Tick tock. The night drones on as it always does. The shadows swell and fall then swell again, dancing across the walls all the while. The sun has slipped off for hours to come, but my eyes remain completely open, loaded with springs, weighted with lead, and stuck in their own frivolous battle to pull me into slumber. Even if my eyes could shut I could not sleep, not in such a peaceful hour. I can hear the low hum of electricity buzzing through the walls, or perhaps my mind has conjured the sound up as some type of stimulus in the still, dark air.

The warmth lay thick like a blanket. Sweat plasters hair to skin and skin to sheet in an inseparable puddle of discomfort. A fly zips around somewhere in the dark corners of the house. The dogs slumber leaving the poor pest in peace to keep on being a nuisance until morning comes when it will be swallowed up. My room is dark other than the street light streaming in the window with its bright yellow glow. I glance to the stream of flickering light cast across my floor for some entertainment and reassurance that light still exist yet the night still has yet to surrender to the day and I still have time to surrender to sleep.

It is a dwindling hope that at some point before the sun`s light cracks the horizon that I will be able to find rest. My body is tired. It slumbers peacefully, utterly still beyond the rise and fall of my breathing chest, but my mind is restless. It runs over thought after thought, all insignificant, all fleeting. Try as I might I cannot relent myself to the world of the dormant. The crickets have fallen silent. The lightning bugs are all tucked up in their homes. Even bats have returned to their upside down position to sleep until the morning hour when the world is still grey.

The longer I lay like this the greater my desire to be crepuscular becomes. At least if I was crepuscular I would have a day of slumbering to look forward to if my attempts to rest failed at night. The only part of my body buzzing with alertness is my left arm which thrums with a dull ache that creeps up my bone. A shuffling sound stirs the air outside the door. The handle clicks, the hinges creak, and the door slips open ever so slow.

With the wide open door and pitch black living room the slither of street lamp light feels weaker and thinner. I turn my head towards the door to stare out into the emptiness. My mother blocks the view with her petite frame pulled in on itself against the consuming darkness behind her. Her chocolate-brown eyes are glossy, decorated with purplish black bags blooming beneath. Her face wrinkles like bunched fabric. Her dark eyes have taken on a shade of red and her chest heaves uneasily.

“Goodnight baby.” She whispers so softly as her hand tightly grips the chain holding my class ring.

The deep blue stone catches the light just as she leaves. Its glint sparkles over me, light dancing across my translucent skin. I`m so tired but I don`t think I will ever be able to rest, not with the man who took my life watching my family.