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Fiction Paranormal


by (author) Éric Desmarais

Renaissance Press
Initial publish date
Aug 2017
Paranormal, Contemporary
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2017
    List Price

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At the Aux-Anges institute, nestled in the woods outside of North Bay, they study and treat parasomnias, or sleep disorders. Ashley suffers from night terrors, Terrance sleepwalks, Kiri sleep-eats, and Paul sets fires; they are there for treatment. Adelaide took the job as a counselor to discover why she still has an imaginary friend. When they discover the secret hideout of an old club called the Dreamers, they are shocked to find that the five of them are connected through more than just the Institute.

About the author

Éric has had an eclectic career which ranges from casino dealer to canal boat captain to radio station DJ. Since 2009, he's worked as a layout artist and desktop publisher for the federal government. During his off time he works as a freelance layout artist for various Canadian-based authors and publishers, roasts gourmet flavoured coffee, runs several pen-and-paper role-playing games, writes, and helps run (Home of the

He lives in Ottawa, Ontario with his wife, daughter, and son. Visit him at

Éric Desmarais' profile page

Excerpt: Parasomnia (by (author) Éric Desmarais)

It isn't uncommon for children to bring their imaginary friends with them into adolescence, nor is it uncommon for adults to have imaginary friends. It only becomes worrisome when the individual cannot understand that it is a part of their own psyche and not a separate entity.

Adelaide Price had struggled with her imaginary friend since she was six. Her friend called herself Katherine, but went by Kitty. She was a little girl who had been injected with tiger DNA and looked like she was half cat. There were black and orange stripes going down her whole body, she had a long, striped tail, eyes like those of a cat, and even had claws. Her mouth, nose, and the position of her eyes were human. She had long orange hair, like Adelaide's, except that it was streaked with black. When she'd learned more about DNA and how it worked, Adelaide had laughed at her younger self's innocence.

The problem with Kitty wasn't that she was annoying or evil but that she was too real. She liked Kitty but found it hard to make friends. She never admitted it to her therapists or parents, but she knew Kitty was real. Her imaginary friend knew and saw things that Adelaide didn't and shouldn't.

When she had first told her parents, at four, her mother had gotten angry and stormed off. When she came back, she was crying. Her father explained to her that the name Katherine was the name of someone they had lost and it made her mother sad. Adelaide did her best not to mention Kitty from then on.

From her parents, to her therapist, to her friends, everyone had suggestions on how to get rid of Kitty. Nothing seemed to work: therapy, meditation, or medication. By the time she was in her early teens, Adelaide accepted that she could never be normal.

On her senior year high school graduation trip, she still had doubts about her sanity. The trip wasn't anything fancy, but they paid a certain amount and a school bus would bring them to the Seven-Banners amusement park. It was an eight-hour drive and the park was open for high school seniors from six pm to six am.

As usual, Kitty chattered incessantly and Adelaide sat alone on the bus. She wasn't popular; if anything, people were afraid of her. She was quiet, always seemed distracted, and spent most of her time wearing headphones. The bus ride there and the amusement park were fun; she rode the rides and even managed to talk to a few other seniors from another school. It helped if they didn't know her. She liked to smile, mostly at Kitty's antics, and she was pretty, with orange-red hair, pale skin, freckles, and big green eyes.

On the bus ride back, something strange happened. The bus driver stopped at the scheduled stop for breakfast. It was an old-fashioned highway diner, what people call a "greasy spoon."

Adelaide brought in her book and read in a corner booth. Kitty prowled around for a while and then sat down on the leather seat across from her. "I'm bored, can we do something? Talk to someone? Maybe you could talk to Frankie?" Kitty suggested.

The restaurant had a half dozen people in it before they arrived, mostly business people, but there was one uniformed police officer sitting at the counter, flirting with the waitress.

Adelaide looked over at Frankie and considered going to talk to him. He was a typical looking sports star, handsome and friendly. She had tutored him last year in math and he had tutored her in Spanish. It had worked out pretty well, as they both passed and, for the first time, Adelaide had been able to interact with a real person. Kitty had agreed to leave them alone to study, something that almost never happened."No, he's with Sally and I don't feel like being teased again." Adelaide didn't like Sally. They'd known each other since they were in kindergarten. They were the only two from their grade school to go to the same high school. Sally made sure that everyone knew that Adelaide was crazy and still had an imaginary friend. That, combined with Adelaide's inability to make small talk, had made her an outcast from the first day of high school.

Bending over the table, grabbing a piece of bacon, and eating it, Kitty smiled. Her feline teeth looked oddly sharp in a young woman's mouth. It was an illusion. Adelaide could still see the bacon on her plate. Kitty couldn't interact with the world except through Adelaide.

"But he's so cute, and I know you want him," Kitty responded.

It was at moments like this that Adelaide was happy Kitty had grown with her. They had both been six-year-old girls and had aged at the same time. It was distracting for Adelaide to always see a naked tiger-woman walking around, but it was worth the trade-off not to have a six-year-old girl talking about sex. It was disconcerting that she was always naked, but her fur helped to cover most of her.

Rolling her eyes, Kitty walked away. She looked into every booth and rubbed herself in a suggestive manner on all the cute guys. Adelaide hid her smile behind her book. Kitty liked to change from catlike human to full tiger when she was bored. She would prowl and pretend to pounce or just sniff at things.

Stopping to look into a booth with a man in a business suit, Kitty changed back to her tiger-human form, her eyes grew big and her tail puffed up. She quickly, with impressive agility and grace, bounced back to Adelaide. Half crouching Kitty said, "That guy has a gun under his newspaper." Her usual glib tone was gone and her eyes were wide with fear.

"What kind of gun?" whispered Adelaide mockingly.

"The kind that is big and metal and shoots lots of bullets." Her genuine terror was infectious. All her fur was on end and she looked like someone had put her in a dryer. Not that you could fit her in one, she was too tall.

"What do you expect me to do?" Adelaide continued to whisper.

Tilting her head towards the police officer, Kitty whispered, "Tell the cop."

Editorial Reviews

"Parasomnia has a great plot and a diverse cast of well-rounded characters. I thoroughly enjoyed it!" - Caro Fréchette, author of the Family by Choice series"Éric Desmarais is a master of characterization. He creates unique, quirky and believable characters who I hope to meet again." - Sue Taylor-Davidson, author of To Pluck A Crow

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