Lynn shivered, her light jacket little protection against the icy chill of the night. She strode down a dark street alone, slightly aware of the dark figure that followed, but caring little.
A flicker; she knew the figure drew nearer. Feeling slightly frightened but still more or less unconcerned, Lynn quickened her pace, aware that she was only a few blocks from home. Then, the figure put a hand on her shoulder.
Biting back a scream and telling herself that he might just want to ask for directions, Lynn spun around to face her follower, Artie. Sneering at her with lust in his eyes, he grabbed her hair and started to drag her toward an alley. Luckily, Lynn remembered her self-defense classes, and kneed him in the crotch to escape.
As she ran, she heard the sound of sobbing behind her, and knew her attacker had been insane.
She knew this had never happened. She and Marshall and Greg had invented this story to tell after Artie eventually would kill himself. The police would have the perpetrator of the crime, and Artie would be stopped forever, never to even tell how he'd really been created. The solution hadn't been perfect by any stretch of the imagination; after all, Artie still had to die. However, it was the best anyone would think of at the time.
It wasn't true, though, and Lynn knew this wasn't real. She'd have to wake up before her dream could become a nightmare. Taking a deep breath, Lynn opened her eyes.
Marshall lay beside her, softly snoring against her face. She smiled, and snuggled closer to him for the night, confident that her nightmares were gone.
Artie's still dead eyes stared at him as Greg burst from a bed with a scream, and his last words echoed in his mind. "I'm sorry, Dad."
Breathing in the dark night, Greg forced his breath to become steady, and he opened and closed his eyes a few times, reminding himself where he was and what he had to face. He had nothing to fear, they were only bad dreams.
And bad dreams were one thing Greg's science couldn't fight.
Shivering and sweating, he went to sleep again, closing his eyes to more terrors.