Thought I would share an excerpt from the (published) first novel today, a scene entitled mercy street...
The dream is always the same. This dream is always a nightmare. This dream is a recurring dream: etched in my brain not once but a hundred times. The dream is always the same.
A twelve-year-old girl trembling terrified hiding in the linen closet watches, through a crack in the door, a threatening mad man with a shotgun violently destroy her entire family.
She cannot speak nor yell to sound a warning alarm no matter how much she tries. Her voice box is broken. Frozen, motionless – her limbs are deadweight.
Her mother is silent. Her brothers are silent. She has not seen any deaths only heard the sound of the gun - a thunderous crack through the walls, the wallowing of a family dog as it draws its last breath of life, then the sound of spent shells hitting the tiles.
Why can’t the neighbours hear the mayhem? Why can’t the neighbours see this madness? Why can’t the neighbours smell the stench of something rotten?
The mad man wanders down the corridor now only inches away from her. She is desperate not to be seen nor heard. It’s only a matter of time before he finds her.
I wake up just as the linen closet doors are opening. I am utterly helpless and about to face my worst fear. Cold sweat. (My bed sheets are soaked through.) Sense of dread. (My heart beat races at a million miles an hour.) Disoriented. (I have no idea who or where I am.)
Sometimes this dream merges into a waking dream. The threatening shadow is in my room. I cannot move – I cannot breathe. I cannot beg for mercy – it is a word that has no meaning for this dark shadow. I cannot even gulp for air because I am too afraid he will hear me. There is no escape.
I hate the dream.
My subconscious works over time with this dream. Then it translates to physical manifestations of pain when I cross beyond the sleep boundary.
I am a walking dead woman. A zombie.
I cannot keep it corralled. I am desperate to quarantine its meaning.
But it just leaks out, shouting at me to make sense of it. After many years of experiencing this recurring dream, I know what it means – I have always known what it meant - I just do not want to acknowledge its existence: block out any memory of past events.
Deny something long enough and perhaps it will cease to exist.
Most of my recurring dreams involve trying to escape. They are usually more of a positive construct - an adventure - over hills in faraway places. Sometimes I am a skilled spy solving a world crisis. Sometimes the dreams involve planes that never seem to land gently. Occasionally they involve trains on a track that has no end.
But this particular dream makes me feel my soul is flawed. I drink myself into oblivion to escape. I make myself numb with drugs to hide from the truth.
I deliberately evade connecting with any depth to those around me to reduce any risk that a spotlight will discover this perceived flaw.
The spotlight’s beam occasionally catches glimpses but for the most part, the light is a safe distance away. And, in the darkness, my soul’s flaws stay hidden.