Dreaming within a dream of a sunny day on a beach with the sounds of childrens laughter, the wake of speeding boats and that feel of sand between your toes and everywhere else imaginable. No struggles or stresses, only your warm and nearly naked body on a towel, basking in the midday sun.

Then Ruths consciousness would kick in again, revealing that she is being pulled under, deep into the ocean and icy water is filling her lungs. Limbs thrashing, her silent scream drowning her, this must be the end. And then just like in her dream she is dropped onto a beach, though this time soaking wet and coughing up water and blood.

Quick to assess her surrounding, she fights to stand. This is the back drop of her second strongest and ongoing nightmare: a vast stretch of ocean surrounded by a high wall of beach and stone. Masses of people everywhere, some stay on the wall and others meet their doom in the swirling waters below. And even others brave the chasm, either making it across in one piece or being sucked under, never to draw air again.

Through the sea of people, a man put his hand on Ruths shoulder. “Hello Ruth. I need your help.”

She backed away then responded. “Who are the hell are you?”

“Embryo.” He does a creepy bow, his hand extended.

“But why are you in my dreams? And why are you so young? You can’t be more than twenty five or thirty!”

“Let us walk somewhere less noisy. Come with me.” Embryo extended his hand asking Ruth to hold it but she refused. She followed him along the wall and down into an area resembling a lush garden, with less people milling about. Ruth constantly was on the look out for the little girl but to no avail. Embryo pointed to the mix of grass and sand. “Please. Sit.”

“I’ll stand, thank you. So what’s going on? Where’s the little girl?”

Embryo himself sat down. “What little girl?”

Ruth seemed dumbfounded. “There was a little girl, maybe six or seven years old that helped me in my first dream which, by the way, I never conquered or lost at, I just fled.”

“She must be part of your psyche. I didn’t implant any girl. Have you noticed anything else out of place?” Embryo wouldn’t make any eye contact.

Ruth spotted a tree trunk and sat down. “Yes I have. Many things actually. What have you done?”

“I will explain but I need your patience as there is much going on.” He stood up and threw a rock over the wall but it disappeared seconds later, as though it was deleted. “This program is my baby, my life. When it was ready to be explored, I of course jumped in first. I completed the task which was to face my greatest fears and I came out on top. What I didn’t know was the cost involved.”

Embryo continued. “There was…is a glitch. Upon rebirth, or coming back from the program I was required to either lose my life or have time drastically speed up, hence why you saw me as an eighty year old man. This is irreversible or so I was told, until you came along. Let me cut to the chase. These are my dreams that I have put you into so I can have another chance at reversing my demise. But our dreams have seemed to crossbreed, for lack of a better term.”

Ruth stood up and grabbed Embryo by the shirt collar. “I was terrified enough, why are you doing this to me?! You’re saying both of us may die in here?? You son of a bitch!” Embryo placed his hands on Ruths. “I’m saying both of us will die.”

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