water into the bathtub causes the tiny room to swell with steam. The lavender scent is strong, just as Nadja likes it to be and slipping into the warmth causes her to smile with comfort. She adores this old antique tub for it is deeper and longer than the ones in newer homes. She slides down until the water is lapping at her chin and she closes her eyes.

Somewhere nearby during this early morning pleasure, is the constant tapping of a woodpecker on a tree. The wind is calm and aside from the periodic chip or tweet from a bird, all is quiet. Nadja’s goal is to keep her mind silent as well. She does not want to think about Aaron or the fear she felt when she called Carl for help on the trail. No, this morning she is keeping soft images in her thoughts. Memories like mixing scents and ingredients with her aunt until two or three in the morning, while telling stories and laughing the entire time. Off in the distance, barely audible, a train whistle blows.

“No.” Nadja says as she opens her eyes.

The bath water has cooled and her senses are elevated. For just a split second, she fell asleep but the whistle from the train pulled her back into reality.

“Aaron is here, I forgot he is in town and I know Viktor is with him.” She says quickly as she pulls the stopper out of the hole in the tub to drain it.

“I have to get out of here. They were probably in the cottage while I was sleeping!” Nadja says as she begins to shake with nervousness. “I need to pack my things. I have to go. I can stay at the soap shop, no one will know except Carl.”

In a hurried and stumbling rush, she gathers her things and stuffs as much as she can in her backpack. The sun has not risen above the landscape and the sky is deep purple in color. Reaching for her phone, she worries that a new message from Aaron will be there, and once she pushes the button to reveal any messages, it confirms her fear.

“You may think you have found a haven, but you know as well as I do that you can never be free of me. I will come for you and I expect you to be packed and ready to leave. If not, the woods you seek refuge in may very well go up in smoke.”

“Oh my god.” She says just under her breath. “I cannot let anyone get hurt, but I would rather die than to end up going back to him.” She begins to sob. “Aunt Josephine, I don’t know what to do!”

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 108) Sleepwalking

Nadja jumps as she wakes up from a very deep sleep. She remembers dreaming, but has no idea about what. There is edginess in the air and she feels a bit dizzy as she sits with her legs hanging off the side of the bed. Turning to look over her shoulder at the window, she can see that the sun has not yet risen for the day. A shiver crosses her shoulders and as she reaches for her robe, a squeaking sound from the kitchen grabs her attention.

“What in the world is that?” Nadja questions as she quickly slips into the plush covering.

Pulling the belt tightly around her waist, she steps away from the bed to peek around the doorway. From where she is standing, the kitchen sink and some cabinets are visible. She has not heard anything for several seconds and just when she begins to think her ears are playing tricks on her, she hears the squeaking sound once again.

“Is that the back door?” She murmurs in a whisper to herself.

As she steps out into the main room of the house and walks in the direction of the kitchen, she finds the back door standing wide open. The cool air from outside has flooded the room and when her feet touch the ice-cold floor, she nearly jumps as if shocked.

“How in the world did this get open?” She thinks to herself as she glances around the room.

This is frightening to her for what if someone broke in and is still in the cottage? She now begins to look around at the corners of the rooms that are visible from where she stands. The only way the chair could have been removed from under the handle of the door, is by a person inside the cottage.

“Was I sleepwalking?” Nadja quizzes to herself, for when she was young, she did this all the time.

Realizing she is alone in the room, she hurries across the cold wooden planks and pushes the back door shut. It is now that she notices her laptop is on the floor.

“What? How did that end up down there?” She wonders as she bends over and picks it up. “Oh please don’t be broken.” She mumbles as she slowly pushes the lid open and it lights up as usual. “Oh thank goodness.” She says.

Still worried that someone may be hiding in the cottage, Nadja conducts a thorough check of each room and closet. She even opens the secret door in her aunt’s bedroom to make sure the room and tunnel have not been disturbed. Everything appears to be normal and untouched except for the back door and her laptop.

“Well, maybe I was sleepwalking or half-dazed.” She grins as she opens the mirrored wardrobe and begins to rummage through her clothing for something to wear. “It’s time to start the day with a soak in the tub.” She says as she makes her way to the bathroom.

