Ethan awoke screaming.  He had seen Hope die in his dreams, seen her tears as he held her in his hands, and saw himself drop her into the river below.  It was appalling, it tore at his heart and soul, but he had watched helplessly as he killed someone who had once been his best friend. 

            “IN THE NAME OF GOD, WHAT HAVE I DONE?”  He cried out, his voice carried away by the wind.  He looked around and saw nothing but the desert at noon.  He lay back down in the canopy he had created out of thin sticks and the robes Gambiel had given him, sweat pouring from his brow.  Sweat that was more from fear than it was from the hellish heat.  He had seen her die, and he had killed her.

            It was impossible, it was absolutely impossible, but he saw it happen in his dream.  But it hadn’t felt exactly like his other dreams.  It had felt real, like he was living through it. There had been a sort of gleeful anticipation as they walked through Capilano together, because he had known from the start that she was going to die, and she had no idea.  He had felt the menacing joy of a cruel boy pulling wings off a fly as he taunted her on the bridge, and he had felt the sudden, blinding rage that she had unleashed when she told him that it had been a mistake, that she had never come for him in the cemetery at all, that his obsessive love was all a lie.

            That was the strange part.  He had believed that he loved her, up until then.  At least, until she told him it was a lie.  Then came the rage, and actual pleasure in murdering her.  Her death was the culmination of years of resentment and bitterness because she had never loved him in return, and because she had broken her promise, and so had been an almost climactic release.  But Ethan had known for more than two years that he had never loved her, that it had been an unhealthy fixation.  So why did he feel that so strongly in the dream?

            It terrified him, that he had seen and felt it all so vividly.  It was unlike any dream he had ever had.  Even the visions that now plagued him when he slept were not as vivid as this latest nightmare.  It shook him to his core, for it had felt real.  He had felt her skin under his hands, smelled her unmistakable girlish odour, felt the giddy thrill of ending her existence, as if he had been the one doing it.  He knew he hadn’t done it, and that’s what saved his sanity.  He was here in the desert, for one thing.  The other thing, the fact that made him certain, was that he had noticed that he could share in the feelings of his murderous doppelganger, but he had only the barest glimmering sense of what the monster had been thinking.  He had no control in the dream, it had not been his wish or command that she be dropped…  Someone else had done that, someone else who was wearing his face

            At this forbidding thought, Ethan shivered, despite the blistering heat outside his little tent.  Shivered, and prayed for the safety of his other friends.

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