Dreamcatcher

Every time I drove by that one spot along Route 173, I could feel a cold chill work its way up my spine.

How many people’s daily commute included going past the little patch of real estate where they nearly met their maker?

When I was on my way back from work one afternoon, I remember seeing a large pickup and a trailer in my rearview mirror coming up on me at an alarming rate of speed.

The next thing I knew, there was a jolt and my truck flipping onto it’s side.Amid the cacophony of screeching brakes, crunching metal and shattered glass, I was thrown clear from my truck. White hot pain shot throughout my body as I tumbled to the pavement, only dimly aware of the more metal being smashed behind me.

Blood pouring into one eye from a gash on my forehead, I can hear bystanders urgently shouting out “Call 911!”

This would be the last thing I remembered for a while.


It takes considerable effort, but I’m able to open my eyes. I’m in a bed in a white room. The lights aren’t on, but it’s pretty well illuminated by the natural sunlight. Although I’m pretty sure there’s somebody else here in the room with me, the voices I hear sound like they’re coming from the TV.

Oh shit….am I in the hospital?

As my eyes come into focus, I can see it’s the local news.

“Here in the Valley, we can expect slightly higher than average temps. Current temperature downtown is 77. These warmer temps will taper off this afternoon as we get some clouds moving in- overnight highs for Las Vegas will be right around 64. To the north in Mesquite and St George, it will probably feel a little cooler as there’s some breeze expected. Laughlin and Bullhead City should bottom out at 70-“

Wait- why is the weather lady wearing cat’s ears?

“For those of you going out with your RV or trailer, you should be aware that NDOT has issues a high wind advisory for parts of Clark County this afternoon.”

Perhaps my eyes are deceiving me, but it looks as though there’s a tail swishing behind her as well. Although she can’t be any older than her early 30s, the weather girl’s hair is snow white.

What’s going on? It can’t be Halloween.

My attention is brought back to the room by the shuffling of papers from the other side of the bed.

I try calling out, but all I can muster is some feeble croaking followed by some coughing.

“Oh? You’re awake now?” a woman’s voice calls out.

Shit- I’m definitely in a hospital, and there’s a little curtain partially drawn around my bed. I suppose it’s a step up from my brains being splattered all over route 173.

The curtain suddenly opens and I’m looking up at a beautiful, dark skinned woman with snow white hair up in a bun.

“How are you this afternoon, Mr Gian-….Gee-un….it…..” she looks down at her chart, unsure of how to pronounce my name.

“D-dakota….” I wheeze. I’m sure she has better things to do than learn how to pronounce my surname, so might as well use my first name.

As beautiful as she is, a few things seem off about my ‘nurse’. Did they revamp the hospital’s dress code while I was out? For starters, her outfit is a bit revealing- a starched short white skirt and snug white blouse hugging the curves on her upper body. It still is practical enough to accompany some of the equipment she carries. Atop her snow-white hair is a nurse’s cap.

“Good to see you’re awake, Dakota.” she said looking up at her clipboard. “How are you feeling?”

“Uh….” I groan. “I feel like I got hit by a fucking truck on the Boulder City bypass.”

“Well, you seem to be doing all right all things considered- although I’m sure it doesn’t feel like it for you.”

I suppose I should try and be a little less ornery towards the people who have been tasked with putting me back together again. Besides, Nurse Ratched here is nothing short of a knockout. She’s probably used to patients trying to pick up on her, but I figure there’s no harm in trying. Long, slender legs, an ample bust without being comically oversized, soft and alluring dark skin, hair as white as the clouds in the sky, adorable little pointy ears, pouty ruby red lips and…….wait.

Her ears are about the size of a bookmark and sticking out horizontally from her head before tapering off to a point- perhaps my only indicator that she’s not human.

First the weathergirl catgirl and now some sort of elfin nurse?

“E….ears?” I ask her as I’m desperately trying to form a coherent sentence.

“Oh? You like them?” she smiled. “I shouldn’t go around telling people this, but it drives me absolutely wild when my husband gives them a little nibble or kiss.”

Using as much strength I can muster, I try asking her a coherent question.

“What’s going on? Is it Halloween or something? Am I dead?”

“On the contrary. You’re fine Mister….er….Dakota.” she hesitated, belatedly honoring my request to go by my first name. “You’ve been in a medically induced coma since…” her eyes went back to the chart and widened a little. “Oh my- this….this is a few weeks before the Great Crossing on the human calendar. This would explain alot…..”

“Great crossing…?” I wheeze incredulously.

“Humans might use a different name for it, but it marks the start of when our kind- elves, beastmen, dragonesses, demihumans and so forth- successfully began a migration to this world from a parallel realm that was dying.”

“You’re kidding…” I croak. The dark skinned elfin nurse and cat lady forecasting the weather on TV could’ve been costumed women as part of some sort of elaborate prank- even if pranking an accident victim coming out of a coma was a shitty thing to do.

The dark elfin nurse could sense my skepticism.

“Please, Dakota….if you can just remain calm, I can get Dr. Hontza to bring you up to speed on everything that’s happened since the accident.”

“Yes…..please do that.” I hiss impatiently as she takes her leave. With each passing second, you’re convinced this is nothing more than an elaborate prank being played on me.

It doesn’t take long for her to return and she’s accompanied by a shorter brunette woman with glasses. Right away you can see that this is no ordinary doctor- her extremities seem to be buried beneath a canopy of earthy toned floofy feathers and her legs taper off to clawed feet.

If this is some sort of hidden camera joke, they really are milking it.

What’s the meaning of this?” I ask angrily at the ‘nurse’ and the woman who bears more than a passing resemblance to some sort of nocturnal bird.

“Ah, Mr. Dakota! Nurse Pri’a mentioned that you’ve been comatose and unaware of events since the Great Crossing.”

“You keep saying that-“

“Rest assured that you haven’t gone anywhere- you’re still being treated at the Southern Nevada Trauma Center. It’s just the world as you knew it has changed somewhat since your accident.”

An owl- that’s what this doctor reminds me of.

“H-how much?”

“Considerably. Besides humans, this world is now also populated by beings that much of humanity had assumed were legends or myths….”

I listen as the owl harpy explains nearly everything to me. A portal opened using magitek from a dying world- a sudden influx of humanoid woman with beastly or monstrous traits displaying intellect at the human level or above, all of them requiring human males to procreate since their species were monogendered. Even more- because of the gender imbalance and difference in size and strength, some of the newly emerged species had been resorting to nothing short of kidnap and rape while selecting a mate. The practice was frowned up by both humans and the newly-arrived demihumans, but it still took place even though the more aggressive demihumans could risk arrest and prosecution for their actions.

