"I would give anything to take this away from her. I would gladly go back to having the nightmares myself – the very worst ones, the ones that had me waking up screaming in a pool of my own vomit – rather than see Lizzie go through this..."
As a resident at Children's Hospital, Sara can handle ninety hour workweeks, fighting to save her young patients from deadly childhood diseases. But she's about to be faced with a challenge that all her training and experience haven't prepared her for: her four-year-old daughter has inherited her ability to see other people's dreams...
"Dream Child" is the suspenseful third novel in the "Dreams" series.
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"Someone’s shaking my shoulders, yelling right in my face. “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!”
My eyes open, and I’m instantly wide awake when I see the panic in the face of my daughter. I throw my arms around her and hug her to me. “It’s OK, Lizzie. Mommy’s here. You’re safe,” I say with a calm I definitely don’t feel.
“I had another funny dream!” Oh, God. I – I remember now, I did, too. But that’s not important, it can wait.
I keep holding Lizzie as tightly as I can. “Can you be brave again, like before? Tell Mommy all about it?”
She has to think about that. I don’t blame her – I don’t feel especially brave right now myself. But she finds her courage, takes a deep breath and launches straight into what she saw: “Billy, Billy from the train, he was in his bedroom. He has a big model airplane, like how Uncle Bob makes. And he was on his bed and his door was shut, but his mommy and daddy were yelling, I could hear them through the door. Billy was crying. He was really sad! I couldn’t hear what they were saying, ‘cept it was bad, ‘cause they were both yelling and they sounded really mad.”
She stops and looks up at me, with a fear in her eyes that I’ve never seen there before. I know exactly what she’s going to ask me. “Mommy, do you and Daddy…?”
Thank God, no. We rarely fight, and it’s funny – the worst one we ever did have was all whispers instead of shouts. “No, honey. We don’t yell like that at each other. Some – uh, some grown-ups do, but your Daddy and I love each other very much, and we would never be like that. And you know what? We love you, too.”
Lizzie accepts that; I think she already knew it, but she wanted to be reassured. “I’m glad, Mommy. They were yelling really loud. It was bad and Billy was crying and I wanted them to stop, and I tried to open the door and go tell them to be quiet ‘cause Billy was so sad and crying, but then I woke up.”
To my surprise, Lizzie is holding back tears, but it’s clearly taking a lot of effort. I am so proud of her – I kiss her forehead, squeeze her tight. “You are such a wonderful girl,” I tell her. “You have such a big heart. I’m – I don’t even know what to say.” I’d love to think that she’s this way because of what she’s learned from Brian and me, but we can’t take credit for it. It’s been inside her from the start."