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Title: To Sleep Perchance to Dream
Series: The Eagle Chronicles.
Word Count 1244
Summary Steven has a recurring nightmare where he witnesses a murder
Notes: This story really doesn't do much for the ongoing arc and I really don't remember why I wrote it.

21 To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

April 1952

The blonde was waiting for her boyfriend to pick her up for a date. Soon he came and they walked through the park. They sat on a secluded bench and kissed. Very quickly, the man pulled out a knife and stabbed her in the back. The blood spurted onto the man's hands. He hid the body in the woods.

Steven woke in a cold sweat. This was the third time he had had the dream. It was the same as before, except this time it lasted longer and he had a closer look at the murderer. He got up to wipe himself off. His hands were shaking uncontrollably. He tried to go back to sleep, but he kept seeing the blood. Soon the fears and visions faded with exhaustion.

The next morning he drove to Scotland Yard and asked to see Detective Inspector John Dolittle. They said he was in and to go right ahead. Steven walked up the stairs, trying to figure out how to tell John about his dream. John was glad to see him. "How was Australia?"

"Good. I think I may have paved the way for better relations."

"Oh, yeah? How did you manage that?"

"Solved a robbery and a murder. Nothing much."

"What did you want to see me about?"

"You won't believe me."

"Go ahead. I'll let you know if I believe it."

"It's about a dream I had. I know it sounds weird, but it's true. I witnessed a murder."

"Tell me about it."

"You're starting to sound like a psychiatrist."

"We've got one already."

"Do you want to call him up here so I won't have to tell it twice?"

"If you'd rather..."

"It'll save us both the trouble." They waited for the psychiatrist before Steven told his story. "Well, is that crazy, or what?"

"Not really. These things have happened before," said the doctor. "It's a vision which could be taking place at the present or will in the future. You're not crazy."

As the psychiatrist was talking, John walked to a file cabinet, opened a drawer and pulled out a file. "Take a gander at this. Just filled out this morning."

Steven read it and looked at the photo of the body. "That's her. Just like I dreamed it."

"Did you say you saw the murderer?"

"Not clearly, but enough to be able to recognize him."

"Can you describe him at all?"

"The girl knew him; they were on a date. He was maybe a bit shorter than myself, brown hair and eyes. His build was between stocky and skinny. He had very strong hands."

"Let me know if you 'see' or hear anything else."

"Hopefully, I won't. I'll let you know." Steven left feeling better than when he came.

That night Steven was not scared to sleep. The dream he had kept seeing was done with. He slept peacefully at the beginning. Then a new vision came to him. He saw himself sitting in his living room staring at something--or someone--fearfully. Then he saw what he was staring at: the murderer. The face was unclear, but as he came closer, it became better focused. Steven could see the hatred in his eyes. In his hands he held a knife. It was the same knife with which he killed the girl.

Steven woke in a sweat. He knew there was a definite chance of this dream coming true. The other one did; why not this one? He had to call John. He picked up the phone and dialed. No answer. "Damn!" He tried again. Still no answer.

He went into the kitchen to get some food and something to drink. He went into the living room. He wanted to do anything to keep away from sleep. He put on the radio and began to read.

He was so absorbed in his reading that concentration, along with the volume of the radio, kept him from hearing the door open or close. The news came on and he turned down the volume. Between the time of returning his hand to the book and beginning to read, he heard a floorboard squeak.

He looked up and saw a shadow looming in the doorway. The shadow moved closer and became more solid. Steven recognized his newest dream. He looked into the man's eyes and saw the hatred. He looked at his hand and saw the knife. The man moved closer and Steven feared for his life. In the distance he heard a car's brakes squeal. He turned up the radio. The man ignored this. Steven rose from the chair and tried to move away to stall for time.

The door burst open. "Stop where you are!" Dolittle was there. The man lowered his knife resignedly. Two constables moved towards him and relieved him of the weapon.

"You okay, Steven?"

"Yeah. Just a little shaken is all. But the weird thing is, I just dreamed about this. I couldn't go back to sleep, so I came down here to get away from it."

"Is it the same guy?"

"Yeah. John, I've never been this scared to go to sleep since I was a kid. It's frightening."

"I think you'll be okay."

He followed them to the door and locked it. He then checked all the windows. When he was done, he went upstairs and lay in bed, thinking, until sometime before dawn.

He woke close to midday, ate a small meal, then went to Scotland Yard. He was admitted to John's office. The psychiatrist was there.

"We were just talking about you," said John. "The man confessed to killing the girl. He was planning to come after you. She found out about it and he killed her. The doctor has something to say about your dreams."

"I can assure you that it is highly improbable that you will have such dreams again. The main reason you were was because he was strongly connected to your future. I'm not saying that you will never have them again, but there's a strong chance of it. If you ever do, contact me right away."

"I'm not planning on going through that again! What exactly did the murderer have to say?"

"Here's a copy of his confession."

Steven took the transcript from John and read it.

I, Sean O'Malley, on the night of 9 May, 1952, did kill Megan Moran in Hyde Park. She found out that I was planning to kill the duke of Edinburgh and I couldn't let her tell anyone so I killed her. I wanted to kill Edinburgh because, when he was king, he did nothing to help unite Ireland, and he's part Irish. I couldn't let him go unpunished.

The rest of the confession was the same. The man had delusions of grandeur; the whole fate of Ireland was resting on his shoulders.

He handed the report back to John. "I knew there were crazies in the world. For awhile, I thought I was one of them." He was going to say something else, but his sight became misty and blurred. It cleared, but he did not see the office. He saw Megan Moran moving her mouth, saying something. At first he could not tell, but the second time he realized she was saying thank you. The vision cleared.

"Are you okay, Steven?"

"I'm fine."

"Your eyes looked all glassy. Did you have another vision?"

"No, just feeling a bit tired, that's all." He smiled.



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