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 107) Stimulating

As Viktor boards the plane in the city where he lives, the sun is just beginning to rise over the destination, the sleepy little village that sits at the edge of the mountains quite some distance away. A light frosty layer of dew has coated the plants and stones of the roads and buildings. Individual flecks have caught the light here and there, which creates a sparkling almost glitter like appearance.

Standing outside and leaning against a column that supports the porch at the local hotel, Aaron takes a long draw off his cigarette. The sky is still dark except for a light glow off to the east. Aaron would be almost invisible if not for the red glowing tip of his cigarette. He looks up at the mountains to the west and knows Nadja is probably still asleep. A smirk crosses his face as he thinks of the tricks he pulled last night and the message he sent to VikT1000.

“What a moron.” He says about the message as he flicks his cigarette butt out onto the road.

A small swirl of smoke twirls upward from the cigarette as it slowly burns out. Aaron turns, pulls the heavy door open, and enters the lobby of the little inn. In no rush, he makes his way upstairs to his room. He has no concern for others or the beauty of this area. The odd thing is that he believes himself to be a humanitarian, a lover of nature and an all around great person. How interesting it is for someone of his stature in the company he runs to have such a delusional impression of himself. One might believe him to be a sociopath for his true behavior has no regard for the feelings of others in any manner.

With his pouty bottom lip and broad shoulders, Aaron pushes the door to his room open and lets it slam shut behind him. Tossing his jacket down on the bed, he picks up his phone and quickly types a message to Nadja.

“You may think you have found a haven, but you know as well as I do that you can never be free of me. I will come for you and I expect you to be packed and ready to leave. If not, the woods you seek refuge in may very well go up in smoke.”

Grinning as he reads over this simple yet threatening note, he sends the message. Standing up, he sets his phone down on his jacket, rummages through his travel bag and heads to the shower. In his sick and twisted way, he feels happy and proud of himself for his actions during the past day and the last few minutes. It thrills him to think he has gotten to a person, caused some sort of negative or nervous emotional pain, and the fact that his current target is Nadja makes it all the more stimulating to him.

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 106) Personal

Rushing past parked cars, stacks of luggage and weary travelers, Viktor dashes into the lobby of the midsized airport. He wants to purchase a cup of coffee and have a chance to sign into the blog before boarding the plane. Looking at the large clock on the wall near the ticket booths, he realizes he made good time and can now relax. Once entering the boarding area where he will catch his flight, he slips the travel bag down off his shoulder, takes a seat and a long sip of his warm creamy coffee.

“Okay, now to see if Nadja has realized I’m not the bad guy and possibly answered me back.” Viktor takes his phone from his pocket.

Quickly he scrolls through the applications on his phone and clicks on the one titled, Dreams. Once in the site he scans over the various entries and there it is, a reply from Nadja, but not in the manner he expected.

“VikT1000, I despise everything about you and never wish to speak with you again. Do not write or try to contact me in any way!” Viktor reads and then sits quietly as if in shock.

“How can she say that?” He questions as he stares down at his phone. “No, I’m not going to let this rest. She has appeared in my dreams for some time now and there has to be a reason for it.” Viktor begins to type.

“Nadja, I wish I could make you understand that I am not involved with tricking you. No, we have not met, but you have appeared to me in my dreams for months, even as recent as last night! There has to be a reason this is happening. You are a beautiful person, even my dream self knows this. I feel you are in danger and I want to help protect you. It is odd, the way I am feeling, it is as if I have known you forever and thankfully through my dreams, I am finding my way back to you. Is it possible to fall in love without ever meeting or speaking to a person? Yes, I believe it is.”

He stops and reads over his words. Normally, Viktor would never divulge so much personal information or put his heart in such a vulnerable place. However, this situation is dire to him. He must do this, he must find Nadja and he does not care if she laughs at his words. His heart is definitely leading the way and he realizes this all too well. However, to stop and ignore the events that have brought him to this point in time is not an option.

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 105) The Place

Viktor glances back at the little house and realizes the back door is standing open. He quickly heads in that direction and upon entering the dark dwelling, immediately finds his way to the living room. Looking in on Nadja, he can see that she has fallen back to sleep so he quietly tiptoes over to her bedroom window and watches as Aaron walks further and further away from the cabin.

