Title: Insomnia
Note: Four hours is manageable.

She sat still and quiet, in the centre of the sleeping town but it could have been the edge of the world. Beyond the floating globes of the streetlights there lay nothing but darkness, where any possibility might be crouched. She heaved another sigh and spoke aloud to the dark.

"The worst part about being an insomnic isn't the gritty, sandish feeling in your eyes, or the countless thoughts that crash aimlessly through your mind. No. It's the loneliness."

The dark night said nothing back. It didn't move forward to embrace or devour her; it didn't move back to let the light in. Instead, it just seemed to breathe around her, like some massive beast had swallowed her whole, and she was trying in a lackluster way to convince said beast it didn't want to digest her.

"When it's two, three, four o'clock" she continued in a somewhat muted voice, "and the whole world outside your window, front door, lawn is still, there's a loneliness there. Like you're the last and only person on the face of the earth. Something innate in you creeps out from the corners of your heart and mind and begs that you reach out. It sits in the middle of your thoughts, whimpering and shaking like some abused, lonely, forgotten thing, and you give in."

She tilted her head back and grinned sadly at the moon; the crescent grinned back in a cold, Cheshire way. Her gaze fell back hard through the reaching, shadowed branches of trees, along outlines of silent buildings, down into the clutches of the dewy grass that was pressing against her bare feet.

She gripped her slender phone tight before forcing her fingers lax. "Your mind starts grasping at straws, trying desperately to think of someone, ANYone who would still be awake at whatever unGodly hour you happen to be stuck in, and it comes up blank. It always comes up blank. You've got the friends who would try to wake up but would fall back asleep, the friends who would be so hard asleep that they wouldn't even stir, the friends who would see you reaching out and ignore you, and the friends who are so drunk or high they're passed out and dead to the world until whatever is in them just runs its course. And there you are...alone and lonely in the middle of the night, grasping at friends who slip easily through your fingers."

She placed the phone on her lap and rubbed at her face, scratching her nails back through her hair. The breath started out as a soft laugh but ended up as a stretch thin sigh.

"Insomnia is being stuck in an hourglass, slowly being tapped with grains of sand as the seconds drag by, as you wait for the sand to cover you and push you down into what might count as sleep. Sleep, generally equaling four hours...if you're lucky."

Slowly, she got to her feet and stretched until her joints clicked back into place.

"Four hours...four hours is completely managable. After a while, you start to forget that you're actually exhausted."