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Rated: E · Fiction · Other · #2123171
Contest entry - ''The Writer's Cramp'' - 915 Words
I’ll tell you a secret.

See that clock over there? The hands have a special glow-in-the-dark feature. It was one of the reasons why I bought it, knowing that I’d most likely have to read the time at night. I looked at it now. The short hand pointed to three, and the long hand pointed towards two.

I sighed and rolled over for the umpteenth time. It was early in the morning, and I couldn’t seem to go back to sleep, no matter how hard I tried. I tried counting sheep, and counting backwards, but nothing seemed to help. The rain pattered lightly against the window as I lay on my bed, my eyes tracing the various shapes and shadows in my dimly lit room. It was peaceful, just how I liked it. The sound of the rain was very comforting and I didn’t feel threatened in any way. So why couldn’t I sleep? Why was I still mulling over random, insignificant, unimportant details from my day? The toast I burnt? The tea I drank? None of that was even remotely important, yet here I was, lying on my bed, thinking back to how awful that toast tasted, and how that tea was slightly too strong for me. Was it a sign? Didn’t some people like to interpret our thoughts as something our sub-conscious was trying to tell us - something hidden under the crevices of our imagination, something dark, seething, and writhing just under the covers of our consciousness.

I had no idea. All I knew was that, it was past 3am and I was supposed to be up in four hours. I turned over and pounded my face against the pillow. I needed sleep! I took a deep breath in, and let it out with a loud whoosh. I looked out the window and saw that the lamp post was turned on. Its orange light flickered haphazardly in the dark, randomly lighting up different parts of the abandoned lanes.

Suddenly my patience snapped. I had enough. I sat up, throwing the blanket away from me in one heroic sweep. I grumbled nonsensical incoherent words to myself. It was just typical that on a day when I need to have enough sleep, I’m wide awake. I took a few moments to adjust as I slowly stood up. My desk was less than two metres away from me and I could see its dark outline from where I was standing. I reached over and flicked the switch on my lamp. Hazy amber light reached across the room, pushing shadows back into the dark corners. I looked around, taking my time as my eyes adjusted to the light. My laptop was in the usual spot on my desk, bulky as it was. Lately I seemed to have spent more and more time online. I opened the cover and waited for it to boot up. A half-empty glass sat on the table beside me, and I picked it up, admiring how the light played on the water as I slowly gulped it down. Suddenly my laptop screen flashed a brilliant blue.


I froze and put down the now empty glass. My heart started to pound as my mind processed this piece of information. I stared as the laptop shut itself down, listening to the hard drive whirring and whistling as it gradually turned off. What was wrong? My laptop was only new and I hadn’t downloaded any songs or movies from dodgy internet sites. I felt a lump of disappointment form in my chest, as I became increasingly bitter. It was just typical, I decided. My apparently ‘new’ laptop must have been second hand. I guess I should have known better than to buy it off some random online website. I stared at the screen again. I didn’t want to try turn it on again, maybe I should let it rest.
I sighed as I pushed the bulky laptop to one side, and took out my diary. I had always journalled, ever since I was little. It’s something that stuck to me as the years went on, as I matured and progressed through college. I flicked back to one of the first few pages, noting how messy my initial entries were. I guess I was in a hurry. My thoughts drifted to earlier times as I continued reading through the paragraphs - I remembered how my father used to be so strict, and so controlling, how he shouted all the time and to be honest it was really all I could recall from my childhood. Sometimes I liked reading my old entries, it reminded me of how things used to be, and it made me feel grateful for how far I’ve come.

Two hours later, I finally shut the diary, snapping the lock in place. I looked over at the clock again. A little over one hour left. I stood up and gingerly made my way towards my bed. I walked slowly around my bedside table as I didn’t want to knock over anything. The last thing I could afford was a new bedroom.

I climbed back in between the soft sheets and made myself comfortable. My pillow was still indented with the shape of my head from earlier. I lay on my back and rested my arms on my belly, feeling the gentle rise and fall as I breathed in and out.
I took in a long, slow, deep breath.

I closed my eyes.

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