Though I don't write thrillers—right now—apparently my brain loves them. I often have "chase dreams", whole night-long sequences of action and suspense.
Last night my brain came up with a doozy. I have to say it's pretty good at suspense; if I was watching this in a movie, my heart would've blipped there at the end.
It began in a safe house.
I was there with my husband and my daughter, along with about 10 other families. Every one of them had at least one child, and every one of them was crazed with worry.
Out There—somewhere—was a killer, who had reason for revenge against every one of us. The awful signature of this killer was that he took out his revenge, always, on the children. I had a memory of seeing a shot through the back window of a car, a limp, small form in a carseat…a mother screaming.
The bulk of the dream was all in the safe house, with the dynamics of the people there. We had meetings, we stressed out, we eyed each other's children and thought terrible, selfish thoughts like Don't Let It Be Mine, followed by a guilty "or theirs either". There were meetings and crying.
In the dream my husband was there in two capacities, as one of the potential victims and as a cop, helping to guard us. This made us a particular object of frustration for the other families, as they thought maybe he'd be biased towards us (maybe?).
But the high sign came that it was all clear—the killer hadn't been caught, but he'd made some move that showed we were out of danger for now. We could all go back to our houses for the time being.
So we packed up all the children and traveled by bus or train; it was a long, tiring trip. Then finally we arrived back at our own car. My daughter jumped in the backseat and my husband sat next to her while she buckled in. I stood next to the car with the door open.
And the killer walked by, aimed, and shot into the back windshield. He looked at me and said "So that's your little one," and grinned. The Bastard.
There was a moment when everything stopped, the point of all my fears, lengthened to an unbearable moment. Then I heard her voice, words. He'd missed. So I slammed the door shut, jumped on the killer, and knocked the gun out of his hand.
In the next movement I scooped it up, cocked it, and shot him point-blank in the forehead. No consideration, just pure mother defense reaction. He was dead. And then I breathed.
And then I woke up. :)
Not bad, eh? And just to clarify: though the dream was VERY scary at the time, I enjoyed it. I woke up energized. I love my chase dreams, and in this one I actually got to get the bad guy! Most of the time I wake up before it's over.