Flash Fiction: The Nightmare

The Nightmare

By Susan Sage

She thrashed and tried to scream. Her numb, tingling hands stiffened in the icy cold. Each time she opened her mouth, she coughed and sputtered. She kicked again like she’d been taught, flung her dead-weight arms overhead and then down against her side. This time Louisa broke through the water and gulped air.

Bradon touched her arm but pulled away when she jumped. “Another nightmare?”

Wiping her face with the sheet, she nodded and reached for a tissue beside their bed.

“Same one?”

“Yes, exactly the same. But this time, something or someone tried to grab my ankle.”

“Come on, let’s try to go back to sleep.”

“I don’t think I can,” Louisa leaned against her husband before kissing his cheek, tossed the sheets back and stood.

“Where are you going?” Bradon asked as Louisa drew on her robe.

“I’m going to go make some tea and try to get a Bible verse into my head before I attempt sleep. I’m sorry I woke you again.”

“You know I’d do anything to help get rid of these.”

“I know you would. I love you.”

Louisa went to their kitchen and made some honey chamomile tea. She walked into the den, set the tea on the end table, and turned on the light as she lowered herself into the oversized armchair. She picked up her Bible.

“God,” Louisa spoke to her Daddy like she always did. Conversational. Personal. And out loud so the devil would know he wasn’t welcome. This was God’s time. “I don’t know what these dreams mean. I know You’re with me always, but what I don’t understand is why You allow them.”

She opened her Bible and her eyes lit on a verse she’d underlined previously.

Drawing in a deep breath she read, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid.” She thought through it as she sipped her tea. She repeated it when she returned to the kitchen and deposited her cup in the sink. The verse echoed through her heart while she moved to the bedroom digging her toes into the comfort of the carpet with each step.

Removing her robe, she whispered the words and also when she climbed between the sheets now cool from the crisp night air. She breathed deeply through the verse one more time adjusting her pillow and sinking into its softness.

Suddenly the dream was on her again. She writhed. She fought and kicked. This time, with her arms flailing to get her head above water, she felt something pushing her feet and propelling her upward. When her head broke through the water’s surface, she heard another splash behind her. Struggling body movements and the weight of her clothes fought while she tried to turn and face the sound.

A faceless head, grossly deformed and splotched was ahead of her, moving to lessen the space between them. “You’re mine.” The words graveled barely discernable.

She felt them ripple through her like vibrations, only this time, fear didn’t accompany her senses. “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid. The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid.” She continued repeating it while the waves around her subsided and the form retreated and blended into the rocks behind it.

Louisa looked up to the most beautiful violet pressing in to yellowed orange as the sunrise took over the sky. Enjoying the peace filling her soul, she continued treading water.

She felt a touch on her arm. Turning, she opened her eyes.

“A different dream this time?”

“Started the same but this time, I faced the monster of fear and spoke the words I’d just memorized from Psalm 27. The fear faded away and I enjoyed the most beautiful sunrise,” Louisa said.

“Do you think you’re ready now for the Catalina Channel Race?”

“I know God is with me. I have nothing to fear and what happens is up to Him. I am at peace.” She sat on the edge of the bed stretching her arms over her head. “It’s going to be a good day.” She felt her lips turn upward, her cheeks lift, and her eyes squint. “A very good day.”

About the Author

New to north Idaho, Susan Sage and her husband are enjoying getting to know the new area. She continues to work on her craft writing about God’s purpose and sovereignty in all aspects of life. She enjoys writing devotionals and flash fiction. She enjoys mentoring other writers who are new to the craft.

She is currently working on revising her website, which should be up in the next few months.

You can find her on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.

You can read Susan's flash fiction on the 2nd Thursday each month here at Pandora's Box Gazette.

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