Wonder Woman Only Sleepier
A narcoleptic ghost hunter walks into a bar…wait, no, that sounds like a joke. In fact, narcolepsy is a serious and debilitating autoimmune disorder. A quarter of the population has the genetic marker for narcolepsy, but only a few of us will actually develop it. Unfortunately, I drew the short straw. Even though I’ve had narcolepsy since I was a child, I didn’t receive a diagnosis until I was an adult with children of my own. Imagine my surprise when I realized that not everyone has nightmares every night or wakes up paralyzed with a terrifying entity looming over them. I had to seriously adjust my idea of what was normal and what wasn’t.
Nevertheless, they say write what you know so A Glimmer of Ghosts follows the adventures of a team of ghost hunters, one of which is a narcoleptic. The main character, Melisande Bythe, has learned to prolong her time in the hypnagogic and hypnopompic states- the stages between sleeping and waking. This allows her to see, hear and feel ghosts. Finding ghosts is so easy for her that it’s like shooting fish in a barrel, until Mel runs into a secret society of corporeal spirits with a dark agenda.
Crafting Mel’s ‘super power’ from my own sad sack of medical symptoms was the best therapy in the world. I’ve changed a few things about Mel’s disorder to fit the story, but the clinical features are clearly represented. My hope was to create a heroine with a disability who perseveres anyway. We all have our weaknesses. We all can’t be Superman or Wonder Woman. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a pair of brightly colored leotards or magically imbued bracelets with our name on them. We just have to dig a little deeper to find that strength.
He was there. I could tell. His thoughts whispered down the phone line between us. They simmered—heavy, wordless, and thick with desire.
Lightning flashed outside my bedroom windows, illuminating every shadowy corner of my room, but the hall was dark. It didn’t matter. I knew he was there. I felt him inside my head watching me…longing for me. Thunder rolled across the roof, pushing against my ward. My bed shook with the force of it. Even the sky wanted in. Maybe I’d make it suffer too.