I count down the hours. The minutes. The seconds. The time until I can get out of bed without waking anybody else up, or at least without causing suspicion.

I haven't slept for more than a few hours a night for the last several months. It's driving me insane.

There's a constant weight on my eyelids, but every time I attempt to surrender to the tempatation, my mind buzzes fiercely and I'm forced to carry the weight for a little longer.

I open my curtains and watch the sun come up, slumped in my chair - tired, but unable to give in. I lose myself in the bright red glow. The shepherd's warning.

The thought of shepherds makes me relive all the sleep techniques I have tried. Counting sheep, warm milk, a good book, a bad book.

Nothing can send me to sleep for more than a few hours. And the sleep I do get it fitful and restless. It takes me up to several hours to drift off, and when I do eventually start to dream, my body tells me to cut it out, and I wake once more.

The light streaks through my windows, casting all manner of shadows on the wall behind me. I try to open my book, but my eyes are hazed over - a nasty symptom of sleep deprivation. My body doesn't want me to sleep, but it doesn't want me to do anything worth doing whilst awake either. I can't read my book, and I can't put the television on, at risk of waking my family.

Tired, and developing into a grouchy teenager, I close my curtains and lie on my bed, waiting impatiently for sleep to surround me.

It doesn't.

The End

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