Not much to say about this one; it's what happens when an overtired, stressed-out young lady can't get to sleep until she puts the thing forming itself in her head down on paper. It's a little different; I hope you like it.
Disclaimers: Early Edition and the characters/situations contained within are not mine. I own this story, however, so don't do anything with it without my permission. Thanks. Oh, and I *reeelly* like feedback. A Lot. ;)
Thanks to p_a for the assurances!
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The Air Past Midnight
by Jayne Leitch
Warm bed. Cool room.
The breeze from the AC circulates, and the arm I've slung out of the sheets tingles. Better to pull it in.
New comforter, thick and fluffy. *Not* flowers, no matter what Mom tried to give me. Full of body heat by now; the arm relaxes as soon as the comforter closes over top, and suddenly all of me's toasty.
The mattress is new, too, and I think it's why I haven't drifted off yet--I haven't had it long enough to have broken it in. It's comfortable--firm against my back, soft without sagging, big enough that I can move--but you know how it is with a new mattress. You're used to your own indent, to the feel of settling into the impression your body's worn in over years of habitual sleep positioning. It takes a while to wear that impression into a new bed, and until you do...
If I were given a chance, I'm sure I'd be more of a creature of habit.
There's always a moment right before I fall asleep when I'm sure that I hear the Cat pawing at the door, and I never know why I can't wake up enough to get up and let him out. I guess I shouldn't worry about it; he must find some way out of the place, 'cause he's always crying to be let back in at 6:30 the next morning. Without fail.
The moon's awfully bright tonight; it's lit up
the whole room, and everything looks stark and pale and cold on one side while
the other side's blacker than shadows really should be. I unearth my
hand and hold it up into the light from the window; my palm is suddenly flatly,
frosty white, and on the dark side I can't make out my knuckles. The
line on the edge is so distinct
it looks like somebody drew it on. White; black. Perfectly divided.
If I were given a chance, I'm sure I could be more of a philosopher.
The room's still cool. I can feel hair standing up on my arm; pull it out of the light and cover it up again, and soon the warmth has spread all over once more. Even up to my scalp, which tingles a little and makes my hair feel strange.
The pillow is my old one, and thank God, because I don't know if I'd be able to sleep at all without at least one familiar thing. My head settles even deeper into the old indent, and as my neck relaxes I turn my cheek into its hollow out of habit.
This is the moment I've been waiting for.
The Cat paws at the door, and I sigh without moving.
Beside me, Toni smells like cinnamon.
Email the author: Jayne