The Sleepless Night


The room was dark, save for the dim light that filtered in from outside.  The glow of the city’s numerous lights reflected off the surrounding atmosphere, making it appear lighter outside than it should be for this time of night.  The cold glow bathed the room and it’s contents in a faded, grayish hue as it filtered through the blinds.

He laid there quietly on his stomach, staring blankly at the window, examining the shadows painted on the blinds by the large bush that grew just outside as though it were some random splatter of black paint, slathered upon a canvas by a drunken artist, or an ink spot used to delve into the psyche of a disturbed mind.

It was 1 a.m., and sleep would not come to him on this particular evening.  He found his eyes, wandering about the room as his body lay sprawled out upon the bed, face down, head turned sideways on the tightly folded pillow, one leg straight and the other bent so that just his knee was hanging over the edge.  His arm hung over the side where his fingers dragged lazily along the floor as he moved his hand in a nervous swing, scraping his nails along the carpet.  He could feel two dog toys that he had only moments ago laid to rest there once his young border collie, after a hard night of pestering and playing had finally fallen asleep beside him.  Though the toys were several inches away, their nearness to his hand bothered him in some intangible way.  He could sense their presence, and it eventually bothered him to the point of moving his hand forward just slightly, trying to gauge the distance between his fingers and the toys.  They were distant enough that it was unlikely that he would actually come into contact with them through his normal movements, and yet, their nearness bothered him to the point that he finally felt the need to reach forward and move them a bit farther away.  There, now that that was settled, he could go back to staring at the window.

The fan, which he kept next to the bed to keep him cool at night, was blowing with its usual quiet hum.  He always found comfort in this sound, and had become quite dependent on having some sort of a droning noise such as the fan or a hair dryer (in the rare cases that he found himself to be cold), in order to fall asleep.  Sleep never came easily, or lasted very long without it.  This was often a huge source of consternation with his wife however, as she always complained that it made her cold.  The dog however, loved the fan, and would often sleep directly in front of it, whichever way it was blowing, which often made it very difficult to turn over in the night, and even more often lead to a sore body in the morning.  Tonight however, the dog was sleeping happily between them, and the man had all the room he wanted to sprawl out languidly.  Unfortunately, the sleep would not come, no matter how desperately he tried to reach out to it.  He closed his eyes and tried to relax, but soon found himself once again staring blankly at the shadows on the blinds.

His lips parted slowly, and he had to make a quick suck, lest the saliva that had collected there escape onto his pillow, as it had done so many nights before.  His eyes wandered the room again, falling upon the fan.  Reaching out, he slowly turned the fan, which had heretofore been facing his legs and feet, so that it was now blowing more onto his upper body, where it would do a far better job of keeping him cool.  He was hot, and his wife was now asleep, so hopefully she wouldn’t wake up and complain.

Minutes passed, and each one felt like hours, as they always did when one simply lays quietly and stares into the darkness.  “So, what now?” he thought to himself as he lay there, feeling the cool, gentle brushes of the fan’s air pass over him.  It was becoming more and more uncomfortable to lay in this position, but he knew that turning over wouldn’t provide much relief.  The simple fact was that he wasn’t going to be able to fall asleep.

A few more minutes passed.  His eyes wandered about the room, and his thoughts kept turning to just how he would describe this scene, were he to write it all down, and what would be the point of it if he did, and did it even matter?  Did there need to be a point?  Perhaps, once it was written down, he would finally be able to fall asleep.  It was worth a shot, wasn’t it??


Unseen Things: Origins

My series of contemporary fantasy / sci-fi novels, Unseen Things is now available through the official website, Amazon, Smashwords and other online retail sites.

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