1. Discernment




THE AUTHOR:  Lacy Sereduk


THE PUBLISHER: CreateSpace and Amazon Kindle

SUMMARY:  When the sun is up, Johanna Parks is no different than anyone else.  When the sun goes down, that other half of Johanna’s life can only be described as what it is: a living nightmare.

Johanna Parks has suffered from night terrors since she was a kid.  Hearing things go bump in the night is nothing new but, as her everyday life in the sun begins to spiral out of control, Johanna begins to lose grasp on the very things that let her know she is real.  From ghostly apparitions to violent nightmares to waking up with strangers in her bedroom, her life in the dark becomes a terrifying game of just trying to make it out alive.

The fear of being alone and the fear of hurting other people brings her sanity and emotional stability to its very breaking point.  Johanna must find a way to understand.  Before it’s too late.

THE BLacy SeredukACK STORY: About two weeks prior to writing this book, I suffered an injury as the result of a night terror that left me cut, bloodied, bruised, and utterly terrified of the dark.  I’ve dealt with this condition my entire life and have even tried to jump out a second story window, but this was the first injury that involved my face.  I wrote Discernment in hopes that it would help me cope with what I’ve been through and bring enlightenment to those that wanted to know more of what it’s like.  Once I decided to do it and actually sat down to begin typing, the story just seemed to flow out of me and I wrote the first book in 6 days.

WHY THIS TITLE?: There’s no other way to describe a night terror episode other than literally a living nightmare.  They are very similar to hallucinations and, in fact, the condition is sometimes accompanied by early morning and even daytime hallucinations.  Life with this disorder is a constant game of discernment between reality and the products of the disorder.

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT: Discernment is unique in that it’s written based on previous, real-life experiences from a first person perspective.  It delves into the difficulties that people with the condition face on a fairly daily basis.  Whether it’s that first awkward conversation with a potential lover about how you might accidentally punch them in the middle of the night or trying to describe the condition to a health care provider that has never heard of it.  Most books, stories, movies that deal with the condition are written by people that have never actually lived it so this book has greater insight into just how terrifying it can be.


“This book climbed to the top of my favorite list. It took me only one afternoon to finish it. Love how the characters played their own individual part in the story. When the frightening parts came into play I would get chills. Can’t wait for the sequel to come out. I recommend this book to all my friends and family. Absolutely amazing!” – Mrs. Toughmama.

“Discernment is going on the shelf of books that I can only read in the daylight.” – Amazon coa

“I.ve never read a book like this before, but im so glad that I did! It made me stay in bed and not want to get up cuz I was in slight fear of what I may see outside the covers! Lacy is so brave and its a little humbling to see what she struggles with on a daily basis. Scary! I would have been locked up in the psyche ward long ago deemed bat s*** crazy, if this was to happen to me! Lol! Great job Lacy! Looking forward to touched” – Amazon customer.

AUTHOR PROFILE: Lacy Sereduk is an Idaho native and enjoys long walks on the beach, reading, coffee, and video games. But seriously, I have suffered from night terrors since I was a child. I was always told that they would go away and, if they hadn’t by the time I reached adulthood, they were probably there to stay. Another unfortunate piece of information that I received was that a lot of people who continue to suffer into adulthood, also develop full-blown schizophrenia by 35. I’m a little over 30. I fully believe that would happen to people like me because the world just starts to dissolve around you after so many years of exhausting torture.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: “My hope for my book, Discernment, was, originally, cathartic. As a way to ‘get out’ some of the demons that have haunted me from childhood. After starting and sharing to get others thoughts, it became clear that other people thought it was worth publishing. Now, my hope for this book, when published, will be to help other sufferers know that they are not wholly alone in their fight toward the light. As well as to help parents of children afflicted to understand just what their kids might be going through and how to potentially help them. Spouses or partners of adult sufferers might gain a better understanding of the dark half or our lives. Many who have night terrors can’t remember what was so terrifying or are too afraid or embarrassed to talk about it. My sharing may help shed a little light on what they could be going through when the light is turned off.

“Another aspect I hope to attain is that my own children will have a better understanding of who I am and how I became the woman I am today. And, hopefully, they’ll cut me some slack for not making breakfast in the morning, when they start to understand just what my nights could entail.”



Sitting in the crook of the brown, leather couch’s comforting embrace, I’m surprised at what little has changed since I’ve been in Tia Daniels’s house. Tia and I had grown up together but the walls still held their old family portraits, just repositioned to accommodate newer ones, now that the kids had grown.

The carpet had been redone since last I’d been here, maybe ten years ago, but the familiar little raise in the corner of warped floor board was still noticeable. It was the place where we’d thought would be the perfect spot to water a plant (really a weed, as I think back now). The spot had been directly under a window but behind a sort of long end table that doubled as a record player, no longer there. The record player had hid our horticultural project from the parents for a few days; thus the floor received more water than the plant before our gardening endeavours were put to an end.

