Sleepless

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Sleepless

Post by Izzifix on Sat Sep 27, 2014 3:39 pm

Something was amiss. Turning around in bed, Amber tried to go back to sleep, but the sensation of wrongness didn't fade. Opening her eyes halfway under the blankets, she tried to force her senses awake from their dulled, slumbering state. Night had painted the bedroom black, blurring out its edges and details, and in spite of the full moon's best efforts, the pale light from the windows only served to heighten the overwhelming sense of the almost palpable darkness that filled the place. She lay still, listening to the silence, trying to calm herself as she pulled the blankets tighter around her. Moonlight! Windows! Something stirred in her mind. The windows must be open, the autumn air was getting colder now that the winter was drawing near, she realised with resignation. She guessed she'd have to give up the luxury of fresh air to try to avoid catching a cold. She braced herself, preparing to leap from the blankets and close the windows in one swift movement. As she was mentally working out the quickest path back under the blankets afterwards, it dawned on her. There was nobody warming her from the other side of the bed. The sleep left her body as a different kind of tiredness took its place.

She opened her eyes, completely this time, blinking at the arid aid, but quickly seeing things more clearly. As she'd guessed, both windows were wide open. The dark silhouette of a man stood before one of them, his back turned against the bed. Broad of shoulders, but with unremarkable musculature, her husband looked his part as the working-class man he was, as he stood there unmoving, stark naked. She couldn't see his face from where she lay, but she didn't need to. In the glass windows she could see the bright green reflections where she knew his eyes must be. Her stomach turned, but she knew what she had to do. He must have had the dream again. Sleep could wait for another time.


Last edited by Dwyburn on Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:26 pm; edited 1 time in total

Izzifix

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Re: Sleepless

Post by Izzifix on Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:25 pm

"Waitress, another round of beers!" one of the rowdy, lavishly clad, young men seated by the corner table bellowed at her. Smoke from the kitchen and fog from the canals interweaved in the small inn, and hid both dirty floors and cutleries from the guests, with help from the fast approaching dusk. Even though the fumes of the greasy meals being prepared in the kitchen disgusted her, Amber's mouth began to water at the thought of food. It had been a long shift already, and she still had hours to go. She tried to dismiss the hunger with a thought of what she was fairly certain the meat pies were made from, but to no avail. She was to practical to disregard the use rat meat altogether. If it was fried properly, of course. By a cook who wasn't one-eyed Joe. Her stomach finally her some rest upon picturing the inn's cook and his lack of personal hygiene.

Absent-mindedly, she started pouring the beer the man had ordered. Sure, they tipped horribly, but it wasn't like the order would disappear either. It would take more than a few wars, the scourging of nations, mana-bombs, otherwordly invasions or cataclysms to keep a young, thirsty man away from his beer. A group of them? She doubted the end of the universe itself would be enough. Piling the tankards onto a tray she started the perilous journey towards the corner table.

The smell of alcohol surrounded the group, and the hazy fire of intoxicated men's ambition was in their eyes. She could feel every muscle in her body stiffen in preparation. They would try to grope her. And she would smile as she turned down their advances. As much as she hated her job, she would fight to keep it. For a few more hours the shift was her universe. A hungry, bone-tired, filthy and unfulfilling universe it was, but there was nothing at the Boar's Head Inn she hadn't seen before. There was nothing at this foul watering hole she couldn't master. As much as both the Inn and its customers repulsed her, it was nothing compared to the dread she felt at the prospect of having to return home when the shift ended. She put on her warmest smile as she started serving the young men. Maybe it would hide the freezing sensation running through her veins, filling her belly and stinging at her spine. Or maybe it wouldn't. No matter, they probably wouldn't tip her anyway.

Izzifix

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Re: Sleepless

Post by Arabella Greene on Tue Oct 28, 2014 4:33 am

That was a jolly good ol' tale

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Re: Sleepless

Post by Izzifix on Tue Oct 28, 2014 6:25 am

Sticking to writing one mini-chapter at a time to keep it managable, so while it sure is jolly, it isn't quite a coherent tale yet, I'm afraid.

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Re: Sleepless

Post by Izzifix on Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:35 pm

One of the most remarkable things about a city, at least to an onlooker, is the complete disregard for one's surroundings every proper city dweller seems to adopt with such ease. In the midst of chaotic streets, even the most vigilant scout quickly recedes into that bubble of privacy, turning on a near perfect tunnel vision, and effectively shutting out every ounce of sensory input that isn't of utmost importance to whatever task he has at hand. Currently finding himself in the role of an onlooker, John tried not to let it show every time he thought one of those busy souls walking the streets would be hit by a passing chariot or horse. No easy task, with so many on their way home from work, and so few of those eyes really open to their surroundings. Flinching left and right continuously, he almost gave up entirely on the subject of relaxing, where he sat leaning back against a big apple tree. Still, the minutes were passing, and more people must have been getting to whatever intended destinations they might have had, for gradually, the streets were quieting down to a more suitable, lazy state of being. Letting go of the irrational tensions, John leant back. The gnarly, uneven and overall unpleasant surface of the tree trunk did not bother him one bit as he exhaled with relief. Now, he'd just have to wait.

The sun had set, but the night hadn't quite moved in to replace it. Soon twilight would be upon the city, he thought, but not yet. Now came those golden, undefined moments of time where the streets, empty as they were, weren't quite dangerous yet. Where young couples packed up their picnic-baskets and parted, maybe with a quick, stolen kiss, or maybe not. Sometimes a long-drawn out, longing look between two lovers-to-be spoke louder than any spoken declaration, John thought, almost pausing to applaud his sudden philosophical. This, he thought, with satisfaction, was the time of day a man could catch his breath after work, lean back, just watch the world, oblivious to its moods and errands and general hustle.

Some men, he thought, might wait in libraries with their books, or in a café, enjoying having a chat with its other patrons, when having hours to waste, waiting for their wives, like this. Himself, though, he could hardly think of any better way to gather himself after a long day than this. Those who constantly feel the need to busy themselves or socialize must lead horrible, horrible lives, he thought. He closed his eyes for a minute, pulling the coat of his working clothes tighter around himself, looking every bit like a beggar in his dust-covered attire. Another remarkable thing about the city, he thought as he sat there approching his trivial nirvana, was the smell. How a mass of people, who in general smelled so very unremarkable could produce a stench like that of the canals, overwhelming even when you sat under an apple tree, was beyond him.

The inn was close enough, but he stayed under the tree, like always. A pre-arranged meeting point, is after all a logical place to wait. And even the most quarrelsome gnomish scientists generally agreed: The passage of time was generally not hastened by moving a hundred feet to the northeast. Unremarkable minutes went by. If twilight came and went, nobody noticed. Then it was dark.

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Re: Sleepless

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