Sleep (Short Story)

My eyelids were heavy as Sleep once again beckoned me into her outstretched arms, smiling seductively at me, making her invitation seem appealing. I stared at her motionlessly, entranced by her. She was dressed in a long, lavish black dress which wrapped elegantly around her perfectly sculptured body, embracing her curves as naturally as if it were a mere extension of her alabaster skin.

But it was her eyes that captivated me.  The usually white sclera of her eyes was jet-black and the irises of her eyes were completely white. The longer I gazed into her eyes, the more I realized that she was slowly and subtly drawing me under her power and how little I could do to stop her.

I yawned. Sleep raised her hand and gestured toward me with her slender index finger. I wavered slightly but steadied myself, hoping she hadn’t noticed. She chuckled softly to herself, clearly amused by my weak attempts to ward her off. Her arms fell to her sides and she stood patiently, waiting for me to crack.

I shook my head, trying to resist her unearthly beauty. Sleep wouldn’t be deterred. She smiled even wider as I faltered, inclining her head ever so slightly.

I rubbed my eyes. I must resist, I thought. I must stay awake.

My head drooped downward toward my chest for a brief moment and snapped back upward the next. I took a single step toward her. I shook my head again, trying to stop myself from embracing the darkness and succumbing to Sleep’s seductive charms. I wouldn’t be enthralled by her. I couldn’t. I would remain awake. It was very important that I remained alert…for reasons that I couldn’t even remember anymore.

“You are powerless to resist.” She said through lips as black as the night sky that hung above me.

Sleep was taunting me now. She wrapped a lock of her long, black hair around her finger, twirling it playfully, still not taking her eyes off of me. No matter, I thought. Her words would not faze me. I wouldn’t let them.

I yawned again. I took another step towards her. I couldn’t seem to stop her from drawing me in, closer to Sleep, closer to the darkness. My head drooped again and snapped back upward, slower this time.

Another step.

I blinked a few times, the weight on my eyelids almost too difficult to overcome and with each blink, I was brought one step closer to her.

I was now within arm’s reach and was able to fully appreciate the power emanating from her. Her smile hadn’t changed as we stood eye to eye. She chuckled softly and waited for me to take that final step, right into her waiting arms.

My head drooped again and my eyes sealed shut as I was now completely unable to fight against the weight that pressed down upon them. Sleep had overcome me and she knew it. Her arms stretched out to her sides again, inviting me into her comforting embrace. I stepped toward her once more and her arms closed warmly around me, caressing me gently but tightly.

I could not escape.

“I knew you would come to your senses eventually.” Sleep said to me sweetly. “Now that you’re here, I’d like to introduce you to someone very close to me.”

Sleep released me from her embrace momentarily, wrapping her right arm around my shoulders and gesturing out to her side with the left. I looked in the direction she indicated and there appeared a dark, hooded figure, a man from the looks of things but I couldn’t identify him because he was entirely cloaked in a dark robe.

He was holding something. A wooden tool I know I’ve seen before but…part of it was obscured by Sleep herself. I peered out from Sleep’s grasp and saw the entirety of the weapon. I could swear I knew what it was but I couldn’t put my finger on it. That…long, curved blade extending from the top of the long wooden pole…now I had an idea what it was. Or at least I thought I did. It was…

A scythe?

I looked back at Sleep, confused. Her smile hadn’t changed from earlier.

“This is my cousin. He has been known by many names through the ages but he is most commonly known as…Death.” And then it hit me…but it was far too late to do anything about it.

In that instant, my car burst through a metal barrier and drove over the steep cliff, plunging down into the valley below.