Shy: A novel by S.D Kupiec
Chapter 1

Even with the scowl, I couldn’t take my eyes off him. The man, if you could call him a mere man, stood in front of a
large bonfire, looking like he’d just stepped out of an old cowboy and Indian western. A giant, with long black hair so slick, it reflected the light of the fire that burned behind him.
Somehow his eyes did, too.
A dream brought on by research I’d done on the history of my parent’s land, no doubt. It was my dream, though, and I wasn’t in a hurry to find out if this god-like looking creature was good or not. His chest was bare and covered in painted handprints. No pants, either. Just a loincloth. His thighs had the same red marks.
Still as a statue, he stared at me. Glowered, really, but I didn’t care. He was my subconscious.
“Okay.” I spoke, eager to hear what his voice sounded like. “What do you want?”
He didn’t move. Not even a twitch. Was he a statue? I was tempted to find out. Touching him wouldn’t hurt. And a smile, probably an impish one, squinted my vision. I stepped forward.
My movement must have startled him, because his head fell back, his arms stretched out and he let out a holler that rumbled like thunder across the clear night sky. When he
stopped, the world was silenced. Not even the fire’s crackles dared make a noise.
Dream or not, I looked for the best direction to run incase I needed to escape. A figure stood off in the distance. I couldn’t make out anything but the shape of a body. A guy, maybe. But he didn’t move either. Like a see- through statue.
The world was open. I could run in any direction, except there was nowhere to go. The landscape was nothing but cactus and Juniper in every direction.
“Look,” I turned my attention back to the man in front of me. Right in front of me. He’d moved so fast the movement was blurred. And now I was staring at the sweat rolling down his chest. I hadn’t noticed that before. His hot breath blew in my hair and I looked up to see him bent over me, his nose almost touching mine. His features out of focus with the closeness.
His fingers curled around my arms easily, pulling me up and even closer, if that were possible, and squeezed. I was afraid my arms would snap in half.
“You belong to me.”
As his face vanished, so did his grasp and I dropped to the ground. Only a few inches, but the landing jarred me and my knees buckled hitting the floor of my living room hard.
He was gone, though his voice, those words, echoed in my head. The coldness of the night crawled up my legs as the shivers made their way down my back, meeting in the middle. I’d never slept walked before. I’d never had a dream that had felt so real before. I could still feel pain where his hands had been and when I rubbed them to help them realize it wasn’t real, they were tender. Bruised, though I couldn’t actually see the marks in the darkness of the night.
Then true Sara re-emerged. The weakling I’d become so many years ago. In the dream I’d felt scared, but strong. Here all I could do was cry.
“Sara?” My mom stood in the doorway of her room, rubbing her arms. “What are you doing up? It’s 3 in the morning.”
I didn’t talk to her. I never did. Not that I was biased. I didn’t talk to anyone unless I had to. This wasn’t ahad to situation. My staring usually made people uncomfortable. That’s what I wanted it to do. It kept people from wanting to ask questions, or to try and carry on a conversation. Mom was used to it, though.
“Can you be a little quieter?” She was already turning around to go back to bed. “See you in the morning.”
A slight nod was all I gave her, not that she would see it, but I stayed on the floor, shivering from the cold and the fear until I could finally stand and go back to bed.
My bed was cold as I crawled back in, as if to tell me I’d been gone too long. Wrapping myself up in the quilt, I couldn’t close my eyes. Every time I did, he was there.
You belong to me.

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