Martin put the off-white china mug to his thin lips and took a long drink of his rapidly cooling coffee. His eyes scanned over the classified ads for the hundredth time but, once again, there was nothing. Nothing in his field, nothing in his area, nothing, nothing, nothing. The pen poised in his right hand tapped against the page angerly and he took another mouthful, swishing the lukewarm liquid between his cheeks.

"Good morning, pumpkin." Candice's bare feet padded along the bare hardwood behind him, and Martin soon found his girlfriend's arms wrapped tightly around his chest, her face buried...

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This dream was better than waking.

The fact that I *knew* I was dreaming kinda freaked me out. Inception was just a movie right? Right? Leo? Talk to me man.

Leo ignored me. So did the really tall blonde in a small bikini, slowly, slowly rubbing suntan lotion on her legs.

Yup. Definitely a dream. Even the ignoring was standard issue me dream.

I looked around me. I was on a beach, somewhere, Leo beside me sketching the girl with the lotion. Up the beach, toward the headland, three young men were playing hacky-sack. I looked a bit closer. Hacky-sack...

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You slide a cool hand across my chest, toying with the thick hair before following it downward.

"Treasure trail..." you whisper, your breath warm and moist against my ear, "... that's what we called it."

You move your hand downward, teasing, toying with me, making me wait for it. Your manner tells me that I have to say something, say the magic word before you complete your motion. You wait for me to speak, and I grow frantic with the nearness to your goal.

I guess, desperate in my hope that I'm saying the right thing. "What... what do you...

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I'd paid for the whole night, thinking that I might as well go for the whole enchilada.

Half an hour would have been $80-plus, the "plus" being a sliding scale based on what I wanted to do in the half-hour. An hour would have been $200-plus. She said the full hour cost more than two half-hours because the clients usually wanted to be more exotic if they have a whole hour to work with.

I paid $2000-plus for her to stay with me the whole night. All the hours she'd do nothing but sleep with me, she could have been...

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zZz by up2105

I was not at ease without the lights. I definitely felt an insect of some sort, crawling along my chest... Perhaps it was a spider? Wait, is a spider an insect? Well, it can't be a mammal, that's for sure.

The lights. I felt along the side of the wall, hoping to catch the lamp unplugged; but no, it was plugged in and my heart sank a bit. I didn't want to change the bulb. But what if it wasn't the bulb? What if it was an electrical outage?

What if this was the return of the dark ages, where...

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