Sleepless   by Cyn Balog

By Cyn Balog

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Seducing someone to sleep when they’re clearly not ready is strictly forbidden; however, sometimes it is necessary when a charge ignores the call of exhaustion for too long. Still, this unpleasant task is not something to brag of, and certainly not something to laugh about. “What are you doing here? ” She points at the window. ” I nod and say as pleasantly as I can, “Well, I have much to teach my trainee, as I’m sure you’ll understand, so …” She nods sadly, gives the boy a doe-eyed look, and disappears.

Take your Prozac. ” People in the crowd start to look at one another, confused. Because of the wall of guys in front of me, I’m not sure what’s going on until I hear a full sentence: “Who is giving the eulogy? ” It appears that Mrs. Colburn has gone mute, or else has forgotten that she asked me, or else is picturing how she might slay me, because she’s staring at the coffin as if attempting to levitate it. ” I say, squeezing past the Michael Jordan wannabes, waving a crinkled sheet of paper in my hand.

Both times I’ve been in the newspaper, the first when I was seven, it was front-page news. The kind of news people whisper about, and not in a good way, so that all you want to do is close your curtains and hide under your bed. The kind of news you wish you could run away from. Before, they eyed Front-Page Julia with pity laced with fascination. Now there’s a little shock woven in there as well, as if I’ve finally proven them right and lost my marbles. If I could, I’d tell them, I thought it was a joke!

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