Despite some initial chaos, integration appeared to be underway.

“And would you believe the Raiders moved to town?” she asks as she re-capped all the events while I was gone.

“Y-yeah….” I croaked. “I drove a transfer truck for one of the contractors when they were still building the stadium.”

“Dakota? Is it all right if I call you Dakota?” the owl woman asks.

I nod quietly before speaking up again.

“I have a question.”

Truth be told, I had several.

“If you say unmarried men are a hot commodity among…..” I stumble for an easy description. “……your type, I guess- why is it someone hasn’t tried to sneak in here and snap me up? So far, I’ve only seen nothing but you demihumans since I regained consciousness”

“Ah- the hospital got around potential liability issues by carefully vetting demihuman or fae applicants and making certain they were already married.” Doc owl explains.

“My sister Greba is still single.” the dark elf nurse volunteers. “Although she may be a bit much for someone in your state, Mr. Dakota.”

I glance appraisingly at the nurse, suddenly intrigued by the mention of a dark elfin sister. Seems like I would have to defer to her expertise on the matter, though.

“I suppose you could say integration is a work in progress. It’s only been a few months. Many of our kind ended up flocking to this area because of it’s status as an entertainment and gambling center among humans. Others have no interest in those things but simply find the desert climate agreeable.” Dr. Hontza continued.

“Wh-what about family?” I ask.

The pointy-eared choco elf began going through my charts.

“Do you have a……an Uncle Stu in Pasadena?”

“Yeah.” I’m sure my surprise was evident.

“He’s been calling periodically requesting an update on your condition.” she continued. “We can’t tell him much due to privacy issues- and there’s been nothing to update until just now, but he did leave his contact information.”

I nod quietly. Uncle Stu and I were never particularly close, so I’m a little surprised he’s the only family that’s been regularly asking about me since the accident.

“Please know that we have counsellors available to help you transition back into the world after being away for so long…..” Owl doc spoke up again. “I understand that this may be alot for you to take in,

She is quite correct.


As it turns out, the hospital was aware that physically vulnerable unmarried men might make them a tempting target for the more aggressive of these newly arrived fey and demihuman woman and had bolstered their security by hiring married Oni, Hellhound and Ogress guards. A deceptively simple solution, as it turned out.

Doc Owl and Nurse Choco Ratched told me that according to the accident report, I was nearly crushed by my own pickup when I was ejected and thrown into the opposite lanes, but it ended up saving me when it came to a rest, effectively blocking oncoming traffic from running me over.

The thing is I don’t remember anything after getting thrown out. What little I could remember of the accident came back to me in jagged fragments while I was dreaming- or attempting to dream.

Physical therapy was a bit of a chore, but ultimately necessary due to my months of physical inactivity. The physical therapists were a 50/50 split between human and demihuman- and before I knew it I was given a clean bill of health and discharged.

Given Las Vegas’ reputation as a locale where one traditionally could let loose and indulge their vices, it seemed as though there was nowhere else in America more appropriate for these demihuman women to attempt to integrate into human society.

The advent of these demihuman or ‘monster’ girls was a boon for the economy, as it turned out. Especially in Sin City. Although I had lost my job at the construction firm while I was out, I was quickly able to get a job delivering parcels for Lamia-zon.com. The pay was pretty good considering it was entry level and it helped keep me busy.

Bit by bit, I was getting accustomed to the sight of snake-women, scorpion-women, bird-women, lizard-women, wolf-women or dragon-women living alongside humans in Sin City. The thing is, outside some playful banter at work I didn’t get the sense that any of these demihuman women were particularly interested in me.

The economy was doing well enough that the bank hadn’t felt the need to foreclose on my humble little double-wide in Boulder City the whole time I was in a coma, but I did have to straighten some things out financially between my bank and the insurance company. The truck was a complete writeoff, which should come as no surprise. There was some money for a slightly more sensible used late-model Toyota Corolla that became my primary means of conveyance. It was a good, economical car but unsurprisingly I found myself worrying how it would fare in a collision.

Uncle Stu even came out for a visit to see how I was doing and if I needed any help tidying up around my place. Since most of that had been taken care of already, we ended up taking a road trip along Old Route 66 west of Kingman. It was kind of fun, actually. Uncle Stu loaded up on some kitschy Route 66-themed shotglasses and visors and I got a couple of Indian trinkets from this one gift shop that used to be a gas station.

I joined him for dinner at the buffet in one of the hotel-casinos further off the Strip he was staying at for the final night before his short flight back to California. It had a pseudo-Egyptian motif and was staffed mostly by pouty Anubis girls and smirking Sphinx girls in what I had to assume was period dress. Apparently the Luxor was a ‘pale imitation’ of their Desert Kingdom, I overheard one of them sniff to a guest.

Over some ridiculously underpriced ribeye at the Casino’s buffet, Uncle Stu halfheartedly rebuked me for not updating my social media pages- if for no other reason than to let our relatives in the Midwest know at long last that I was doing OK now.

I didn’t say anything- I suppose he had a point. Something to ponder as we went our separate ways.

Upon arriving home, I grabbed one of the remaining beers in the fridge and sat down in front of the TV- halfway through the local news.

“….in other local news, Las Vegas Metro Police are asking for the public’s assistance in a rash of strange burglaries throughout Clark County.” the human anchorwoman began.

“There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to these break-ins. One in Henderson, two in North Las Vegas and now one in Summerlin that we’re aware of.” a police spokesman said in front of a row of microphones. “In each case, the occupants were home, but asleep at the time of entry. Nothing was taken, and as far as we can determine, none of the occupants were assaulted. The intruder was able to disarm the home security systems in a few instances. So far our only lead is a few partial hoofprints and some grainy footage from a neighbor’s security camera from the Summerlin break-in, leading us to believe our suspect is in the minotaur family.”

The TV station plays a few seconds of the video clip- an indistinct form moving about the darkness. The only thing that seems to stand out is the fact that this figure appears to be sporting a set of horns or antlers.

Must be a slow news night if that’s what they’re leading off with. I’m just waiting for them to get to the highlights of the Knights game in the sports segment. I suppose I could just as easily look up the box score on ESPN, Yahoo Sports or the NHL app, but I’m a bit stubborn and old fashioned. Besides, I’m still getting used to some of these on-air demihuman personalities.

