Excerpt from “The Faithful Kiss”

The Faithful Kiss

Excerpt from “The Faithful Kiss( Book One of The Kiss Series)” by: Michelle Hillstrom ©

I ran through the dark, wet fog. The dampness clung to my silk ball gown and something was following me. Something else was out there in the night with me, and it was evil. I was lost. I had never been to this part of town before; the panic continued to drive me even further into the dark night, disorienting me. I was never allowed outside alone in the daytime, and definitely never at night. Everything looked the same. Everything looked terrifying. The house where the party had been must be far away from here, but I had long since lost my sense of direction. Without a better plan, I continued to follow the road ahead, and soon I heard music and laughter. I had to make it to the building where the lights were shining and welcoming me in, before the stalker caught me. Light equaled safety, music and laughter equaled happiness. Surely, I would be safe there.

The scene changed — more like fast-forwarded. I was still in the same wet dress and I stood outside of the lit building, but now I felt myself being lifted up. I found myself sitting atop of a horse with a man holding me close to him, allowing me to absorb the warmth that his body offered. Peace filled me as the dream faded away.

I awoke and the peace that my dream had brought me disappeared. I held back a sob as I realized the dreams would continue to haunt me. I may have escaped home, but I could not escape the dreams.

I’ve had strange dreams most of my life, dreams that seemed more like memories than dreams, and they always took place during the antebellum era. The dreams had become more frequent since the night of my Senior Prom when my boyfriend, Tyler, and I had been in a car accident. Tyler had been thrown from the car and killed instantly, and I had been left in a coma for a week. These strange dreams plagued me the whole time that I was in the coma. The dreams were so vivid and all-consuming that I was very confused about who I was and where I was when I awoke.

I feared that I was cursed with the madness that plagued the females in my family. I was the only one that seemed to have these types of dreams about the past, though. My aunts, great grandmother, and others who had been admitted to asylums had visions about this demonic red – haired woman that threatened to harm them. In fact, the visions were so vivid that the women often had scratches, torn out hair, and other wounds that they obviously had inflicted upon themselves. Thankfully, I had never seen this woman in any of the dreams that I could remember. I found it strange that the madness was so similar throughout the generations; however, I am sure that it was due to the fact that we had all been fed the same creepy legend about our family since childhood.

I thought a lot of things that were said about our family were pretty ridiculous; however, one thing was for sure, a lot of mishaps in my life were hard to explain. The truth of the matter was that the car accident was not my first brush with danger or death. I had more near death experiences in my eighteen years than I could count on both hands. My superstitious side of the family said it was just another part of the family curse, because the visions or hallucinations of the past were a regular part of the danger, and the visions and accidents always seemed to come as a pair.

I used to tell my mother about the visions after near drownings, falls down the stairs, and mishaps in the kitchen, until the day that I overheard her on the phone contemplating sending me to an institution as she discussed the various options with my father on the other end. I stopped telling them about things after that, so everyone assumed that I no longer had the dreams and that I had forgotten about them. I refused to fall to the madness and be locked in a padded cell like my predecessors. Being locked away and forgotten like that — that was my biggest fear, along with the idea that I would not be able to tell the difference between my dreams and reality.

With these nerve-racking thoughts on my mind, I did my best to roll over and fall back to a fitful sleep. I didn’t want to be tired for my first day of college, but the sun had begun to crown before I fell back to sleep.

The first day of class was muggy and cloudy with the air as thick as a steam room. West Texas rarely experienced such weather and the uncomfortable humidity had me begging for rain as I continued to contemplate my dream during my trudge to class. I walked along on the swarming sidewalk that wove its way across the Tulip Poplar-lined campus. Even though I wore Soffie shorts and an athletic top, like most of the other female members of the student population who were trying to survive the heat, I was sweating by the time I entered my first lecture. The air conditioner hit me as I walked in, the classroom felt like an icebox and provided welcomed relief.

Calculus was the one class that I had been dreading upon realizing that it was a required course for my major. Why Calculus was a required course for a History major was beyond me, but I sure wished that it wasn’t so. Math and I were mortal enemies. Whenever teachers passed out the student information papers at the beginning of the semester there was always the question ‘Is there any reason that you will have a difficult time in this class?’ my answer was always ‘Math is my evil nemesis.’ I thought it was funny, but I found the majority of math teachers did not have a sense of humor.

The Calculus Classroom was small and institutional. The walls were vacant and uninspiring with a large blackboard and projection screen in the front. There were about fifteen other students sitting at the long table desks arranged in tiers (or stadium seating) descending toward the lecture area. I recognized one face immediately.

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If you enjoyed this excerpt you can find the rest of “The Faithful Kiss” as well as “The Possessive Kiss: Victoria’s Story” at this link:

Books by Michelle Hillstrom

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