Monday, April 6, 2009

I'M SO THIRSTY... A Weird and Wacky Midnight Tale

So, I went to bed a bit late last night. I'd had a really exhausting day trying to catch up with just about everything, and read a few chapters of a favorite new book, which put on my new ebook reader, and I kept reading much too long. But that's okay. I enjoy those moments of reverie before falling asleep when I can fantasize about my hero and heroine, and watch them fall in love as I'm falling asleep.

I put my usual glass of ice water on my night stand, crawled in bed and pulled up the quilt, and prepared to doze off, this time thinking about my Cornish smuggler Davy and the enigmatic Frenchwoman, Valerie, he rescued in the middle of the night from the wild West Coast of France. I really had not had enough water during the day and the bedroom felt stuffy. So I woke up thirsty, reached for the glass, and turned on my other side as I often do, drinking while barely propped up on my elbow. Man, was I tired, but that water was so icy and sweet...

Then all of a sudden, the slick, smooth blue glass, which was almost slimy from condensation, slipped from my hand. Faster than I could comprehend, the glass almost spit forward, tumbling over Jeff and onto the floor beyond his side of the bed. Oh, man, was I in for it now! It was so darn dark, I couldn't see where anything was, but I didn't have to see to know the carpet would be thoroughly soaked in icy cold water, with slippery ice cubes lurking in dark spots, just waiting to cause disaster.

I was so tired! Way too tired for this debacle. But I had no choice. Just a minute more, I thought. A minute to get my bearings, just close my eyes a second or two. Then I'd get up and and get some towels to soak it up. I could just picture Jeff, who gets up a lot in the night, stepping down on an icy, sopping carpet, maybe landing on the glass or an ice cube. I could hear the screams in my head. Nope. I had to get it up.

Groaning, I fumbled around the master bathroom in the dark not wanting to turn on lights and make the debacle even worse, and started spreading them out on the carpet by Jeff's side of the bed. I stomped on the towels like the Little Old Winemaker, sopping up the frigid water that soaked up through them into my socks, sending shivers warping through me as if I had dared to walk out barefoot into the snow. I couldn't see anything, it was so dark, so I had to feel my way around with my feet, trying to find the glass, but I couldn't figure out where it had gone. Neither were the ice cubes.

Feeling around, I slowly began to realize nothing was quite right. I was still in my bed. Darn, I must have gone back to sleep instead of getting up. All that water was still there, just waiting for poor Jeff to land his bare feet into its icy, sopping puddle. I had just dreamed the bit about getting the towels. But I still had time. If I got up now, and hurried to get the towels, I could spread them out and stomp them to absorb the cold water. I did that. And I got down on my knees, feeling around with my hands, trying to find those ice cubes and that blasted blue glass that had already eluded me, or no, wait, that was a dream, and I'm just now doing that. Fumbling around in the dark on my knees with my toes pressing into the soggy, freezing cold carpet, soaking my socks even more, if that was possible.

No, wait, that had been a dream too. And I wasn't wearing socks anyway, so I'd just imagined getting my feet clammy cold. Which meant they couldn't be sopping up icy water now. What the heck, had I dropped off to sleep again and just repeated the dream instead of getting up?

What the heck was the matter with me? I knew I had to get it all cleaned up before Jeff woke up and got the shock of his life. So I started to get up again. Come on, quit falling back to sleep. Get up.

Speaking of Jeff, I couldn't figure out why he wasn't already awake because usually this sort of commotion would wake him up. But then, he'd have his hearing aids out, and gunshots in the hallway wouldn't be enough to wake him up. Although it was odd-- there was really no way the glass could have vaulted over him without some of it dousing him as well as the bed, and I could feel there was no water on the sheet. That brought up the next question: Why wasn't he sitting up in bed screaming like he'd just been bitten by a snake?

Pat, pat, pat. My hands probed around the sheet, almost to touch him but not quite, because for sure that would wake him, and even more than before, I did not want hm stirring. It was dry. Very gingerly I felt over the quilt. Dry, too.

I put out my hand to my night stand and reached for the glass, where it would be if it had not spilled. There it was. Not the smooth blue glass one I thought I'd spilled, but one of the ruby red cut-glass patterned ones, still full of water, lukewarm because all the ice had long since melted.

And the green glow from Jeff's alarm clock illuminated the room quite well, the way it always does. So did the bright full moon shining through the window.

Hell. Plotting in my sleep again.


  1. Wow, Delle, that is an experience I haven't had yet. Although, I admit to plotting in my sleep. Sort of. I had to take a break from my then current work in progress, The Guise of a Gentleman, to proof read my galleys for The Stranger She Married, and the hero of Guise literally haunted me in my sleep. He was upset that I was paying too much attention to his brother (the hero of Stranger) and not enough to him. Of course, dreaming of gorgeous Regency men who want me isn't a bad thing...

  2. I've had the wrong hero show up in a dream, and refuse to leave it. And of curse there are the times when my historical heroine reaches for her cell phone... Usually she'll have the common sense to remind herself she doesn't know about cell phones and therefore can't use it.

  3. Amazing tale, Delle, and amusing. I have long since concluded that writers are not entirely normal and have vivid imaginations, as you just proved yet again.

  4. I so feel for you, Delle! Been there and done that! I have had entire conversations with people in my sleep and then been thoroughly put out when they don't remember the conversation. Since I am already a musician and am trying to be a writer, nobody who knows me expects me to be normal. The really bad scenes are when I wake up and realize the dogs and cats are sitting on the bed watching me and I wonder what sort of entertainment I have been providing them!

  5. A fun post, Delle. I've driven by my exit on the highway many times while working out plot issues, and I've inadvertently called the cats by a character's name many times after exercising the old imagination. Keeps things interesting, yes?

  6. I've had similar dreams, only in mine I'm usually in search of a bathroom, not ice cubes. ;-)

  7. LOL! That was cute, Delle. And for our kind (writers) not so abnormal.:0)

  8. Delle, I imagine you felt totally disoriented. You must have needed your sleep, girl! Glad you didn't ruin your carpet. There's a plot in there for sure! Thanks for telling us your story!

  9. Ha. Too many stories to let you sleep. Now if only we were all somnambulating typists...

  10. I have to laugh at your comments! And yes, I'm real familiar with the elusive bathroom dream. You find it, oops, it's occupied. Your turn, oops it's gone. You can't even get inside to discover it won't flush.

    I've always noticed my dreams get much more adventurous when my life is on a boring trend. Real nightmares I don't get, or very seldom. I always seem to be involved in a story of some kind.

  11. Wild. I'm glad Davy is getting his own "darlin'" Love that character!!!

  12. Thanks, Susanna. I love Davy too, which is why I think his story needs to be written. Is there any point in writing a love story if you don't love the hero?

    One of the scenes I envision is about halfway through the book, when Davy finally just happens to call the heroine "darlin'".

    She thinks that's a really big improvement over "madame" with a curl to the lip. Because sunshiny Davy is still battling the emergence of his dark side.


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I write write write. Sometimes I travel. Then I write some more. And I have a great family who understand that I write write write.