It’s not really worth staying up for, I suppose, but ever since getting discharged from the hospital I had almost been dreading going to sleep.


I don’t know why I didn’t want to tell anyone about it, but my mind was made up.

Nobody- not the doctors who treated me, nor my co-workers or even Uncle Stu knew about the recurring nightmares where I’d re-live the crash. It seemed like I was averaging those every other night.

Some variations seemed even worse than the real thing. Time seems to slow down or stop altogether around me while I’m bleeding and writing in agony on the pavement.

Tonight seemed to start out the same, but instead of crashing through the windshield and landing on the hot asphalt of Route 173, I land……..in a kitchen?

I’m not on my back on a desert highway crying out in agony as is typical for these dreams. The scorching sun and distant wail of the sirens is gone.

All of it.

I’m indoors now.

Right away, I notice that it’s much more cool and comfortable as I take in my new surroundings. It is a kitchen- almost like something out of a 1950’s sitcom. The walls are a pastel lime green and I notice an older looking fridge, an older looking sink, an older looking stovetop.

And someone is in this room with me.

A woman.

The first thing I notice about her is that she has long flowing platinum hair- almost down to the back of her knees. At first I think she’s oddly dressed before I suddenly realize something else.

She actually isn’t dressed.

She seems to be wearing a frilly apron- and nothing else.

This whole time, she’s been humming a jaunty tune. Seemingly not paying attention to anything but the task at hand, she starts singing softly as she was singing a lullaby.

♩ ♪ ♫ Fēn fāng měi lì mǎn zhī yā ♩ ♪ ♫
♩ ♪ ♫ Yòu xiāng yòu bái rén rén kuā ♩ ♪ ♫

I have no idea what she’s saying, but simply hearing it puts me at ease.

My dreamtime visitor seems to lack feet as well, but rather her legs taper off to a pair of hooves. There is also a pair of horns sticking prominently out of the top of her head in a manner that reminds me of a Texas longhorn- only these horns are partially wrapped in a thin crimson ribbon with what looks like charms or talismans dangling from each side.

After a moment, she’s stopped singing and turns to face me.

“Oh- you’re here.” she says brightly.

She seems a little surprised, which is odd, considering that it’s my dream.

In her hand is what looks like an unfurled scroll. Most if it is written in a foreign language that I can’t decipher, but I can see a few numbers and words I recognize. Namely the make, model and year of the truck that hit me and the date of the accident.

She gives it a quick once-over before rolling up and rapidly tying off the scroll with a thread.

Only with a quick sweep of her hand, the scroll appears to be a large and succulent looking red pepper.

“Who are you and what are you doing in my dreams dressed like that?” I ask.

“Dressed like wh-” she doesn’t even finish her question before letting out a little shriek and reflexively covering herself up with her arms as she looked down, even though I couldn’t see anything too salacious from where I was standing.

“Oh…oh my…..you must have greater control of this dreamscape than I anticipated.” she observed timidly. “Not quite full lucid dreaming, but still…..”

Come to think of it, the beautiful, bespectacled bovine woman in this dream kitchen is (barely) dressed in a manner that seems a bit reminiscent of the Gil Elvgren or Freeman Elliot pin-ups I’m so fond of.

“Please…” she implored me. “I…I can tell you what you would like to know, but can I get something a little less revealing?”

Wait a sec- I have the power to dress and undress her in my dreams? Well now- this could be pretty fun.

The apron vanishes altogether, and my bovine visitor has one arm draped across her voluminous breasts and her hand covering up between her legs.

KYAAAAA! I…I’ve been tarnished forever. Nobody will want to marry me now!” my uninvited visitor lamented as she tired even harder to conceal herself. “I’m a sage with 400 years experience in this field- why would you even want to do such a thing to me, young man?”

“Hang on, hang on….” I try to reassure her, although my eyes can’t quite separate themselves from the voluptuous, blushing and nude bovine woman before me.

A moment later, a green silk dress with gold trim materializes on my visitor. A lovely and elegant cheongsam that hugs her curves and even has a cleavage cutout for her considerable bosom.

“How’s that?” I ask.

“It’s a little more form-fitting than I’m used to, but I suppose it will suffice for now.” she said, still pouting.

“What should I call you?”

“My full name is Meng Shi Kuo.” she said as she bowed demurely, giving me a brief glimpse of those magnificent, creamy breasts through her dress’ cleavage window. “I am a wandering scholar and have been doing this for centuries.”

“What exactly is ‘this’? You’re not a nightmare, are you?” I ask.

“Oh no! Hardly…..you see, nightmares will alter a subject’s dreamscape into something enticing and alluring in order to coax nocturnal emissions from them.” she explains as she sweeps her hand out to indicate the kitchen. “I suppose you could call what I do ‘nightmare extraction’. Whereas a nightmare will change a subject’s dreamscape, I will find the more bothersome and unpleasant dreams a subject has, remove them, bind them to a parchment and alter that parchment into something much more suitable for my consumption.”

“So what exactly are you?” I ask

“Well, in the former Middle Kingdom I’m known as a Bai Ze and in the Islands of the Rising Sun, they would refer to me as a Hakutaku.”

“Hakutaku?” I inquire, mostly to hear the name roll off my tongue.

“Many years before what’s been called the Great Crossing, an incredibly powerful succubus queen grew weary of the constant warring between humankind and the creatures they referred to as ‘monsters’. Some say she fell in love with a gifted warrior sent to slay her, while others believe that she didn’t want to be deprived of her main energy sources- human mana.”

“Mana?”

Oh lordy- that fairly simple question of mine left my nocturnal visitor with blushing cheeks as she shyly looked away while still trying to address me.

“S…seed. Or semen, if you will.”

“Oh……..OH…..OK- I get it now.” I say- a little flustered myself, but still savoring the image of the alluring yet timid oxen minotaur before me.

“Before the prior Maou- the demon lord- could launch a campaign to exterminate all of humanity, he was overthrown by the succubus and her human partner. To make certain none of the Maou’s followers would try to retaliate against her, she used her magic to re-make all the creatures who had served the Maou in her image.The only problem was that perhaps it worked a bit too well- Not only were demons, ogres and dragons all turned into stunning women, but they were also imbued with the succubus queen’s craving for mana. Furthermore- there were no males of any species remaining. Even the ones who didn’t immediately feel the need for mana from humans still needed human males to reproduce.”

“Yet-” she continued confidently. “This isn’t true of all species that were changed by her machinations.”

She still had the air of a scholar, but the more she went on the more apparent her enthusiasm was.

“Give me an example.” I state.

