The Stuff of Nightmares

O hear us when we cry to Thee 
For those in Peril on the sea

I often dream in stories. Most of them make no sense whatsoever when I wake up. And then there’s the ones I forget. They’re like the fish that got away, best selling material... if only I could remember what happened.

Nightmares are so much more memorable. I could recount, in detail, the recurring nightmare I had as a child, but it isn’t that interesting. I had so many nightmares, I taught myself to lucid dream long before I had ever heard of the term. Lucid dreaming is what turned a nightmare about being trapped under water and running out of air, into the story that would become Ghost Writer.

My name is Jen Kirby. I have several things going for me including great hair, nice eyes and an ability to turn experts' research into readable prose.

I have a few weaknesses. I enjoy chocolate too much. I hate enclosed spaces. And I prefer to experience open bodies of water from a distance. One sailing trip with my cousins made me swear off boats for life. So, you'll understand how much I wanted the job when I said I'd go to the Arctic Ocean to look for a sunken underwater base.
My cousins never did anything to make me swear off small boats except take me out in them. It wasn’t their fault that I had an irrational fear of capsizing, getting trapped and drowning. It was only recently, when I was diagnosed with vertigo that I made the connection. My neurologist said it was a miracle I hadn’t suffered earlier in life. After all, I’ve been completely deaf in one ear, since age nine, because of an inner ear problem. Maybe my fear was all in my head, not in my mind.

 I’m not sure how my nightmare started, but when I took control of it, I was being rescued. It wasn’t immediate. My mind threw up a few nonsensical barriers between me and my rescuer but finally I was on the deck of the recovery ship. My rescuer removed his mask and I saw that it was Tommy Lee Jones. Not the young handsome Tommy Lee Jones. This was the old, craggy, grumpy looking one.

It didn’t matter. It didn’t even matter that he seemed to be getting older and craggier by the minute. Captain Jones was my rescuer and I was in love. Now I just had to figure out, for the sake of apres dream storytelling, what I was doing there in the first place. By the time I had that worked out, Jen Kirby was born and it became her tale to tell.