Of Dreams and Shadows

Early afternoon, especially in the summer, is always too bright.

Paul sat in his study as he stared into the computer screen. One of the sites he visited, Reddit, had started tracking murders committed by the Boogieman. There were 17 so far. Each had comments in the thousands. Some of the victims were police, corrupt council members, and other government workers- yet the list also included mafia members, tycoons, and a few civilians.

Right now, the site was pretty divided. While some vehemently opposed the Boogieman, others sympathised with how he chose his victims. None of them were innocent. A large majority of commenters, however, seemed to think that death sentences decided by one man was the opposite of justice.

They can think what they want. Paul snorted.

While reading from his front page news feed, another article caught his eye. This was a video. In it, a SWAT team member mercilessly guns down a small family dog, unprovoked.

“Disgusting,” Paul spat as he closed the link.


At 3am in the morning, a dog barked from across the street. The figure of black moved towards the final house. Dreams and Shadows. These were its gifts. These were the tools of its trade.

“Who’s this fucker?” A man dressed in full SWAT uniform pointed a large machine gun at the darkness. He could not see him, but he definitely felt him. It was his dream, after all.


“Why what? The dog? There’s no way you can know. I’m SWAT. Nobody knows who I am, much less where to find me.”

The figure stood motionless, but internally, Paul smiled. That was what he loved about dreams. Tongues were loose. Inhibitions melted away. The truth revealed itself behind the walls of lies and deceit. Would he find guilt, anger, or something else?

Paul contemplated what he needed to say. He would not mention how he found him. When you have the ability to enter dreams, secrets are not hard to come by. He needed the man to react.

“He was an aggressive bitch. He needed to die. Fuck that dog. Fuck the news. I’m going to kill them all. All the dogs in this damn neighborhood, and all the damn reporters too. All the dogs!”

Paul thought back to the video. It was a chihuahua, and it was running away.

“Goodbye, motherfucker!” The man put his hand on the trigger, and pulled. Bullets fed through the machine and the dream erupted into a blaze of light. By then, the Boogieman had left. It was now outside.

“Fuckkkk!” Lights flickered on upstairs. Footsteps. Six, maybe ten?

“Room is clear.” An unfamiliar voice shouted. “Check the perimeter.”

He has reinforcements. So far the Boogieman has only attacked during the night. They’re on to my pattern. Took them long enough.

The outside floodlights came on. SWAT members streamed outside with guns raised, but they saw nothing. The Boogieman was long gone.


“Might be good to mix it up a bit, then.” Paul contemplated in the safety of his house. “5pm. A little before dinner. That also means I’ll make it in time for tonight. If he’s got this much protection, that means he won’t be at work for a while. I’ll have to call a sick day.”

Paul nodded then set his alarm.

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