“Well- one of the most obvious examples is the vampire. While vampires didn’t completely escape the succubus queen’s influences, they can sustain themselves with either the blood or mana from a human male-“

“Depending on who you talk to, that’s hardly an improvement.” I point out.

“And then there’s us….”

“What do you mean?”

“Originally, we could be summoned at night to devour the nightmares and bad dreams somebody in the household was experiencing. Even after the Succubus queen altered our appearance, we found that this aspect of our nature remained.”

“You’re saying it’s an ‘either/or’ proposition, then?”

“Y…yes. Basically, I’ve found that I’m personally not quite as assertive as other beings who fell under the new succubus queen’s influence. I suspect this is true for many of my kind.”

“So wait……right now you’re going to eat my nightmare about getting rear ended by a drunk driver on route 173. Does that mean I’ll forget the whole thing now?”

“No. Not quite.” Meng said a bit forlornly. “Just because I’ve consumed the nightmare about it doesn’t mean you won’t forget about it in your waking hours. That’s not how it works, I’m afraid.”

“Oh….I see.”

“If the dream was something like you showing up to class in your underwear, that dream would be gone forever once I consume it. But a recurring dream where you re-live something traumatic that had actually happened to you…..those memories will remain. However-” she added in a slightly more optimistic tone. “…the recurring nightmares should stop and the existing memories in your waking hours would be less traumatic.”

“So miss Hakutaku…..you’re not actually giving me nightmares just so you can whip up a midnight snack, are you?”

She didn’t miss a beat with her reply.

“That’s unnecessary, I’m afraid. There’s enough trauma and sorrow in this world that I can very easily find an array of human nightmares to feed upon.”

“So why exactly did you choose me?”

“Ah….the million jiaozi question.” the lovely hakutaku mused. “Do you remember taking a road trip and buying a Dreamcatcher at a run down shop on Old Route 66?”

“Yeah- some place way out by past Kingman….when Uncle Stu came to visit.” I recalled. That seemed like it was so long ago. “Wait- don’t tell me that you had something to do with that…”

Meng nodded. “I crafted them myself and sold them to various merchants along the highway….” she began to explain.

“No way- so I actually bought a dreamcatcher that was actually infused with some sort of arcane dream magic?” I contemplated.

“Oh hardly- the dreamcatchers themselves are nothing more than hastily made faux Native American trinkets.” Meng confessed. “However, I infused every one of them with a rudimentary tracking spell that would only activate when the item left the store.”

“Why would you do something like that?”

“I figured if somebody was desperate enough to convince themselves that a cheap trinket would enhance their opportunity for a proper night’s sleep, they would in all likelihood be suffering from nightmares that I could contain and consume for myself.”

It took me a few seconds to process that.

Shit- she makes an excellent point.

Whatever dish she’s making my nightmare into, she’s nearly complete. With a wave of her hand, we’re no longer in the pastel green retro kitchen, but outdoors.

Immediately behind us is a red, wooden ranch home while before us is a grassy meadow,a pond and some jagged peaks of a desert mountain range..

I recognize this place- it’s the old Krupp Ranch at Mountain Springs. It belonged to some German heiress and the land was donated to become a local park when she passed away many years ago.

It wasn’t a particularly big park, but it was a very pleasant setting. The last time I was there was a sunny, mild day months before the accident. At the time I remember quietly lamenting that I didn’t have a girlfriend to go for a hike, take on a picnic or otherwise enjoy that lovely day with. Perhaps this is something my late night intruder was able to pick up on herself.

As I take in our new surroundings, I find myself thinking Ms. Dream Muncher may actually be more in control of my dreamscape than she’s letting on. She was rather quick to pick up on this spot being a local favorite of mine.

“Ah! Much better…wouldn’t you agree?” she asks cloyingly.

Can’t argue with that.

Laid out before us in the shade is a blanket with a picnic basket. The hakutaku demurely kneels down before the basket and pulls out what appears to be a bowl filled with noodles sprinkled with some diced red pepper, mushroom and meat drizzled with a brownish sauce that looked like it had the same color and consistency as gravy.

In her right hand is a pair of lacquered chopsticks. Meng clasps her hands together and closes her eyes before slightly bowing her head.

Man man chii…” she murmurs before unclasping her hands and picking up the chopsticks.

“Oh- Dakota.” she says, looking up at me before taking the first bite. “I didn’t forget about you.”

She nods at the picnic basket as she starts eating.

Without even thinking, I reach into the basket and before I realize it, I’m holding onto a fairly robust sandwich.

“No way- Philly cheesesteak with diced bacon, beer infused cheddar and chipotle mayo?” I marvel.

I have to admit, out of all the things this girl could’ve pulled from my subconscious, the limited time cheesesteak offering from one of my favorite sandwich shops was pretty impressive. And it’s not making a mess everywhere like the real life version of this sandwich does. Figures it has to be a dream.

“How is it?” I ask Meng after a few bites.

“Savory, robust and chewy.” she says between bites.

“Is there like….a Hakutaku food critic that goes around rating how people’s dreams taste?” I ponder.

“No- although it’s not unusual to consult various texts on how best to prepare a dream for consumption. I find the Yidong Gundong method is the most preferable for those who may not have a lot of time…”

It still seems quite strange that the dreams that have been plaguing me are capable of providing sustenance for someone else.

The hakutaku notices my eyes upon her and stops eating for a moment.

“Do….do I have something on my face?” she asked shyly.

“Nah- it’s not that. It’s just- for the life of me, I was never able to figure out how to use those…:” I nodded at her chopsticks.

“If you’re willing, I suppose I could teach you sometime.”

I chuckle. This only serves to make Miss Dreameater more perplexed.

“Miss Bai Ze’s Distance Learning Program” I say.

“I never thought of it like that….but I suppose you’re not too far off.” she muses as she finishes up her bad dream stir-fry.

“Do you have any locations for enrollees in Nye county?” I ask sarcastically.

“Oh my…you naughty boy.” Meng playfully scolds me. “Closest legal brothel to Las Vegas is still in Nye County, isn’t it?”

“I wouldn’t know anything about that.” I protest- perhaps a bit unconvincingly. I was actually more familiar with some of Nevada’s laws regarding legal prostitution than I was the brothels themselves.

“Hey- I got a question.” I ask after a few quiet moments.

She looks up from her dish and encourages me to continue with a quick nod.

“At the hospital, they warned me that monstergirls…..I mean…..I guess…..your kind intuitively know when a man is single and can act aggressively…..”

