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Bruce Coville's Book of Nightmares II
Introduction

You sit up in bed, eyes wide, heart pounding, sweat streaming down your face.

Maybe you've even been screaming.

It can only mean one thing: You've been taking a walk down Nightmare Alley.

The alley is there every night, you know. Oh, some nights you manage to miss it, to walk right past as you make the long, dark trip from “Sweet dreams” to Good morning!”

Some nights.

But other nights you're cruising through the darkness and for no reason at all you make a detour down Nightmare Alley and it all goes strange and scary. You dream of dark and nameless horrors waiting to swallow you up. Of being chased but not being able to run. Of being menaced but not being able to scream.

Fear cups you lovingly in its palm, then closes its cold fingers over our heart.

And the weird thing is, it all comes from inside your own head. All that terror and tension, all that fright and fear, comes right out of your own brain.

What's even weirder is that we can't get enough of it. Menaced by nightmares when we sleep, we seek out fear while we're wide awake as well.

If you don't agree, why are you reading this book?

Well, don't worry, gentle reader. There's plenty of terror to go around. The writers who fill these pages know about nightmares, and have the appalling ability to conjure them up in broad daylight-to stir the pot of fear and dish up a steaming stew of terror to share with you.

Fortunately, it's only a book, and you're wide awake. You can close the pages and stop reading any time you want.

Or can you?

What if this is all a dream? What if when you decide to close the book, that's only a dream decision? What if the book is still there, waiting, and your brain is planning to open it again, whether you want it to or not?

What if you're dreaming right now?

What if you never wake up?

Heh heh heh

Sweet dreams, my little dumplings.



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