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.

Alice and the Warden

Alicia’s Booties knitting pattern

“I’ll tell you what, dear, … I’ve got some leftover yarn from my grandbaby’s blanket, and I can have some booties knitted up in a jiffy.”

Alice and the Warden, by Autumn Rain

Materials

Worsted weight yarn

Markers

Yarn needle

0-3 months: Size 3 needles

3-6 months: Size 4 needles

6-9 months: Size 5 needles

9-12 months: Size 6 needles

Sole

CO 26

Odd rows: sl1, k to end

Row 2: k1, m1, k11, pm, m1, k1, m1, k1, m1, pm, (5 sts total between markers) k11, m1, k1

Row 4: sl1, k1, m1, k11, (sl marker), m1, k2, m1, k3, m1, (sl marker), k11, m1, k2

Row 6: sl1, k2, m1, k11, (sl marker), m1, k4, m1, k4, m1, (sl marker), k11, m1, k3

Row 8: sl1, k3, m1, k11, (sl marker), m1, k5, m1, k6, m1, (sl marker), k11, m1, k4

Row 10: sl1, k4, m1, k11, (sl marker), m1, k7, m1, k7, m1, (sl marker), k11, m1, k5

Row 11: sl1, k to end (remove markers)

Foot

Rows 12-18: stockinette stitch (k odd rows, p even rows)

Row 19: sl1, k28, ssk, turn

Even rows: sl1, p7, p2tog, turn

Odd rows: sl1, k7, ssk, turn

Continue short rows until there are 36 sts on needles.

sl1, k to end

sl1, p to end

Eyelet row: sl1, (yo, k2tog, k) repeat to end (12 yo total)

sl1, p to end

Cuff

Continue in 2×2 ribbing (k2, p2) until 2x desired length

End after even row

BO3, (sl st to left needle, CO2, BO6) repeat across

Note: Picots are supposed to be centered over P sts in ribbing

Cut yarn with long tail to sew up the back of bootie (~2ft)

Weave in ends

Thread yarn or ribbon for a shoe lace through eyelet row, fold over cuff

Decorate!

Note: Little hands like to grab things! Tuck the laces under the cuff to protect them, and make sure decorations like pompoms are attached securely.

About Me

Knitting Patterns

My baby is teething. And I am so tired.

I’m one of those excessively creative sorts, and writing is just *one* of the things I do — since it’s my favorite, it’s the one I blog about. Ostensibly. Since I’m not particularly ‘plugged in,’ I usually work on some sort of yarn project when most others are on their phones. I know that this is an obsolete thing to say now, but once upon a time I used to be the only mom at the playground who wasn’t glued to a screen. You know, back when the world still existed.

Sometimes I think everything really did end back in 2012, and we just didn’t realize it at the time.

Don’t mind me … I’m not getting enough sleep.

So, one of my other dreams is to publish crochet and knitting patterns. I’ve already made a few of my own designs, too.

The problem comes with writing them down. Following a knitting pattern is one thing, but writing one is agonizingly boring. Then, of course, in order to make them more commercially friendly, you need to work out different sizes, as well as gauge. I’ve always found it much easier to simply hand the sweater/scarf/hat over to whichever child I made it for, for them to promptly lose in a giant mess of laundry, never to be seen again.

Then I tell myself that since I can’t take a picture anyway, there’s no point in writing down the pattern.

But I still think that I would like to come up with designs that are based on the stories I write. Like, “Alicia’s baby booties,” or “Gertie’s shawl.” It would be a fun way to share this magical world of mine outside of the stories.

So, I’ve decided that one of my 2021 goals is to design and publish at least one knitting pattern for Alice and the Warden.

Here’s hoping I actually make that happen?

I’m currently knitting socks for my 8-year-old.

About Me

Introversion

I’m very introverted, and sometimes the ability to socialize just isn’t there. Not only am I unable to think of anything to say, I don’t have the energy to listen/read what anyone else has to say either, and I don’t even want to deal with anyone online or through texts. My husband occasionally teases me that if I were any more introverted, I’d be nonfunctional in society.