Meng nods. “It’s not true for all of us, but a prudent warning nonetheless.”

“It’s been a few weeks since I was discharged from the hospital.” I remark. “I’m still single, but it seems like none of these demihuman women have made a move on me. At first I thought it was because most of my co-workers or the customers I deliver to were married or engaged. But I can’t shake the feeling there’s something else to it….”

“Your aura.” Meng says as she finishes up her dish. “Which is why you needed me to remove that nightmare.”

“What about my aura?” I ask, not bothering to conceal my skepticism.

“Most of our kind are able to detect a person’s kii or aura- it shows up a bit like a swirl of colors surrounding them. The brighter the colors, the more enhanced that person’s appeal is to someone who can spot that aura.” the Hakutaku continues. “Your aura was probably like that before the accident, but since then……the recurring nightmares have darkened it somewhat.”

“I see…”

“The darker a man’s aura is, the more likely we are to keep our distance. It’s also forbidden for our kind to impart any of our knowledge to any human with an aura deemed to dark.” she explains. “Although it’s too soon to say for certain, I believe that once I remove your recurring nightmares, your aura should lighten considerably

“Wait a second.” something occurs to me. “You’re not using some sort of avatar or proxy, are you? This is your true form that you’re projecting, isn’t it?”

That’s why she was so worried about appearing nude and in that frilly apron. Or the form-fitting silk dress she was just about busting out of right now. She hadn’t bothered disguising herself .

“So how many other people did you do this for?”

“Oh….I’d say about six or seven.” she begins to explain. “What stands out about you is that while I was able to seamlessly blend into the background of others’ dreams, it seems as though you noticed me almost right away.”

“What’s the significance of that, though?”

“It would effectively be the difference between showing up as an extra in the background of a movie and getting top billing.”

“How are you able to do this remotely, though?” I ask.

“I can’t. I have to be physically nearby in order to-” Meng abruptly stopped speaking as her hands flew to cover her mouth.

Well now….The jig was up.

The call is coming from inside the house, Mr. Dakota!

For a moment, I find myself retracing my steps before I went to bed. Once I had everything I needed from the car, I’m positive I locked the door behind me.

Which means that little Miss Dream Diner just inadvertently copped to breaking and entering my domicile. She’s not just here in my dreams- she just said that she has to be physically here with me in my bedroom in order for her ancient Chinese dream-eating secret formula to work.

Holy crap- this beautiful, enchanting creature is here in my house watching me sleep. I feel so conflicted upon the revelation- joy upon the realization that this shapely, voluptuous and slightly nerdy woman isn’t just a figure of my imagination conjured up by my dreams, quickly followed by anger that she took it upon herself to break into my residence.

Fuck- at least it wasn’t an axe murderer who let themselves in…..although I may be premature in that declaration as well.

“Let me guess- your last nightmare meals. Henderson, North Vegas and Summerlin?” I ask, recalling the police press conference.

Meng nods.

“So let me get this straight….because you say that you’re too shy and reluctant to meet other people, you use magic infused items to track someone down, break into their houses while they’re sleeping, slip into their bedroom…..and then eat their recurring nightmares?”

“Umm….w-well…..you make it sound kind of outlandish when you put it like that.”

“Name me one thing about all this that isn’t outlandish!” I retort.

“A-aren’t you the least bit happy I lifted this burden off of your shoulders?” Meng asked, her voice almost pleading.

I didn’t answer right away. This was alot to take in.

“Don’t get me wrong.” I finally speak up. “It’s just the whole ‘Breaking and Entering’ thing is kind of…..”

“Odd?”

“I was gonna say ‘Creepy’, but that too….”

“I understand” she pouted. “Perhaps I should take my leave….”

“You don’t have to-” I start to say.

Too late. Meng has snapped her fingers. In an instant, she disappears and everything fades to black.

 


What a weird dream.

Right away there was a Hakutaku and I’m pretty sure she broke in and in some surreal dream kitchen she was prancing about in nothing more than an apron while cooking stir fry.

Even though this dream just happened, many of the details are already beginning to evade me. First we were in June Cleaver’s lime-sherbert colored kitchen and then we were at the old Krupp ranch with her in a Chinese dress.

Should I call the cops?

Did anybody even break in?

If so, is there even any physical evidence that my place was broken into, let alone the Hakutaku being here?

Was the whole thing just a dream? Or was that what the Hakutaku wanted me to believe?

My nostrils flare.

Something is burning…..no- something is cooking.

I know that I didn’t leave the burner on because I went out for dinner last night.

Quickly, I scramble out of bed looking for any signs of an intruder.

No signs anyone besides has been in the bedroom.

I quickly pull a t-shirt on so I can search the rest of the house. Before I can even leave the bedroom, I can hear something coming from the kitchen

The sound of utensils stirring something on the stovetop

And……singing?

♩ ♪ ♫ Fēn fāng měi lì mǎn zhī yā ♩ ♪ ♫
♩ ♪ ♫ Yòu xiāng yòu bái rén rén kuā ♩ ♪ ♫

She’s here and she’s resumed singing that song. 

I cautiously make my way out to the kitchen.

“Ah! Good morning!” the hakutaku greeted me.

And it seems that she’s found my only apron and is wearing that……and nothing else.

“Am I still dreaming?” I can hear myself ask.

“Steak and egg for breakfast? It’s not a dream…” she titters. “You’re still not that far removed from being in a coma- all this protein should help.”

“You know- I never got to ask about that song. You were singing it in my dream last night?”

“It’s from my original homeland and it’s called Mo Li Hua …..or Beautiful Jasmine Flower.”

“Sounds lovely…”

“Again, I must apologize Dakota.” she bowed after a few moments of awkward silence, although not deep enough for her massive udders to break free from the apron.

“When one of my kind simply touches a man, we are capable of learning everything there is about him…and in the process of extracting your nightmare, I…it was necessary for me to touch you.”

“So you know everything about me now?” I ask “And you’re not screaming and running for the hills….?”

“On the contrary.” she smiled as she turned to attend to the stovetop. “I think that it’s only fair that you get to know all there is to know about me. That is, if you want to….”

“Sounds great, but….uh….how do I say this?”

“Say what?” the Hakutaku asked, her eyes wide behind her glasses.

“Meng…you really shouldn’t be doing this.” I sigh.

