Friday, June 14, 2013

Teaser | Whisper Cape by Susan Griscom


Nightmares suck.

Addie put her face in her hands, rubbing her tired eyes.

“Recurring ones suck more,” she grumbled and resumed her unskilled search of the internet.

Gritting her teeth at the annoying hum of the old laptop, Addie tapped the keyboard, one finger at a time, thinking the sound might be enough to drive her insane. “Come on, don’t die on me now.” She stroked the lid, the gentle motion softening the hum to a silky purr. “Hmmm, that’s it, hold steady old girl, hold steady,” as if the machine could actually hear her. “Atta girl, I must have a magic touch.” She blew out a puff of air, relieved she wouldn't need to spend her next paycheck on a new computer.

Addie clicked on the top search result, “Dreams and Nightmares, Types of Dreams ...”

With one hand on the mouse and the other massaging her throat, she tried to ease the phantom pain where, just moments ago, it seemed as though someone else’s hands had been. She read the comments on the computer screen.

“When repeated, nightmares are a way for the subconscious to wake up and take notice. Pay attention!”

She sighed. Hugging her knees to her chest, she rocked back and forth, willing the vision and the sensation away, and then sank back against her pillow. Addie glanced around at the familiar and somewhat comforting surroundings of her tiny one-room apartment. She stared at the bare walls and stark beige counter separating the kitchen from the living room, wishing for just a second—one tiny second—that she wasn’t alone as she remembered the horrible dream.

Everyone has nightmares, but night after night? And why were they always the same? The same, except along with each new episode rolled in an additional piece of the story, but they always ended with someone choking her, the face shadowed or masked each time. Similar to a suspenseful horror story where you know the beginning and end, but the middle—the who, the where, and the why—comes in bits and pieces like tiny clues, each new revelation more terrifying than the last.

They seemed so real and drained her energy. She shuddered and read on.

“Recurring dreams show little variation in story or theme.”

“Well, the theme’s the same, but what about the rest ... and the face; why can’t I ever see the face?”

“Dreams may recur because an encounter portrayed in the dream remains unsettled. Once a resolution is recognized, the dreams will stop.”

“Hmmm ... a resolution. Identifying the murdering bastard would help,” she said, the memory of her father’s death forever present in her mind. Always.

She'd been awake for hours, never able to fall back to sleep after a nightmare. Addie rubbed her burning eyes and gingerly pulled herself up from the sofa. Holding her breath, she tiptoed to the kitchen as though the nightmare might gather substance and engulf her any minute. She poured herself another cup of coffee and sighed.

“Get a grip, Addie, it was just a bad dream,” she said, having developed the habit of talking to herself now that she lived alone.

Bad dream my ass. Something evil lurked in those dreams, those nightmares. She trembled a bit remembering the way it took hold and wouldn’t let go, strangling her until she woke up.

She sipped the strong brew while absently massaging her throat, glancing out the window and down at the almost empty parking lot. Her truck sat in its usual spot—alone in the lot—the last of its fellow smog machines. At half past nine in the morning everyone else in the small apartment complex had already left for work, school, or wherever. It looked so lonely—the way she felt now—and that familiar longing for her dad crept over her. Addie was convinced her nightmares had something to do with his recent death.

About the Author
Susan Griscom writes paranormal romance, but her playing field delves into a different milieu than the usual vampires and werewolves. Some day she might write about fangs and fur, but for now she prefers sticking to strong heroes and heroines confronted with extraordinary forces of nature, powers and abilities beyond the norm, mixed with a little romance to get the blood boiling.

A self-proclaimed dreamer, her favorite pastime is reading, but writing is her passion.

Susan, a member of Romance Writers of America, lives in the Sierra Foothills in Northern California with her very romantic husband, her small yippy dog, Riley, and her humongous black cat, Saké. Her family consists of his and hers; four wonderful sons and one beautiful daughter, four grandchildren and two more on the way. Susan has said that when a story takes hold and pulls her into the fantasy, that's magic.

You can visit Susan at or email her at or

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