When I first became a mother, I worried about how I was going to raise and homeschool my children without going crazy. Being an introvert, my social circle is very small. I am also the black sheep of my extended family, so they’ve been a non-factor in my life (which is my polite way of saying I have zero contact with most of my relatives). Babysitting is not easy to come by, especially because I’m extremely distrustful of leaving my children with people I don’t know very well.

It took some time, but I found my zen.

Which wound up leaving me well positioned for the lockdowns.

While others are sobbing for a break from their children, I already have the routine and boundaries in place for me to thrive. Bonus: As an introvert, I don’t require much interaction with others.

What I had initially feared would be a weakness, turned out to be a strength.

Obviously, what works for me probably isn’t going to work for most other people, because my form of recharging involves going inside my own head (usually to explore story ideas), but my advice is:

Honestly, I don’t enjoy giving advice; I couldn’t care less what you do. It’s mostly that I’ve seen some people having nervous breakdowns, and thought to myself, “Phew, glad I’m not like that.” I want to share my personal thoughts more, but I worry too much about hurting other people’s feelings. I’m not trying to rub it in.

But seriously, I really don’t care what you do or don’t do. It’s your life, and if you want to have a nervous breakdown and wallow in depression, go right ahead. All power to you.

About Me

2020

A few years ago, a mormon bishop took it upon himself to inform me that my lifestyle was outdated, and that as a woman I needed to apply myself to a career instead of settling for being a simple stay-at-home-mom. He proclaimed this on a Sunday, while wearing a suit, with the authority of God and all that jazz.

And I thought to myself, “Wow, even the mormons don’t like me.”

If it was some sort of attempt at conversion, it had the exact opposite effect — and I’m still very much a stay-at-home mom. I guess the thing that people don’t understand is that I feel an enormous amount of passion about raising my children, and no criticism is going to change that. I’m not going to sell my soul for approval.

The one thing that I did take away from the exchange was that I am alone.

Totally, completely, alone.

I’ve met a lot of women who consider raising kids to be nothing more than a diversion from the ever-so-much-more-important career. Like paychecks are the only things that matter in life.

I’ve lived with the isolation ever since.

But here’s the funny thing about 2020: despite the lockdowns, social distancing, and rampant censorship, the one thing that I’ve learned is that I’m not alone.

There are a lot of people like me.

More than I would have expected, too.

We were just all too scared to say what we really thought before now.

Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on Pexels.com
About Me

Austrian cream cheese bars

I jumped on the baking bandwagon.

I don’t actually know if that’s still a thing, or if people have burnt out on it by now.

But anyway, I’ve been baking WAY more than I used to. For the sweet tooth.

I made Austrian cream cheese bars, and thought that it would be fun to take a picture for the blog.

But before I got around to it, my two-year-old attacked them with a chopstick while I wasn’t looking.

So here you go. Yummy.

They’re supposed to have nuts on top, but I didn’t have any on hand.

About Writing

Writing babies

One of my pet peeves with fiction is when child characters start out important, then are reduced down to props or are inexplicably absent at the end. A good example of this is from An American Tail, when Fievel’s baby sister Yasha is completely nonexistent for the latter half of the movie.

If you’ve been following my blog this year, you’ll know that I had a baby about six months ago, and that I’m currently working on a fictional story about a woman who had a baby. The silly thing is, having those parallels is actually making it harder for me to write about motherhood.

I spend all day snuggling, kissing, playing with, and caring for my baby, then at night after the older kids go to bed and I settle down to work on my writing, I feel self-conscious about describing all of that. It’s a little too autobiographical.

And it’s bothering me enormously.

I’m going to add in more descriptions of motherhood when I rewrite it, but for now I feel like the first draft has a giant hole in it.

Chalk it up as part of the process.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com