“Oh….I…..I see….” the beautiful sagacious minotaur sighed, looking absolutely crestfallen. “I tried…..convincing myself th-that if I did something bold, things would be different this time-”

“Meng-”

“No…no, it’s all right. This was a bad idea.” she continued, her voice beginning to waver. “This 400 year old ox doesn’t have anything to offer a young man like you. …it was foolish of me to think otherwise. I’m sorry, Dakota….”

“Meng, listen-”

“I….I understand. I should get going, Dakota..”

I sigh as I stand behind the beautiful and surprisingly tall oxen minotaur. She’s not going to listen to what I say unless I get her attention.

“Meng….” I say as I slip my arms around her. “For a sage, you sure can be pretty clueless.”

“Wh-what are you talking about?”

I can feel the beautiful dream-eater’s curvaceous body tense up a little in my grip. She’s a little taller than I remember from my dreams- quite statuesque in fact.

“When I said that you shouldn’t be doing this, I meant breaking into people’s homes and….well…..eating their dreams.”

Gotta admit that it still sounded pretty weird when I said that out loud.

“Besides….” I continue. “What if the nightmares come back at some point?”

I could feel her relax a little in my arms. She doesn’t seem the least bit bothered by my rather robust hard-on that’s poking her from behind- something I’ve been sporting since seeing her in the kitchen emulating her little show from my dream.

“That hadn’t occurred to me. Y-you have a point, I suppose…”

Now that I’m this close to her, I can see that she has a red henna tattoo shaped like a vertical eye on her forehead that’s playing peek-a-boo under her white bangs. This was something that either didn’t register right away or I didn’t see in our mutual dream. Part of me is wondering if that’s just decorative or if that imbued her with more abilities.

“Dakota….may I ask you something?”

I chuckle. Meng literally broke into my house overnight and decided to go spelunking in my subconsciousness for nourishment, but right now genuinely seems worried that asking me a question may be an imposition.

“Go ahead.” I tell her.

“Well- it’s just that I’ve noticed th-that human men…..the-they seem to enjoy large….ehm….bosoms.” she said as she self-consciously draped her left arm across her chest. “The thing is.. I was wondering if you could explain why that is…”

Well now- that is pretty direct.

“Ah….one of the undisputed facts of human existence.” I begin, only to see Meng looking at me imploringly. “Well- you see….the thing is, they kind of make a good thing better. For example…let’s say you have this gal- she’s a little bit weird, but she’s very sweet, kind and incredibly smart…”

“Mm-hmm….”

“Let’s say she’s easy on the eyes, too. A real stunner. And even though I met this girl under rather unusual circumstances, she honestly seems interested in helping me out.”

“O-okay.”

“If you’re a guy like me, you’re probably asking ‘What could possibly make that better?’. The answer would be a gal who had all that and pair of large, bouncy, all natural breasts.”

“I find they can be quite cumbersome at times.” the Hakutaku pouted as she looked down at her chest.

“I may be showing my age a little, but alot of times….at least before the ‘Big Crossover’ or whatever- the only time you’d see a pair of breasts this magnificent in this town was on a showgirl or stripper who had some work done-”

Oh shit….what I said was technically true, but I suddenly realize that I might be indirectly implying something else regarding Meng.

I.E. the horned chick who broke into my house overnight.

“You don’t think very highly of those vocations, do you?” Meng asked me.

She didn’t have to read minds to come to that conclusion- my disdain was pretty evident in my words.

“Not really- in my experience those trades seem to be populated by vapid gold diggers.”

“Would you say they were ditzes?” she asked

“Hardly- they may come off like that, but they can be pretty calculating.” I grumble as I remembered an encounter with one such woman. She play-acted the airheaded ditz pretty convincingly, but managed to relieve me of about a month’s pay over a few hands of Texas Hold ‘Em at one of the casinos off the strip

“Do you know what it’s like to have this sort of knowledge at your disposal?” Meng sighed. “Not only do we have to be careful with how we act upon that, but we also have to make certain the humans we impart our wisdom to won’t abuse that knowledge either. If we’re irresponsible with such knowledge, people may end up hurt or even worse.”

I hadn’t considered the downside of having a Hakutaku’s considerable intellect.

“Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be unencumbered by all this knowledge. To clear my head of all those troublesome thoughts and be concerned with nothing more than carnal pleasures and appearing desirable for my lover….”

What she’s saying suddenly hits me like a ton of bricks.

“Kind of sounds like you’re talking about bimbo play…” I realize.

Meng doesn’t deny this and simply nods.

“Jeez….didn’t really think that was a fetish I had until you brought it up, Meng.”

I gently pull back long, silvery her hair to give her ears a little kiss. I don’t know why, but I’m surprised to see that Meng’s ears are mostly bovine in nature- floppy little cow ears. Her eyeglasses had led me to assume she would have more human appearing ears.

With my arms still around her, I blow into her right ear before giving it a little kiss. The hakutaku lets out a surprised yelp that quickly trails off to a lewd moan as she squirms a little.

“Ah! I hadn’t anticipated how stimulating such close, intimate oral contact with my ears could be.” she mused as a blush crept into her cheeks. “Quite a sensory delight…”

“Meng, you make for a terrible bimbo when you talk like that.” I point out- although hot nerd trying not to melt into quivering jello was a decent consolation prize.

The hakutaku says nothing for a moment, but clears her throat.

“Gee, Mister.” the sagacious minotaur resumes speaking, but her voice is now noticeably more breathy and higher pitched.”I shouldn’t be telling you this, but I get SUPER turned-on when someone gets close up and kinda plays with my ears like that….”

“Is that a fact?” I almost growl in her right ear before giving it a playful little nibble.

“Y-yes! I just….ah…..feel so hot all over, you know?” she nearly squeaks.

“Then I guess you won’t be needing this.” I say as I undo the string holding her apron in place.

Much to my disappointment, the apron doesn’t obligingly fall to the floor like I had anticipated. Instead it just kind of limply hangs there. After a few seconds I realize it’s being held in place by a second apron string around Meng’s neck- one that’s kind of concealed by her long, white hair.

I better get to work on that before she starts to wonder who the real ditz is.

The hakutaku lets out a tiny little gasp and shudders a bit as the frilly apron falls to the floor.

One of the first things I notice is that even naked, she’s still a bit taller than me. Her hooves seem to have the same net effect as wearing heels. Also, the silky, wavy hair along her tail and the upper fringes of her calves reminds me of the undulating fur along a cocker spaniel’s ears.

I might have to tease her about that later on.

As if to let her know I had finally unravelled the mystery of the second apron string, I stand up on my toes and gave the back of her neck a quick kiss before lavishing more attention onto her ears.