“He is to be feared.” Says a woman’s voice that startles Viktor and he quickly turns around.

Standing on the other side of the bed, and very close to Nadja, is the older woman Viktor has now had several conversations with. She is elegant and almost glowing as she grins in an all-knowing manner. Worried Nadja will wake up, Viktor glances in her direction.

“No worries, she is asleep and only you and I share this dream at the moment.” The woman says softly. “You are a gentle soul, a good man, a man of worth and determination.” She leans over and slowly covers Nadja’s bare shoulder with the sheet. “He is evil, full of anger, hatred and is cowardly. He is malevolent.”

She nods her head in the direction of the window and Viktor turns around to look out again at the shadowy surroundings. He is no longer able to see the dark figure walking away and the night creatures in the woods have awakened from their hush as an owl hoots and the crickets begin to chirp.

“It fascinates me that you and my niece are intertwined in such a manner.” The woman says as she walks around the bed, taking Viktor’s hand in hers as she leads him to the living room.

There is a cozy fire in the fireplace and the room smells as if fresh cookies have just been removed from the oven. Amber colored flames flicker from several candles sitting around the room and together, the woman and Viktor sit on the hearth in front of the fire.

“What do you mean?” Viktor questions of the woman’s statement.

“Personally, I never had such moments that happened or repeated over time. It intrigues me that at such a young age you have these strong abilities.” She grins. “I am happy that you do have such a vivid imagination, it helps you see beyond the view of a normal window.”

“I want to help Nadja. I don’t know the whole story but I feel she is in danger and the guy that just walked off, he is the reason.” Viktor says as fact.

“True, you are correct.” The woman taps Viktor on the hand. “Your physical self will be heading this way and you must hurry. When you get to the village, walk east to the mountain. The train will take you further and you must exit at the third stop. Remember the path, memorize the way, Nadja will know you when you arrive. If anyone is in doubt of your true intentions, repeat this phrase,” she pauses a moment. “Through lifetimes of days asleep and awake, I’ll always find my way to the place near the lake.” The woman grins and looks up as if someone entered the room.

Turning to look in the direction of the woman’s gaze, he sees Nadja, wrapped in her robe, standing in the entrance of her bedroom watching them. Looking back at the older woman for clarification, Viktor realizes she is gone, as are the flames of the candles and the fire in the fireplace. He finds himself standing in the middle of the bedroom of his apartment. The alarm clock is playing an old song on the radio and he is clutching his pillow in his right hand.

“I have a plane to catch.” He says aloud as he heads off down the hallway to the shower.

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 104) Passes

Looking down for another pebble to throw, Viktor turns around and realizes he is now in the woods behind the cottage. The air is cool and he does not hear a single sound. There is no rustling of leaves, no crickets or even the slightest break of a twig from an animal. No, to Viktor, the forest sounds dead and dormant, and he finds himself on edge.

Aaron is disappointed that he could not carry this moment of torment with Nadja any further than it went. He thinks about rushing into her room just to see the terror on her face from such an intrusion. However, he feels it would be more conducive to his plan to play a few more games with her senses and wits before revealing he is here in her quaint little town. He believes deep in his rotted heart that if he does this right, she will come running to him for protection. He even feels positive that she will apologize for leaving him in the first place which will make him very happy. He wants to see her crying and hopeless, he wants her to beg to return to him so he can make sure she never attempts such a thing in the future.

Grinning at his own evil thoughts and demented line of thinking, Aaron slips the kitchen chair out from under the handle of the back entrance. Gently he pulls the door just enough to step outside, and leaves it standing open as he nonchalantly walks away from the cottage.

Aaron’s odd and complex way of thinking is a form of mental illness, low self-esteem, and it is the highest manner of weakness. For a man to force a woman to promise to love him and stay with him, no matter how poorly he treats her, is a sickness. Is he so afraid of retaining a relationship on his own merit that he must place fear and doubt in a person, forcing them to tell him repeatedly how wonderful he is? Aaron does not recognize this flaw in himself and there is not one soul in the world that would ever be able to help him see it.

