I envy writers who suffer from writer’s block. They probably get a good night’s sleep. As far as I’m concerned, they can have my source of inspiration. Really, who wants to have my nightmares? I can never tell when I’m going to have a bad dream. My husband says that prior to a really bad one I will say, “My hands are itchy.” What does that mean, itchy hands? You would think that meant I’d eaten too much salt? Drank too much cola? Whatever itchy hands meant (and it certainly didn’t mean I was getting any money) I’d never noticed. But my husband’s always observant and to my delight, he’s also a light sleeper.
I whimper when my dreams turn into nightmares. My husband also knows that when the whimpering starts, it’s time to rescue me from hell by waking me up. He has rescued me often.
One night I dreamt of her, at least I think it was a she. She’d appeared one early morning before dawn’s light had crept across the sky. I huddled next to my husband, his slumbering body was warm and slightly sweaty. The only light in the bedroom came from the muted television screen. But I saw it.
I don’t know how long it had been there. Jesus, it was so close to me!
The thing stood less than one foot from our bed. It looked like a shadow, an outline of a human except that it had eyes that blazed like hellfire.
It stared down at me with hatred, but I sensed the hatred was twofold. It had a robust hatred for mankind and a specific hatred for me. In fact, the hatred rolled at me in waves. It just stood there, an incredibly defined two dimensional thing that seemed to dare me to scream.
Was I awake?
I held onto my husband as I choked down a whimper.
It didn’t move and I couldn’t. My fear was tangible. I wanted it to go away in the way of nightmares, but it didn’t. I felt like food. It was feeding on my fear.
I awoke with a gasp and held onto my husband, shivering. When I finally gathered my wits, I had one thought. I needed to put it in a story. Voila, the shadow creature is a main character in my latest novel, The Prophet’s Mother. Again, what’s writer’s block?