AHH! S-something happened to my apron, Mister.” she almost squeaked in her breathy faux-ditz voice. “N-now…now I’m not w-wearing anything…”

Her wavy haired tail shifts a little, giving me a tantalizing view of her rotund derriere. Unable to help myself, I give her left ass cheek a hearty smack.

HAAH!” the beautiful hakutaku half-moans, half-gasps in shock. The jiggling continues for a bit after I pull my hand away.

As Meng is catching her breath, I smack the hakutaku’s right ass cheek.

“Ah- D..Dakota!” she squeals before regaining her composure and resumes speaking in her faux bimbo voice. “Th-that smarts, Mister!”

“Don’t worry- I know just the thing to take your mind off of it.” I reassure her. “Now- turn around.”

She hesitantly does as I say, although she has her right hand covering between her legs and her left arm draped across her ample bosom.

It occurs to me that this is the first time I’ve seen my uninvited nocturnal visitor in the light of day. No cheongsam, no sexy little apron or strategically placed tail playing ‘peek-a-boo’. Standing completely disrobed before me, she’s every bit as stunning as I remember her from my dream. Soft, warm, alabaster flesh, straight silky white hair that was giving her a sort of Lady Godiva look right about now. Although her bust is partially hidden by her hair, enough of it is visible to serve as a vivid reminder that her kind is in fact a distant cousin to the holstaur.

Hell, Meng didn’t even look anywhere near 40, let alone 400.

Only now do I notice that Meng is visibly blushing. As I’m drinking in the sight of her, I also notice that she’s wearing some sort of perfume. Was it a conventional perfume or some sort of magically enhanced concoction to keep my mind fuzzy and strip me of my inhibitions?

I quickly rule out the latter- if Meng had applied some sort of aphrodisiac/perfume hybrid, I doubt I’d be moving as deliberately as I am right now, savoring every moment of the bashful sage minotaur’s foray into nudity.

“Mmm…you smell so good.” I say as I lean in and sniff her neck.

Wait….that sounded a little bit creepy. But she doesn’t seem to mind as I gently guide her arm away from her breasts. They are indeed magnificent, although still partially concealed by her long hair.

“Now- there’s a trick to forgetting all about your sore bum….” I begin to say.

Her eyes are heavy-lidded, but she acknowledges me with a quick nod.

Damn, I didn’t want to stop being this close to her, but I had to pull away. Even if was only for a moment, I was unhappy about stepping away from the now-naked hakutaku.

I take maybe all of four steps to the fridge and return after pulling something out.

“There’s a couple of ways of going about it.” I tell Meng while slipping my arms around her waist. “The first would be to massage and rub the affected area.”

As I grab a handful of her abundant backside, I could swear I hear her give out a quiet little ‘Moo!’ when she closes her eyes.

“Do you really find my posterior this enticing, Dakota?” she asked shyly, dropping the faux bimbo act for now. “I always thought it was a bit too…..large.”

“I don’t think I’d be smacking it so much if I didn’t.” I chuckle.

I must admit, I’m having alot of fun groping and massaging Meng’s ass, although it dawns on me that this isn’t quite what I had set out to do.

“Or…” I continue. “We could draw attention away from one area by focusing on stimulating another very sensitive area.”

Her eyebrow arches slightly- she’s intrigued and has demonstrated that she’s more than willing to let me take the lead so far.

I gently brush her hair so that it’s over her shoulders and completely down her back, giving me an unobstructed view of her amazing udders.

Meng is trying, but not quite succeeding in suppressing a lascivious grin as she bites her lower lip and bashfully looks away.

She’s not quite naked, I realize. Meng never removed her eyeglasses and for some reason, that arouses me even further.

“Meng….” I say absently as I begin to tweak and play with her stiffening nipple.

She doesn’t say anything right away, but closes her eyes and shudders.

“Call me crazy, but I would hate to see anything happen to you if you ended up breaking into a home that had a better security system and light sleepers.”

“What did you have in mind, Dakota?” she asked timidly as she arched her back, thrusting her breasts out even further.

“Instead of eating dreams, you can use my mana as nourishment…”

“A-are you saying…?”

Wow does she ask alot of questions. I find myself with little choice but to move in to silence her with a kiss on her lips.

Meng doesn’t say anything right away and can only manage a startled little yelp that I can feel almost as much as I can hear after our lips meet.

“Ah….Dakota?” she pants as we break the kiss. “What are you doing?”

“C’mon Meng….do I have to spell it out for you?” I ask while my right forefinger is playfully twirling a lock of her hair.

“Are you sure? I mean you’re still fairly young and I’m just an old ox who-”

“Shhh” I put my finger on Meng’s lips. “You’re a sage, right? All those times you’ve been asked to consult with human scholars or summoned to banish nightmares…”

The hakutaku nodded.

“C’mon….How many times did anyone ask about your wants and desires? Who took your happiness into consideration when they wanted to benefit from your wisdom.”

“It’s OK. Th-that’s something our kind has been used to dealing with.” she murmurs as she lazily drifts in closer to me, giving me a quick kiss on the lips.

“Who says you have to deal with it by yourself, though?” I ask her the second she gently breaks the kiss.

I’ve been alone since even before the accident. Meng has clearly been alone since the Grand Crossover or whatever it’s supposed to be called- or at least there currently isn’t anybody in her life who could put the brakes on her tendency to break and enter. I’m a bit surprised it’s taking this long for the ‘sage’ in my arms to figure this out and put two and two together.

But perhaps even among her kind, common sense isn’t as common as one might think.

With the quickness of a viper, Meng’s right hand is on the back of my head while she leans in and gives me another kiss- this one more urgent and passionate as I can feel her tongue coax its way into my mouth and flicker back and forth across my own tongue. I’m unable to stifle a moan and I can feel my grip on the nude and busty hakutaku weakening.

Meng lets out a lewd little gasp as she breaks the kiss

“Foolish young man.” she teases. “You should know what you’re getting yourself into.”

“I’m sure I wouldn’t be the first guy in Vegas who found themselves in over their heads.”

As she’s contemplating my words, I stand on my tiptoes and part her hair before giving the red vertical eye-shaped marking on her forehead a kiss.

Before I can savor the sight of the blushing Hakutaku any further, the two of us are stumbling back into my bedroom. Meng seems to be showing more initiative as she resumes kissing me and running her fingers through my hair.

As I’m moving backwards, I can feel myself bumping into something and stumbling backwards.

Well- even though I didn’t plan on it looks like I’m back in bed. After a moment, my view of the bedroom ceiling is obscured by Meng’s face framed by a curtain of her silvery hair.

