The water rushes up to her feet, but she doesn't feel the cold, or the wet of it. That's an odd thing for Molly to realize about a dream. Dreams never really made much sense in the first place, and rarely did they ever really present themselves so vividly. But this was different. The smell of the ocean felt too sharp, the sky was too well lit, and the view of the moon's sliver in the sky too.... real.

Something about this felt off, and she couldn't, as she turned around, wind picking up, figure out why or how.

The thing was... this was the beach, and over her shoulder, she could see the beach house she'd been staying in, with Adam and his father. The lights on the porch had already been turned off, the grill closed from the barbecue they'd had earlier in the day, chairs left as they had been before. Even her copy of It remained where it had been from hours before.

That was, okay, interesting and new.


She walked towards it, taking in the fact that no matter how hard the wind came in, she couldn't feel it. Usually, she was too reactive in her dreams, and everything felt exhaustively real. Even walking in her dreams sometimes felt disorienting or too attached. Not here. It felt almost like floating when she moved. Discomfort swelled in her, picking up the pace, and crested when she touched the back porch, her hand sunk into the brick. Something about seeing her real, flesh hand sinking into brick...

Sure, dreams. Dreams were unreality, dreams didn't really make sense. Plenty of ones she had started out normally only to veer into something else. Most of them were sharp if not outright lurid.

But not so vivid and realistic. She couldn't even remember leaving her book out. They'd been distracted, talking and laughing. Unease settled into her stomach as she looked at it, reaching out to touch the pages. Or, well, to try; her fingers sank through it, just like the brick.

"This is so fucking weird," Molly muttered. As if in answer, she heard a phone go off, her own.

She heard it ring, and ring, waiting for this to be the moment where things went sideways. Instead, it petered off into nothing. The wind picked up again, the waves crashed in, and.

Something told her to go inside. And she did, turning on her heel, pushing through the brick wall in front of her. It didn't even hurt, walking inside the main rooms, in and out of the office, and into the bedroom she and Adam were sharing.

And instead of a sudden boo! or a strange face in the mirror or the crying of a baby, she was greeted with herself, body pressed against Adam's, necklace on her shoulder glinting in the faint light. She could see her own body there, breathing, his face pressed into her hair, her hand in his, her phone on the bedside stand. It flashed the time: 3.30 AM.

Tentatively, she reached out her hand, confusion etched on her face, finger stroking her forehead--

--only to wake up, staring at the spot where she'd just been. Her heart pounded in her ears as she looked at it, blinking dumbfoundedly.

Shifting out of Adam's grip, she pulled the phone to her, and looked at the time: 3:31 AM.

Almost predictably, she found that when she set the phone down, her head started to pound the way it always did when the shift started.