First day of summer writing report — I started an hour later than intended, and interrupted myself many times, but hey, 1400 words on a new story. The goal was 1000, and even if it took twice as long as it should’ve, we’ll call it a win. Onwards. Here’s the opening.
Anika reached out to touch her husband’s hand, knowing she shouldn’t disturb his sleep, but needing the reassurance. Her sleep had been troubled, a roiling mass of incoherent dreams, dark figures striding across a shadowed landscape, torches blazing. Stephen made small, grumbly noise, but then his fingers curled around hers, squeezing.
He tugged, and she shifted closer, into the shelter of his arms. “Me too,” he said. “All those torches…”
Anika took a quick, startled breath. It had been a long, long time since they’d walked in each others’ dreams. It happened so rarely once the children had arrived, and she’d assumed the gift had mostly been smothered by the daily weight of meal planning, homework supervising, doctor’s appointments and clothes sorting. Their minds were so full, between the children and their own work, there wasn’t much room left for…well, whatever the dream-walking had been. They’d never really found a good word for it.
“Mom!” Roshan at the bedroom door, sounding vaguely irritated. “Your phone keeps buzzing and buzzing.” He held it out in one hand, his eyes still fixed on the device in his other hand, undoubtedly deep into whatever game he was currently playing.
“Thanks, sweetie.” She’d decided to try keeping the phone *not* in the bedroom, hoping to sleep better, but hadn’t factored in that some callers could be persistent. “It’s Shruthi; I’d better call her back. She was on-call last night, and all the riots are bringing back bad memories. I’m sure she got a lot less sleep than we did.”
Stephen squeezed and released her, and Anika rolled out of bed, knowing he’d be deep in sleep again shortly. Time to get to work.