It’s a rather welcome sight.

“Dakota….” she pants while removing her glasses. “I need this….”

I reach up and cup the sagacious minotaur’s cheek. She had a slight height advantage over me and being from the minotaur family, I’m sure she’s even stronger than most humans.There’s also the matter of her accumulated knowledge- even if she wasn’t as strong as an ogress or oni, she almost certainly had to know of some martial arts techniques that could be used to forcibly subdue me. If she really had been up to no good, I’m pretty sure she could’ve easily overpowered me a while ago.

The next thing I know, Meng is helping me out of my shirt and boxers.

“Ahhh….how long has it been like this?” she asks me playfully while tugging at the waistband of my boxers. There was no hiding the considerable bulge.

“Honestly, I think since I saw you in that apron cooking an omelette when I got up. Maybe even earlier coz I had been trying to piece together that dream.”

“Oh? So you’re not saying this phenomenon is simply limited to what you humans call ‘Morning Wood’?”

“Well it’s not like I have a naked Hakutaku cooking me breakfast every morning….” I trail off.

With a swift tug from the Hakutaku, my boxers were no longer an issue. While giving my diamond-hard member an appraising gaze, Meng’s somewhat lascivious smile grew as she leaned in.

For some reason, I have the urge to bat at the little charms dangling from the red ribbon wrapped around the Hakutaku’s horn.

“I see you brought your own cat toys…” I joke as my hand brushes up against her right horn.

Meng tenses up as I touch her horn.

“Ah! That’s s-sensetive!!” she moans as her hand flies up to meet mine on her horn.

Holy shit, yes. With each passing second, it looks as though I’ve absolutely made the correct decision by encouraging the quirky, buxom, endearing and slightly nerdy oxen minotaur to stay.

She almost reluctantly guides my hand away from her horn and it finds its way to her bare shoulder- even that seems particularly alluring for some reason. I make it a point to remember that both Meng’s horns and ears are particularly sensitive. I could have all kinds of fun edging and teasing her all morning, but I promised her my spirit energy, not to mention I want this just as badly as she does

Of course, as I’m thinking this, Meng is clearly a Hakutaku of action as I feel her hands gently clasp around my member. It’s almost like she’s wearing warm, silky gloves as she does this- although she’s guiding my manhood somewhere even warmer.

Waves of pleasure rack my entire body as I feel myself entering Meng slowly. This is almost too much- now it’s my turn to start losing my composure.

“Ah! Meng….” I can hear myself call out. It sounds like I’m in pain, but the opposite it true. She’s taking her time- prolonging the pleasure for both of us.

Looking down at me, the Hakutaku hesitates but seems to realize this as she slowly starts to rock her hips.

I’m inside of her. I’ve only known her for less than one evening, but this feels like something I’ve been waiting my whole life for.

Better not kill the mood by shooting my load in the first five seconds

“Yes…that’s it Dakota!” she coos as her rocking hips start to intensify. “A little deeper…”

Unlike earlier, she now has the air of a tutor as she’s instructing me as I can feel her tighten herself around my shaft. Her arms are draped around my shoulder while my hands move from her waist to her hips.

The nervous and uncertain Hakutaku that I had been playing with earlier was seemingly nowhere to be seen, now replaced with someone considerably more intuitive and assertive.

“Meng….” I call out softly as I start kissing her shoulder and working my way down. I’m loving everything about this- the way her name rolls off of my tongue, my shaft plunging deeper into her, the sensation of her warm breath spilling down my neck, her large breasts pressing up against me and even her long, snowy, silky hair….even though it sometimes obstructs my view of her bosom or face.

“Ah….it’s so deep, Dakota…” she pants as I hilted her.

Perhaps I’m overthinking things, but I seem to be even more sensitive now. Maybe that was part of Meng’s nature that I wasn’t aware of. Or these demihuman/’monster’ girls in general.

I realize I am in fact overthinking things as I realize I’m about ready to cum. My thrusting begins to slow and I can feel my body tense up as I hear myself calling out Meng’s name.

Shit- at least it’s been more than five seconds.

I’m not sure what else I’m saying, but Meng quietly shushes me.

“I’m sure it’s been awhile for you. Let it all out, Dakota….” she coos as she slows the rocking of her hips.

As the dam breaks and I can feel myself shooting sticky jets of seed into Meng, I instinctively tighten my grip on the Hakutaku and bury my face into the crook of her shoulder.

“Haaah……hah…….Meng…..” I can hear myself pant. I almost want to apologize and remind her that I was only a few weeks removed from being in a coma, but she’s having none of it.

“Doesn’t that feel good?” she cooed. “I bet you’ve been waiting a long time to do that.” Her tone seems reassuring.

I nod shyly. “I have.”

“Good….” she says sweetly as she gently strokes my hair. “But……”

“But….?” I ask nervously.

“I’m afraid I’m not done with you yet.” Meng grins.

By rights I should be nervous or at least a little fatigued when I heard her say that, but no sooner do I think that than I realize I’m getting my second wind. Only if feels more like my ‘second wind’ is a Category three hurricane.

“Meng?” I ask.

“Yes?”

I don’t say anything right away, but playfully grapple with the voluptuous minotaur girl astride me before rolling over so that I’m now on top of her.

“I never said I was done with you, either…”

The Hakutaku let out a little gasp that quickly turned into a knowing grin.


Thank goodness Meng at least had the foresight to turn off the stovetop’s burner before we headed off to the bedroom, otherwise this place would’ve reeked of charred steak and eggs for months.

I lost track of how much time had elapsed since we stumbled into the bedroom together and me now looking at a weary hakutaku drifting in and out of sleep next to me.

Was what she said about being 400 years old really true? If she can slip into people’s dreams, what other amazing things is she capable of? I don’t want to seem like I’m taking advantage of her, but it would be kind of cool is she could give me stock tips or sports insights that I could act upon.

Meng looks almost angelic as I listen to her breathe softy. Her head has to rest at a certain angle, otherwise her horns would get caught on the pillow or knock stuff off the nightstand.

“Dakota? It’s not too late for a picnic, is it?” the sleepy hakutaku speaks up.

“I guess not.” Although I’m not sure what time it is, it’s still daylight.

“If you’re up for it, we could go to that spot from your dream?”

“The old Krupp ranch out past Blue Diamond?”

The Hakutaku nodded.

“Good idea.” I chuckle before giving her a little kiss on the ear. “It’s almost like you read my mind.”

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