EXCERPT FROM SUICIDAL SUPICIONS by Kassandra Lamb
Josie jolted upright, blood pounding in her ears. A vise squeezed her chest. Her hands fisted around clumps of damp, rumpled sheets.
The shadows shifted, morphing into the dark outlines of her bedroom furniture. The vise loosened. She sucked in air.
She’d had the damn dream again. And just when she was starting to feel better.
She shuddered. The dream often foreshadowed the beginning of another bout of depression. Which would be so freaking unfair, since she was just coming out of one. The lows didn’t usually come so close together.
There’d be no going back to sleep right away. The best thing to banish the dream, she’d discovered by trial and error, was to read for a while. She turned on her side and reached toward the lamp on her nightstand.
No! No lights! The stern, male voice from the dream.
Adrenaline shot through her. She’d never heard the voice while awake before. She fumbled for the switch on the lamp, almost knocking it off the little table. It rocked wildly. Finally she got her hand wrapped around its neck. Her thumb found the switch.
Light flooded the room.
No lights! the voice screamed in her head.
Her heart pounded, threatening to explode in her chest. She leaned back against the headboard and tried to take a calming breath, like Kate had taught her.
That usually helped. But this time the anxiety wasn’t subsiding, not even a little bit. She was about to jump out of her skin. Fear closed her throat. She tried to swallow but her mouth was too dry.
No more voices yelled at her, but she had the gut sense that she wasn’t going to feel better until she turned the light off. She did so with a shaky hand. Her eyes darted nervously around in the blinding darkness. But the rest of her began to relax, her body shifting from full-alert terrified to moderate jitters.
Maybe she should call Kate. What time was it? She didn’t have an alarm clock. The natural one in her head always woke her when she needed to be up.
She felt around on the nightstand for her watch, found it, and pressed the tiny button that backlit its face. She held her breath, waiting for the voice to object.
It was two-thirty in the morning. She couldn’t call Kate. If she was suicidal, yeah, but not over a stupid dream. And she’d have to give the whole background on the dreams–dreams she’d never mentioned to Kate before because they hadn’t come all that often in recent years.
And because a previous therapist had told her the dreams were symbolic of some kind of unconscious wish fulfillment. How could her psyche be secretly wishing to be scared witless?
Of course, that therapist had turned out to be a jerk, so why had she believed him about the dreams? She would tell Kate about them during their next session.
The fear raged back, flooding her system.
No, you can’t tell anyone! The disembodied male voice again.
Why couldn’t she tell Kate about the dreams?
The vise returned, squeezing her lungs. Panic was building in her head. Voice or no voice, she had to have light.
She threw the covers back and dropped her feet to the floor. In the darkness, she fumbled her way down the hall to the bathroom and flipped the light on.