Awake

"In its early stages, insomnia is almost an oasis in which those who have to think or suffer darkly take refuge." - Sidonie Gabrielle

Tick, tick, tick, tick. His eyes fluttered; he had held them shut tightly, almost too tightly. Although, nothing seemed to work, nothing seemed to bring sleep. His mind was a racetrack of thoughts, none of them winning. Tick, tick, tick, tick.
Downstairs he could hear hushed voices, talking in code; talking about him? Where they all discussing him, talking about the day to come? Tick, tick, tick, tick. So much responsibility. Why? Why did they rely on him so? Why did anyone rely on him? He was just a normal person, just an average joe; so why so much reliance on someone so average. Tick, tick, tick, tick.
There were others sleeping of course, the lucky ones. Maybe they didn't feel the responsibilities he felt on his shoulders. They were all just average too, eleven souls in one house. Or was it twelve? He couldn't remember. Tick, tick, tick, tick.
He threw off his sheets, confining him to a bed of unrest. He stood up and padded over to the window. Outside the street lamps dimly lit a ghostly visage of an empty street. Nothing moved, nothing shuddered. Tick, tick, tick, tick.
There was twelve, now he remembered there was twelve. But now there were only eleven. Why? He couldn't remember the rest. Tick, tick, tick, tick.
Shadows fluttered now in the streets outside. Tricks of his mind? Were his eyes decieving him, making him see things now? Was this lack of sleep going to make him completely insane? Tick, tick, tick, tick. Now there were shapes, movements, figures. No, one figure, one movement, one person. She wasn't moving though, not now, she was staring up at him. Tick, tick, tick, tick. Aaron, her lips worded, Aaron, come home. How did he know what she was saying? He heard no words and yet he could hear it. Tick, tick, tick, tick.
Wait, the twelf person, the twelf person had...the word almost stuck in his mind, but he forced it out. They had taken, themself; or rather herself. The thing that waited outside may have looked like her, but deep inside he knew it was not. It was it, and it wanted him now. Tick, tick, tick, tick.
Aaron, the mouth moved again, pick up the gun and come home Aaron; come see your mother, she forgives you Aaron. She's waiting for you. Tick, tick, tick, tick. His mother? Oh God his mother, such a mess, such a bloody mess. He had come to remember her insides well; why? Why such a mess? The gun though, it rested in his hollister. His eyes flickered over to it, like candleflame caught in a breeze. Tick, tick, tick, tick.
Was that his heart in his ears? Was that constant beating, the sound of his life pounding over everything else? No; it was the gun. The lifeforce of the gun, it had a heart of it's own. Tick, tick, tick, tick.
Oh God, would tomorrow never come? Would it constantly elude him forever, leaving him in this limbo of sleepless night? Aaron, you can end this night, bring the tomorrow of forever. Just come home Aaron. Tick, tick, tick, tick. No words, no sound, but he could hear still. He wasn't even looking at her anymore. All eyes on the gun; on the handle. Tick, tick, tick, tick. Stop, get out of my head! He screamed in his mind, but still she called, still she beckoned. Wait, a new voice, unheard but new; his mother. He looked out the window again. Dear God, no; no why? Tick, tick, tick, tick.
His mother, but she was as he had seen her last. A mess, a bloody mess, half of her head missing, holes in her body. The shotgun had made quick work of her. His father had made quick work of her. Tick, tick, tick, tick. Her mouth moved through the mess, what was left of it that was. Aaron, come to mommy baby. Come my little detective, you come to mommy now and she will hold you forever. The withered bloody arms outstretched. Tick, tick, tick, tick. Yes mommy, yes, I want to come home. He felt his mind wander back to the gun. That's right Aaron baby, take the gun for mommy. Mommy wants you to baby. Tick, tick, tick, tick.
Aaron moved, without thought, towards the gun hollistered and hanging off the back of the chair. His fingers slid over the cold, cold steel. It was an unwelcome presence and yet, it wanted him. Tick, tick, tick, tick. It beckoned him, and now he had it. He knew the rest; he knew how the story went. He understood her thought when she had done it; why, she had done it. Tick, tick, tick, tick.
Mommy loves you baby, mommy needs you baby. Come home to mommy, and we'll be all better. Tick, tick, tick, BOOM. The thunder of the blast rang in his ears, and yet his ears had ceased to hear anything anymore. And as the blood rolled over his eyes, he could see his mommy, see her smiling in joy.

Downstairs the movement, the words, had stopped. A game of monopoly was laid out over a kitchen table. But as the gun's blast rattled the house, movements and words had ceased. They all just stared at each other.
They assumed the rest who had been sleeping would have been awakened now. A selfish act to be taking, as those who did get sleep deserved to stay asleep. A few moments later one spoke.
"Down to ten now, it's picking us off like a wolf against herded sheep," her voice quietly whispered.
Another quickly shushed her and the game forced itself into play, but her eyes showed the pain, and a single tear rolled down her face. Maybe none of them would fulfill their destiny; maybe tomorrow would not come for the world after all.

The End

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