Watching the back of the cottage, Viktor recognizes Aaron as the man on the cell phone, the one he encountered on the path when he had to walk it for a second time. He is not sure how or why he knows this, but this man, this strange person, is to be feared. He is tall, well-built and seems to have a manner about him that emits control. His characteristics are not in the sense that he has control of himself, but more of a bossy, controlling demeanor without any remorse or concern for what he does to others. Viktor slips behind a tall shrub as Aaron slowly passes by.

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 103) Out

At this very moment, just as Nadja’s laptop slams down onto the kitchen floor, Viktor awakens in a dream. His only option within a dark chamber is a burgundy door, which he swings open to find himself at Nadja’s cottage. He can see her sitting up in bed and it is now that he realizes he is once again inside the mirror of the cabinet in her bedroom. The odd thing is that he is outside as well. Small pebbles cover the ground under his bare feet and he feels cold but in front of him is the mirror and the inside wall of the cabinet.

Sitting up in bed, Nadja feels tense and not alone. Pulling her robe from the post at the foot of the bed, she puts it on and stands still in the middle of her bedroom listening intently. Slowly she walks toward the doorway and peeks out at the dark living room.

“Hello?” She mumbles for she does not want to receive an answer. “Is someone here?” She questions with a shaky voice.

Standing in the corner of the kitchen, where it is dark and shadowed from any light, Aaron remains quiet and still. He finds amusement in the terror he is producing. He wants her to be frightened and to feel as if she is all alone in the world. This game of his excites him for he feels more in control of Nadja at this very moment than he ever has in the past few years. He grins as she steps through the entrance to the kitchen hopeful she will see the laptop on the floor and begin to panic, but this is not the case. Still confused by what took place earlier causing her to pass out, she does not realize anything is amiss and returns to her bedroom.

All this time, Viktor is trapped, inches away from being able to touch or tap on the glass, as he watches Nadja leave the room, and then quickly return. She hesitates before slipping out of her robe and then shivers. Quickly, she takes the small journal from her nightstand and writes something on the open page, then gently closes the book with the pen inside. The delicate covering of her night slip is not enough to keep her warm and she eases herself back into bed. Pulling the covers up to her neck, she stares at the ceiling and listens.

Viktor wishes he could reach out to her for he feels a sense of fear, not only for her, but for himself as well and he is not sure why. Something is not right and he knows it. What caused her to leave the room in the first place? At her doorway, she paused and said hello, so is someone in her house? He bends down and picks up a small pebble. Reaching out to the backside of the mirror, he is still unable to touch it. Quickly he tosses the stone at it trying to gain Nadja’s attention. As soon as the pebble hits the glass, Nadja looks in Viktor’s direction.

“She heard that.” Viktor says happily. “Maybe if she comes to the cabinet she can let me out.”

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Copyright © 2012-2016 All rights reserved
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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 102) Vandalism

Hiding behind the darkness of trees and shrubs, Aaron makes his way to the backside of the little house. He works on the lock of the back door but once the knob turns, the chair placed there for extra protection does not allow entry. Frustrated by the time wasted, he pulls another tool out of his pocket. Quietly, he cuts a circle in one of the small panes of glass in the kitchen window. It is large enough for his hand to fit through and unlatch the lock. Easing the window open, he is finally able to crawl inside the room. Very quietly, he closes the window and pulls the curtain across the small opening in the glass. He is hopeful his vandalism will go undetected, just in case he cares to sneak in again. Walking across the room, he is now standing in the kitchen next to Nadja’s laptop.

“Well what have we here?” Aaron whispers to himself as he lifts the screen until it lights up.

In Nadja’s confused state, she forgot to log out of the dream blog and shut her laptop down for the night. Aaron slowly and quietly walks to the entrance of Nadja’s bedroom and looks in to find she is in a deep sleep. Walking back to the kitchen he begins to read the lines written by Viktor.

“So some quack thinks he is visiting her in his dreams?” Aaron shakes his head and grins at how insane this seems.

He scrolls back through the blog entries all the way to the beginning where he sees that Viktor had helped Nadja in the past. This sends an instant flow of rage through Aaron and the more he reads, the more he begins to boil.

