Sleep eluded me for two straight evenings. My body temperature rose as I tossed and turned and tossed and turned between my blanket and mattress, I thought I could already ignite a fire.
This week’s theme for short story writing is Out on the Moor, a celebration of Jane Eyre’s 173rd year of publication, and we should right something Gothic.
Call me dumb but I didn’t know the meaning of Moor until I read this theme and I didn’t know who Jane Eyre was.
And how would I write something Gothic if I can’t remember reading any?
I started reading about the elements of Gothic literature and learned a thing or two. Then I started creating a story in my head. Something about a haunted dormitory, of nightmares and thunder, of a headmistress, called Ms. Middleton and her curly hair that makes her head look like broccoli, and of a warm ball of sunshine called Peter and his horse-drawn potato wagon.
The story kept on playing in my head like I’m watching a Victorian Era-themed creepy movie and thought of what-ifs and whatnots for my story.
And then I felt a chill passing down my spine. I got scared of the story that I, myself, brewed inside my head. Not that my story was so good it can scare people, I am just a scaredy-cat who can be scared by even the stupidest horror film ever made. The story would not leave my mind so I had to think about something else.
I thought of a personal writing project but my thoughts went rushing back to that Gothic story. So I took my phone and played Jumpy Jumpy that says Can you beat me? With a smirking emoji wearing sunglasses. I played and played until I beat my highest score but that didn’t help me. I turned on the light and opened the book that I’ve been reading for days. There are just a few pages to read, and thought if I had to finish it. But then I remembered, I was reading to fall asleep and not to do a reading spree.
It was already 2 am and my muscles started shivering not from the cold but exhaustion brought about by lack of sleep for two nights in a row.
I closed my eyes and tried and tried to sleep. But my mind kept racing between the slimy green jumping ball asking me if I could beat it, the scary Gothic story and Peter and Ms. Middleton, my other personal writing project, and the story of the three American Law students graduating with over half a million dollar student loans.
And from those thoughts, my mind drifted into an even more chaotic world of robots and events I could not recall until my first and second alarm went off. I snoozed both.
The third alarm came after ten minutes and the bright sunshine seeped through the curtained window. It’s time to really wake up and come back to reality.
featured image by Krista Mangulsone via Unsplash