Stories, The Scion Suit

TSS – Nightmares

Is there anything more exciting than a story passage presented completely out of context?

Hee hee, enjoy.


Carol began to gasp and moan in her sleep, whimpering the words, “Don’t … take me …” before Lambert managed to shake her awake. She was thoroughly drenched in a cold sweat, and still confused as she frantically asked, “Where’s Henry? I can’t find him!”

“He’s there, right next to you in his crib,” Lambert answered soothingly, and waited for her to pick up their four-month-old son before pulling her into an embrace. “Everything’s fine. You had another nightmare.”

She was quiet, and he suspected that she had dozed off again. He kept her pressed against his chest, however, feeling her clammy skin underneath his hands as his mouth formed a straight line. He had hoped that with time and emotional support, Carol’s struggle with postpartum anxiety would resolve on its own, but instead it was growing worse.

The baby woke and began to root, so Carol shifted to breastfeed. “Sorry about this,” she murmured, completely awake. “Could you get out another pajama shirt for me?”

He nodded, but remained still. “Carol …” he began, and she stiffened from his tone. “It might be time for you to go see a professional.”

“I don’t want to,” she answered slowly.

“You’ve been having nightmares every night for awhile now. It might be best to get you on medication to help you through this.”

“I have you.”

Lambert felt Carol move to curl up around their baby, and for a moment he debated whether or not he should drop the subject all together. He got up to rummage through the dresser in the darkness, found one of the over-sized shirts that she liked to sleep in, and handed it to her.

“Cognitive therapy isn’t making any difference,” he said quietly. She remained silent, so, he pressed on, “You’re a good mother, and it’s natural to have some feelings of anxiety with a new baby …” he began, and the therapist’s intonation that he had slipped into grated against his own ears.

“Would you mind holding Henry while I change?” Carol interrupted, her voice slightly higher pitched than usual. She had recently discovered that he couldn’t argue with her when she spoke that way, and utilized it whenever she wanted him to back down. It was enough to make him cave and give up on his line of reasoning.

Lambert didn’t know what to do. For the most part, Carol was still Carol. They went fishing together on the weekends, and he came home every evening to dinner and a clean house. As long as she had their baby pressed against her in the carrier or in her arms, it was as if nothing had changed. The car trips were almost endearing, with the way she frequently checked the mirrors to ensure that Henry was still breathing, and needed the occasional reassurance that he wasn’t going to be stung by a bee or bitten by a spider while he was in his car seat.

But the nights were different.

Lambert had purchased a special crib with one side that clamped onto their mattress to help her feel closer to Henry, but it couldn’t overcome the mental separation of sleep. There were times when she had startled awake with the baby in her arms, crying about how she couldn’t find him. Recently, she had begun to fight against the fear of being taken away herself, but once awake she always claimed that she could not remember what she had been dreaming.

They had talked. And talked. And talked. Lambert had accepted the military relegating him into a paper-pusher role after the war had ended, because it enabled him to be home every night, and he didn’t dare leave Carol to sleep alone. He had even quit drinking for the most part, so he could maintain his vigilance and be there for her the moment the nightmares began.

After four months, he had reached the end of what he could handle on his own. Carol needed something more than talk to help her, and as a defunct psychiatrist, he was no longer qualified to provide it.

About Writing

Realistic romance

I read a couple of creative writing articles on “how to write realistic romance” that essentially boiled down to knocking “insta-romances.”

As a hopeless romantic myself, I’m a firm believer in love-at-first-sight. I knew that I had found forever the moment I met my husband (told him so, too), we eloped shortly afterward, and ten years later the passion is still going strong. So, don’t lecture me on what doesn’t count as realistic!

Love is like magic: it has to be believed in and practiced in order to have an effect.

My number one source of knowledge for the romance in my stories comes from my own experiences, and I can’t imagine getting any more realistic than real life. That includes love-at-first-sight, which just so happens to be my favorite.

Just because I’m outside of the majority doesn’t mean that my life and marriage are impossible or doomed to fail, and I don’t write stories to express the norms that I don’t belong to.

And given that the marriage rate is at a record low, I don’t believe that people know as much about romance as they think they do.

So I’m going to do what I’ve always done, and ignore what everyone else says about romance, even if I earn criticism for it.

About Writing

Sex Scenes

Because I write romance, they’re inevitable.

As a reader, I tend to skip over sex scenes in books. Truth be told, I find them boring. Society has been so over-saturated with sex, that whenever another scene pops up, I can’t help but think of the quote from Yugioh Abridged, “Sex isn’t sexy anymore.” Most of the time, I’m not sure how those scenes contribute to the plot, and skipping them has no negative effects on my experience of the novel.

As a writer, my current WIP has a fair amount of sex in it, because marriage and babies are a huge part of the story.

I prefer to take an abstract view, and focus on the emotional aspect of it. Strangers meet on Tinder all the time, but deeply in love soulmates melding into one; now that’s something different. I don’t want to make my readers horny, but to fill them with butterflies and giggles; there are already more than enough resources for the latter.

Society has done a lot to divorce love from sex, to the point where a lot of people believe that the two not only have nothing to do with each other, but can be detrimental to each other as well.  I hope to illustrate that the two can be beautifully intertwined.

About Me

Love Triangles

Hate ’em.

My first exposure to the idea of two guys chasing after one woman was the TV series Christy. My mom watched it, and some years later when the movie, Choices of the Heart, was released, I was excited to watch it with her. I was partial to the reverend David, and found it disappointing when (SPOILER) Christy married Dr. MacNeill instead. C’mon! I didn’t like him at all!

Later, I realized that most love triangles have a clear winner early on, and the second guy is mostly just emotional gratuity.

In real life, the closest I ever came to unwillingly becoming the subject of attention from multiple guys ended so horrifically that it was a full five years before I associated with any non-family males again, and earned me the branding of “cold hearted bitch.” It was scarring.

As a married thirty-something, love triangles don’t do it for me. All I needed was The One, and I enjoy stories about people finding their One too, so I can reminisce and appreciate how lucky I am with my husband. It’s easy to spoil happily-ever-afters by wondering what would have happened if you had married a different guy.

I don’t pick teams or giggle when my guy scores points over the other one. I don’t eagerly tune in day after day to see which man the main character will choose. Despite the popularity of love triangles, I just don’t like them. I see them as a good way to alienate others and get hurt. Not fun. Not romantic. No thank you.