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Insomniac

By Kilonova All Rights Reserved ©

Horror / Thriller

I

Have you ever wondered why yawns are contagious? Everyone has questioned it at some point in their lives. It's just always been one of those mysteries that no one understands. So simple, yet so elusive. Until now...

It began with an innocent yawn.

The monotonous, endless tick tocking of the clock seemed to echo against my skull, each vibration gnawing at nerves. My window was cracked open, offering a suffocating warm breeze and the infuriating buzz of cicadas. It was almost unbearable...the blandness. The redundancy. My eyes longed to close. My mind ached for release from reality. But neither would ever happen...

I don't remember much from the beginning, truth be told. I don't think many people do. Memory; one of the first casualties as the brain shuts down, as the grey matter begins to shrink, the cells lazily commiting harakiri. A haze begins to form...a murky shadow cast across your thoughts...and nothing remains but ever-persisent grogginess. The only thing I ever think about now is sleep. The only thing I crave is release...

No one really understood what was happening in those first few weeks. No one understood that the incessant yawning was actually a virus, once dormant, but now unleashed on the world. People still went to work, ableit with dark circles under their eyes. But their routines became slower, mired in exhaustion. Their steps looked dragged down by gravity. The skin on some began to sag and droop with scaly patches of dead cells. It was like witnessing the living dead...

And then the deaths started happening. Freak accidents. Pedestrians struck and smeared into the pavement. Surgeries gone horribly wrong, organs ripped apart by the flick of a sleepy wrist. A pilot even crashed directly into a skyscraper, but this time the calls of terrorism were quieted. There was something much fouler at play, and people began to realize this was much more than coincidence.

The first theories involved the Sun - something about the magnetic field flipping and reducing the amount of melatonin, destroying our circadian rhythms in the process. But this was quickly ruled out by researchers. Next, they attempted administering chemical tests on people, trying to force the brain to sleep. One such "test" included gassing an entire crowd of restless people, but rather than going unconscious the subjects simply died. When this failed is when the real panic began. At that point it had been three weeks, and the symptoms of infection were beyond typical insomnia. The world was becoming a literal waking nightmare...

People roamed the streets chasing shadows, conversing with schizophrenic voices in their own heads. The freak accidents became more than unlucky circumstance - they became targeted. Violent psychosis was spreading. There was murder rampant everywhere. Corpses lined the roads. And how lucky those corpses seemed...they were finally at rest. Finally at peace. I don't remember much now, but I do remember this insanity unfolding...

...and now, as the monotonous, endless ticking of the clock continues, I can't help but long for death. I crave that eternal sleep, release from this endless cycle of despair. I don't know how much longer I can endure...how much longer before my sanity gives out and gives way to the creeping death inside of me. I can already feel it beginning...not with a yawn, but with the incessant, psychotic sound of a laugh...

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