Here's a preview:
Nature of the Beast
A Dreamscapes Story
by Alicia VanNoy Call
I wake up bleary in a pile of fallen leaves, sunlight through the branches to hit me in the eye just so. The whiskey has turned to bile. The thought of alcohol starts saliva running as my stomach clenches and I turn over, heaving beer nuts and cocktail shrimp into the bushes. I retch and tears stream. I lie back for a moment and the forest clearing materializes around me, along with the knife of a headache behind my right eye.
Full moons are hell.
When I finally get to my feet, I stagger, shaky, from tree to tree for a while before I find my bearings. I need to get home. Hazel will be waiting for me. I strike off through the ferns. The woods are dense with sounds, smells, the light too bright – a buzzing hive of yellow jackets, an enthusiastic woodpecker, songbirds a little too happy to greet the morning. Or late morning. Early afternoon?
A breeze picks up, trembling twigs and leaves. It sets the forest whispering. I stumble over a twisted root and the waft of my own odor flares my nostrils. Vomit and cheap perfume and a night of indiscretions.
The creek not far from home crosses my path. I slide down the bank and splash through the water, crouching to rinse the sour taste from my mouth. The water is an ice-cold shock, but it wakes me up. I dunk my face. Maybe it will wash away some of the stench. I'm urinating into the stream when Hazel's voice sounds over my shoulder.
“Where have you been?”
Want to read the rest? Head on over to the Dreamscapes project on Patreon.
If you like it, consider becoming a patron!