May. 1st, 2010 09:38 pm
[personal profile] lettersforblood
This is set in the universe of my story "Pantheon". Prompt is from [community profile] stayintheroom.


Pills didn’t work on Sam. No—that wasn’t general enough. Medicine, of any kind, in any form, for any purpose—it just didn’t work on Sam. If he ever got sick, that would be a problem. Since he never did, it wasn’t.

He did, however, have the occasional bout of insomnia. And those sucked beyond belief.

Tonight, Sam was pacing around the studio apartment. He’d had three cups of cocoa and one of coffee—caffeine had about as much of an effect on him as any other drug, so he wasn’t worried about it keeping him up even later—started two paintings and scrapped another, and was now apparently trying to wear straight through the floor just by walking. It was four AM. He’d been up since six the previous morning. He really hated it when he couldn’t sleep.

It wasn’t even the nights when those prayers—thoughts—voices—when they filled his head, asking him to make them better, keep them safe, make them sick, let them die. He could handle those. They filled his head and eventually faded into a soft rush like the noise of the ocean. They lulled him to sleep. He liked those nights, though he’d never admit it.

It also wasn’t the nights when there was someone in every apartment, and every one of them was about to die. That just happened. It went with the territory. And… it was like the air was a little bit cleaner, those nights, for the illness being in their bodies instead of his. So he breathed easier, and he slept easier.

It was the nights when it was quiet. When the whole place was empty. Those were the nights when he couldn’t sleep, when he stayed up until morning wishing, for once in his life, that he could just take a pill and get better like any normal person.

Like any human, not that he let himself think that.

He’d turned off all the lights hours ago. Most of the city was dead asleep too. The only person in the building was a young college grad who hadn’t yet gotten sick from being here. He hated that the building was empty. He resented her for being there. Did everyone always have to be so stupid? Even the landlord wouldn’t be this good a salesman without everyone being stupid enough to buy into it. To buy the rooms in the building where Sam lived…

He still wasn’t tired. Sam turned and walked back to his art room. It wouldn’t help, but maybe he’d get something done tonight.
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