Author's Note: I'm not really sure where I wanted to go with this story. I had originally intended it as a oneshot but it doesn't seem complete. I'd like to hear your opinion of what I should do. Thanks.
A small bell rang as the young man pulled open the door of the store. He stepped quietly inside, letting the door fall closed behind him. Immediately his attention was drawn to a clock hanging behind the check-out counter. It read 2:29. He supposed he would have to get some sleep soon but the thought of lying quietly with nothing to distract his wondering mind was somewhat less than appealing. He grimaced.
A man wearing a dirty t-shirt was sitting in the chair behind the counter, his head on his chest, his mouth slightly open. The noise of a customer entering the store had not woken him.
The young man walked down one of the aisles, picking up candy bars and setting them back down. He chose a Hershey's bar and stuffed it into his jacket pocket. A security camera glared at him from across the store. As he left the store, he lifted his middle finger in its direction.
A cool blast of night air met him as he opened the door again. The glowing sign of the 24-hour convenience store cast shadows across his face. Except for an occasional car, the city street was nearly deserted. He trudged down the sidewalk, his eyes cast downward. He did not know where he was walking but he knew where he would end up.
His fingers slowly opened the candy bar wrapper and broke off a piece of chocolate. He put it into his mouth and let it melt slowly on his tongue. It might have tasted sweet but he did not know it. Everything around him had faded into dull nothingness.
Before he knew it, he was at the door of the apartment building. He pulled on the door handle but it was locked. He had expected that it would be. It didn't matter.
Letting go of the handle, the young man began to walk around the building. Almost all of the lights in the windows were off. Everyone inside was sleeping peacefully. A sudden wave of exhaustion came over the man and he leaned against the side of the building, closing his eyes. He wanted so desperately to sleep too.
He thought of the woman sleeping just a floor above him. She knew how tortured he was and how she had ruined him. And yet, no pain of conscience came to interrupt her rest.
Before he knew it, he was climbing the tree outside her apartment. Part of him didn't trust his sleep-deprived body to not fall, but the other part knew that he would risk death if it meant seeing her face one more time. The branches shook under his weight. One of his hands seized the cold metal bars on her balcony. He climbed higher on the branch until he could fit the toe of his shoe between the bars and swing himself over. There he stood for a moment, shaking with fury and anticipation. His fingers crept closer to the handle on the sliding glass door. It opened as easily as if it were inviting him in.
His shoes made no noise across the white carpet. Even his breathing was inaudible in the silent night air. Before him, he could see her, lying on the bed. A lock of dark hair lay across her face, moving slightly to the rhythm of her even breathing. A man lay in the bed beside her, his arms wrapped around her.
The young man stood in her bedroom, staring at her. He couldn't take his eyes away from her face. Even asleep, she was exquisitely beautiful. He longed to touch her face, to kiss her blood red lips. With a heavy sigh, he turned away.
He had never believed that sorceresses existed. She had told him that she was one when they first met. He had laughed when she said so. But now he understood. Her magic would make a man fall deeply in love with her and she would let him go. She enjoyed his heartbreak.
The man turned away and crept back out the door. He climbed down the tree. Sleep was finally beginning to numb his pain and he lay down beside the tree. When he awoke the next morning, the pain would be just as real.