Nightmares: Zoe
Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Fifth in the series. It's short, but hopefully effective. Let me know...Zoe isn't the easiest character for me to write.


The usual disclaimer: They're not mine (though I wish Jayne was), and I'm making no $$$ off of this.

Feedback is greatly appreciated! Leave me lots, good or bad. Your encouragement/criticism is what keeps me going. :)


Here we go again.

She pokes around her little spot in this darkness expecting to find wooden walls, but instead her 'coffin' has give.

Wait, this is different.

She's had this dream before. Buried alive, dying slowly as the oxygen runs out and the panic sets in, blah, blah, blah. It's almost become as regular an occurence to her as breathing.

Need to conserve my breath.

She doesn't really. She just needs to go through the motions, wake with a jerk, and it will all be over.

But what is that smell?

Suddenly it hits her.

It smells like...

She feels the area around her more carefully, and feels hard bone behind soft flesh. Then her hand comes into contact with what can only be a head of hair.

Oh God, this isn't a coffin around me...these are bodies!

Right on cue, the mass above her begins to press down.

Wake up, Zoe!

But her body doesn't respond, and the weight on her chest increases.

I can't die like this! I won't die like this!

She takes advantage of the little space she has left, and shifts the body above her so that it ends up underneath. Systematically, she begins to claw her way out of the pile. She struggles against the urge to retch as her fingers dig into the rotting flesh around her, and fights to breathe using the small amounts of air filtering through. She goes for what feels like hours...

How many can there be?

She knows that if she's fighting through the remains from the war that she'll be digging her way out for a long time. The thought causes her strength to begin to sap, and her efforts weaken.

I have to keep going!

But despite her brain's encouragement, her body has other plans. Suddenly a hand grabs hers, and pulls her out. She is weak, she is tired, but she is alive.


Wash wakes when he feels his wife struggling in the bed next to him. His face scrunches with worry, but he learned early on in their relationship that waking her too quickly is a bad idea. He waits until just the right moment, the point where her movements begin to slow, then eases his body next to hers.

He wraps his arms around her, and takes her hand in his. Instantly she relaxes, and her body slumps against his. He whispers sweet murmurs into her ear until her breathing is once again slow and steady.

He's never asked her what she dreams about. In all honesty, he doesn't want to know.


Thursday, July 13, 2006 6:42 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER this is fabulous, qwerty! One has to just love the dynamic between Wash and Zoe...especially when an author addresses Wash's seemingly endless compassion for his wife's hidden pains:D


Wednesday, July 26, 2006 1:32 AM


This is brilliant but I disagree in one tiny respect, I think Wash would want to know what she was having nightmares about because he would want to help her banish them for good. It would hurt him knowing she was being tormented like that. Really good, Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 8:17 AM


I wrote this figuring that Wash does suspect that she's dreaming about the war and its atrocities, but doesn't want to acknowledge it. Much like in "War Stories" when he keeps trying to change the subject when they're talking about the grenades in the apples.

It's nothing he can relate to, so he has no real means of banishing the dreams, only comforting her as best as he can when they occur.

Wednesday, August 2, 2006 12:51 PM


Oh this was really well done. The most poignant moment is the end when Wash just holds her and she relaxes. The last line is very chilling, and very telling.


You must log in to post comments.



Nightmares: Simon
Ninth and final in the series. I was a bit frantic while writing this, and I hope you all feel that way reading it. Love it? Hate it? Let me know.

Nightmares: Kaylee
Eighth in the series. Praise Buddha I'm almost done with these. I've visited some disturbing areas of my brain that I'd forgotten existed. Feedback...please?

Nightmares: Book
Seventh in the series. Let me know what you think!

Nightmares: Wash
Sixth in the series. What might have been if Wash hadn't gone to flight school. Not all that scary, unless you see yourself in this story. :)

Nightmares: Zoe
Fifth in the series. It's short, but hopefully effective. Let me know...Zoe isn't the easiest character for me to write.

Nightmares: Inara
Fourth in the series. Not much else I want to reveal at this point... Enjoy!

Nightmares: Jayne
Third in the series...
This story contains subject matter that, while more implied than graphic, some folks might find offensive/disturbing.

Nightmares: Mal
Second in the series. The subject matter is a bit dark (it is a nightmare after all), but it's nothing too graphic. Let me know what you think!

Nightmares: River
The first in a series of ficlets exploring the dark places the mind goes while one sleeps. As the title states, this is River's.

What He'd Like
Just a little fluffy ficlet...