by Rik Hunik
Published by Rik Hunik at Shakespir
Copyright 2016 by Rik Hunik
Thank you for downloading this ebook. This book is the copyrighted property of the author, and may not be reproduced, copied or distributed for commercial or non-commercial purposes. If you enjoyed this book, please encourage your friends to download their own copy at Shakespir.com, where they can also discover other works by this author. Thank you for your support.
His hand slapped the shut off button on his alarm clock before it beeped again. He bounced out of bed, well-rested, fit and healthy, eager to face another day, but despite how good he felt with himself, and life in general, he couldn’t dismiss the disturbing sensation that something was wrong. The sensation grew stronger as he downed a glass of orange juice and a multi-vitamin, then poured himself a bowl of whole grain cereal for breakfast.
As he sat down and began to eat, something went bleep-bleep, bleep-bleep, and he looked around, trying to figure out what was causing it. He was familiar with that sound but he couldn’t place it. He dismissed the smoke detector, the microwave, his phone and the radio.
He woke up in bed with his hand on the snooze button of his alarm clock. The dream-images evaporated from his head, leaving behind that fuzzy, not-enough-sleep feeling he was so familiar with.
He decided another ten minutes of sleep wouldn’t help so he shut off the alarm clock, let out a big sigh and heaved himself out of bed, swearing that he would lose some of his excess weight soon, wondering how he could have let himself get so badly out of shape. He took a deep breath, stretched painfully, then shuffled into the bathroom.
He emerged from the bathroom with a feeling that something wasn’t right. It had something to do with that dream that teased the edge of his memory. He quit trying to grasp it, emptying his mind while he drank his morning cup of coffee, holding both hands around the cup to catch the heat, savoring the smell, and suddenly the memory of the dream was right there. In the dream he was healthy and fit, the way he used to be, the way he wanted to be again.
But it was just a dream.
He sighed and the coffee machine beeped, but when he turned to look at it he saw that he had already shut it off. It beeped again, but no, it wasn’t the coffee machine.
Another beep and he woke up and shut off the alarm clock, confused. He patted his stomach, didn’t feel the paunch that had been there in the last dream, and sighed with relief. His head felt clear and he remembered both dreams, but he couldn’t help but wonder if this was a dream too. If this was another dream he might as well stay in bed, maybe even go back to sleep.
He didn’t feel tired and the minutes passed and he couldn’t sleep, so he decided he might as well get up, but when he tried his legs wouldn’t move. In a panic he threw back the covers and turned on the lamp. His legs were there but they were pathetically thin, and beside the bed he saw a wheelchair.
Time to wake up for real now, he told himself but nothing changed. He looked at the clock and twenty minutes had gone by, longer than either of the dreams. Realization sank in; this was it, this was his life. His heart pounded in his chest and he couldn’t breathe. He had lost the use of his legs due to a spinal injury in an automobile accident years ago and he would never walk again.
After a few minutes the panic attack subsided and his head cleared and he remembered the rest of his story. It had been rough for a while but he had learned to adapt. He was a writer and his latest novel had sold over a hundred thousand copies. He had a healthy bank account, a lovely home, and a caretaker to help him with everyday chores, leaving him free to write to his heart’s content.
His upper body was healthy. With practiced ease he got himself into the wheelchair, and wheeled out of the bedroom to face the day, his mind already contemplating plot points in his latest project.
If you liked this book please take the time to write a short review. Thank you.
Other titles by Rik Hunik: available at Shakespir.com/profile/view/rikhunik
Down Among The Hoodoos (atmospheric ghost story)
The Tale Of Orm’s Revenge (Viking sword & sorcery)
For Sakina (fantasy mystery with serial killer wizard)
The Hole Story (science fiction, space opera)
Widdershins (modern fantasy retelling of old English folk tale)
The Gold Watch (western ghost story)
Defiance (horror poem)
Reality Check (science fiction horror)
Easy Money (alternate history, fantasy, paranormal detective novel)
Vacation Violation (dark science fiction)
Key Service (humorous contemporary fantasy)
On Full Moon Night (horror poem)
The Spirit Of The Game (horror) Things go wrong when a game designer makes a special game for his widowed mother so she can play cards with her deceased husband.
A Clone Of His Own (science fiction, fantasy)
The Hollow Idol’s Eyes (fantasy)
Incident In A Tomb (fantasy, horror, humor)
The Ghost In The Kettle (contemporary ghost story)
The Eruption At Mount Sarna (fantasy)
The Sitting (horror)
Worse Than An Orphan’s Curse (dark fantasy)
Joyride (fantasy, horror)
Dead Man’s Ashes (dark fantasy)
Green Eyes (horror)
Defiance 2 (poem)
The Treasure In The Monkey’s Fist (fantasy)
Witch’s Skin (horror)
The Dark Gate (fantasy novel, sword & sorcery)
Forces Of Evil: The Board Game (horror, humor, zombies)
Levels (science fiction)
Night Lures (science fiction)
The Hole (horror, joke)
Winterland (science fiction)
Under The Shade Tree (ghost story)
About the Author: Rik Hunik was born in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada, in 1957, and has lived his entire life in BC, except for a few summers in Alberta, and a few days in Washington State climbing rocks. He has lived in Ymir, Wells, Quesnel, Prince George, Quesnel, North Vancouver, Quesnel, Burnaby, North Delta, and Quesnel. He lives with his wife Jo and a 17-pound (big, not fat), blue-eyed, white cat named Mister. He mostly constructs buildings to earn a living, but he’s written dozens of stories, including fantasy, horror, sword & sorcery, mystery, humor, erotica, and science fiction, frequently combining genres. More than thirty have been published in small press magazines and e-zines. He has also published dozens of ebooks at Shakespir, many available to the public for the first time.