Half-smiling at these memories of another time and life, I recognize the presence of another being in the room. I swiftly turn my gaze in the direction of the being and my mouth opens slowly in disbelief at the figure there.

A female, blonde hair up in a bun, silk dress-shirt tucked into a woolen skirt, seems to hover in front of the chair that was always occupied by Mrs. Daniels. Something is not right, my brain tells me, as I regard the figure in front of me. Nothing moves in the woman’s countenance, no hair or edge of fabric flits in the waves descending from the ceiling fan above her.

Oh dear god! Her eyes! My thoughts exclaim as I realize that her eyes have been completely removed from her skull, just dark empty sockets where the windows to the soul should be. That’s it! I realize with morbid horror, there’s no soul in that body, it’s just a corpse.

Fear seizes my throat and begins to creep, slowly, down my spine, encasing my lungs in a grip of ice, despite the warmth of the room. Goose bumps flare down my arms and even my hands begin to shake as the room temperature drops thirty degrees. Run! The only thought that can permeate my frozen mind falls dead with nothing but faint echoes of itself in its stead.

The corpse, still stoic in countenance, begins to drift forward, straight toward me. No blessed noise or interference comes to my aid as the thing is steadily, evenly drawn, to my position. I let out a scream sufficient to alert the Neighborhood Watch and glance toward the entry of the kitchen. No one comes, no one calls out to check on my safety, but the corpse woman moves continuing forward.

About halfway across the distance from her original position to me, I can see that her scalp at the top and side of her head has odd and discomforting deformities. My eyes widen further. Her torso reveals a blackness in her skin, over her lungs, just visible in the contours of the v-neck, silk shirt. All the rest is pale, as if belonging to someone that hadn’t seen the sun in a year.

Still moving closer.

I screech, despite myself, and throw a small pillow at the figure. The bright yellow embroidery taunts me as it flips in its trajectory toward the woman; There’s no place like home. Flying straight at the thing, I know that connection is imminent. I flinch at the moment when the pillow should reach its target and open my eyes with the expectation that it be gone, dissolved like an apparition when the real world comes in contact.

Instead, I see the pillow crash against the chair at the far side of the room and topple, deftly silent. The woman comes nearer with her empty eyes, within arms distance of my cringing body as I seek comfort and safety, attempting to bury myself in the slight crease between the cushion and the arm of the couch.
The empty-eyed woman slips her head just slightly downward to point her darkness filled sockets at my face. Slowly, ominously, she lifts her arm, reaching out to touch me. I turn my head slowly and mechanically, as if the battle of my eyes wishing to no longer see equalled the strength of my neck’s desire to stare my aggressor in the face. I cram my eyelids as tight as they would go, waiting for the ether-worldly touch of that empty vessel.

The fierce, guttural roar startles me and I turn, close enough to see the total darkness inside her eye sockets, so close that I can see the lines on her fingertips just inches from my cheek, and realize with a shuddering horror that this ‘thing’ is wholly lacking the inner effulgence that would make it living.

I feel my own face contorting and stretching into an unhuman mask of menace with beast-like qualities. The corners of my mouth rise painfully to the centers of my cheekbones and I can feel my own saliva dripping from my incisors onto the softer flesh of both sides of my chin.

The roar is followed by a voice that I can only just recognize as a part of that long ago memory, having never quite been sure of what I’d heard, when caged in that dark room. Snarling and gravelly, as if a wild and grown version of that once frightened six-year old girl, I hear, “I Am The Spirit Walker!”

The pointed, accusing finger of the woman makes contact with my skin below my eye in an explosion of burning fire that emanates from my cheek, radiating across my scalp, and heats my very body to a degree just shy of combustion. I jump up to my feet, knocking her arm away, eyes almost shut in frenzy, and unleash a harried assault against the woman’s already disfigured frame.

But I find that I am slightly shaken at the feeling of my fists, slowing down as they force contact with the exterior of the corpse and then push their way, with difficulty, into the center of the thing’s mass. They drop like lead as they find their way through and out the other side of her. Like punching through a waterfall of pudding, I was no more effective at bringing the thing to its knees as I would have been at stopping a downpour of rain with my jabs.

The disorienting feeling of this new law of physics, coupled with the realization that the unchanging expression was still glowering at me, not the slightest flicker of recognition of anything happening to disrupt it’s cold countenance, caused me to stop and falter after my last stroke came through the woman’s throat and fell swiftly down into the beveled destruction that was previously a well-formed torso..

Withdrawing my arm and grabbing my own hair at the sides of my head, I look straight into the blackness-filled orbs of that inanimate face, and let myself scream …


WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KOM4BFO

PRICE: $4.99 e-book, $12.50 paperback


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Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

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