“How dare she be talking to some other man!” Aaron grumbles as he grits his teeth and glares in the direction of her bedroom. “Oh, if she thinks this is over, she is so very terribly wrong.” He mumbles angrily. “I can make your life miserable little one, just you wait and see.”

Aaron starts to push the laptop off the table but then a much more spiteful idea comes to mind as he turns the laptop toward him and he begins to type.

“VikT1000, I despise everything about you and never wish to speak with you again. Do not write or try to contact me in any way!” Aaron smirks as he hits send and then the sign off button that closes the website.

“Now who will you have in your corner?” Aaron says as he pushes the laptop off the table and it crashes onto the floor making a loud sound that stirs Nadja from her sleep.

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 101) Thoughts

Josephine wraps her arms around her niece pulling her into a loving and warm embrace. Tears well up in Nadja’s eyes for she now realizes she is in a dream state and that her aunt is not actually here. Everything she is feeling and experiencing is merely a collection of memories and images of when her aunt was alive. Nadja closes her eyes and wonders if her aunt knows she is dead, does she realize she is not among the living?

“I could always read your thoughts and today is no different.” Aunt Josephine states with a grin. “Who is to say I am not still alive, I am here now, holding you. What rule must we go by that states I no longer exist?” She leans her forehead against Nadja’s as the two look each other in the eyes. “It’s okay.” She says in a whisper to her niece. “I have an understanding and I always knew there was more. I will always be with you my dear girl. Be strong yet kind, be swift but soft, be you and nothing less. I believe in you, it’s time you believe in yourself.”

From laying on her right side in bed, Nadja rolls over to the left and while still asleep, grins at the wise words her aunt spoke in her dream. Standing just outside the window, with a determined glare focused on Nadja, is Aaron. He has been waiting until she fell asleep to enter the cottage and from there, it is uncertain as to what his next move will be. Due to the manner in which Nadja left him and her unresponsiveness to his phone calls, he is certain she has been cheating on him with another man.

Aaron is not the type to be played with and even though Nadja is not guilty of such a charge, in Aaron’s twisted mind, several scenarios are possible. All of course, do not include the real fact that he is a horrible, selfish and manipulative as well as abusive person. No, in his mind, he is quite a catch and his behavior is above the standard for a man his age. Slowly he backs away from the window leaving only a quickly dissipating fog on the glass where he was breathing.

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Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 100) Treetops

The mountain air is heavy with dew as the moon begins to rise in the east. Thin wispy clouds drifting across the sky assist in casting a haunting glow across the meadows and trees of the landscape. Waves are gently lapping against the shoreline of the lake with little twinkles of moonlight flickering in random order to the movement of the water. Secretive places are full of shadows and darkness as the night progresses and all grows quiet.

Nadja has been asleep for nearly an hour and as she sinks deeper into her restfulness, she begins to dream of her aunt Josephine. They are walking through the woods, not on a path manmade, but on a dirt trail used by the many wildlife creatures that roam throughout the area. Small birds flutter by as if following along to eavesdrop on the conversation between the two women.

“Are you happy?” The elder of the two asks.

“Being here with you? Yes, I always feel happy with you and I miss you so very much.” Nadja replies as she looks up at the sunlight glistening through the yellow leaves of the trees.

“It is nice to be here with you too.” Josephine says as she takes Nadja’s hand in hers, much like a mother would to a daughter. “But in your life, with the changes you made, are you happy?”

After a long pause for a moment of thinking, Nadja stops walking and turns to look at her aunt. There is a breeze blowing up through the canyon with a course that makes its way through the trees and along the trail. Josephine’s brown hair is loose and long with only a small section held in place at the nape of her neck by an antique barrette. To Nadja, her elder relative looks young and vibrant in this natural light and the softness of her skin is as creamy in color as porcelain.

“How did you do it?” Nadja poses this question to her aunt.

“Live here alone all these years?” Josephine asks and Nadja answers her with a nod yes. “I was never alone my dear. Look around you at the beauty that surrounds us. Look at all the living things that have followed us here with inquisitive minds. Look up at the treetops and clouds.” She says with a smile. “I was never alone and neither are you, you just have to find your peace. You have to make the happiness that only you know will fulfill your life. You have control of your own destiny my dearest. You are far stronger than you could ever imagine.”

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