12
Jan
21

Writing Prompt: Sleep

I don’t sleep anymore. Not since they brought me back. None of us do.

They don’t know why; they run tests, they poke and prod, they try to put us under the hard way with drugs and electric shocks and sometimes concussions. None of it works. We just don’t sleep. At all. We’re always running at maximum power, always awake, alert, ready for… whatever.

Some people think that makes us freaks, that we’re something that shouldn’t exist. Of course, plenty of people thought that even before they found out we don’t sleep. Tampering with the dead, bringing them back to life, that tends to set people on edge even if it does mean the keys to immortality are in their hands.

That’s what we were, you know. Dead. Suicides and cancer patients, mostly. Those who still had enough of their vital components to try resuscitating them. I think that’s why we don’t sleep. Had enough of it while we were out of the game.

There’s downsides, though. How to fill the time, for one thing. You never realize how useful sleeping is as a method to just speed up the clock a notch until you can’t do it anymore. It means you have too much time to sit and think. Thinking isn’t as good as you believe it is, not really; when you have nothing but time to think, no break from it, no chance to actually process what you’re thinking, well… it leads some pretty dark places.

Places like “What if no one had to sleep anymore?” Sure, sounds great. Until you realize the only way to do that is to make sure they all take the big nap first. Some of them aren’t going to wake up from that, of course. Someone’s going to get too roughed up, a liver or spleen ruptured here, a giant hole in their head over there. But you start thinking of that as collateral damage, as acceptable losses. After all, things will be so much better when everyone is like you.

That’s what’s running through my mind as I crouch behind the couch of what used to be my wife, thinking and waiting for her to come home. I say “was” because she decided she didn’t want to be married to some “unsleeping zombie freak” as she called me. She’ll see. She’ll understand when she’s like me and doesn’t have to sleep anymore, doesn’t have to worry about nightmares. When she knows what it’s like.


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