Wednesday, September 22, 2010


YAFF Muse is a weekly blog series featuring some YA Fiction Fanatics members. In this series, we'll post original short stories created from an image meant to inspire our Muse. Hope you enjoy! And don't forget to check out the other YAFFers participating in this series (links below).

Photo Credit: The Room By trubluboy

DAY 25 - 1:00 AM
I still can’t sleep. The doctors prescribed heavy-duty drugs, but it only makes my handwriting shitty. It’s warm and I’ve opened and closed the window five times already. Maybe I should open it again.

DAY 35 – 2:30 AM
Someone followed me home from school today. I don’t know them. I told mom, but she said I must have been imagining things.

DAY 82 – 4:00 AM
No one believes me anymore. They’ve sent me to shrink after shrink and still they say it’s all in my head. But the people, I know there’s someone after me. I can feel them watching, always watching. Oh God, why can’t I sleep?

DAY 120 – 3:00 AM
They’ve pulled me out of school. Good. I’m glad. Yes, I’m glad. There are monsters in school. They lurk in the hallways, in the shadows. Mom is telling me to turn my light out, to go to sleep. But doesn’t she know? I can’t sleep. The shadows will get me if I sleep. I’m keeping my lights on. I don’t care what she says.

DAY 144 – 5:20 AM
I haven’t slept in eight days. Not even an hour. Not even a minute. I used to get at least an hour. But now, nothing. Wait. There’s something in the walls. A scratching. I call to mom but she doesn’t come. I think she’s starving me too. I haven’t been out of the room… there’s a scratching again. I call again, but she still doesn’t come. My hipbones hurt.

DAY 250 – 2:00 AM
My tongue is thick. I can’t talk anymore, who am I? What happened to me? Where did my mom go? I hear footsteps but I can’t remember how to walk. My eyes won’t close. They come in and put drops in them, but I can’t blink.

DAY 300 – 5:30 AM
Sleep comes.

(c) 2010, MB
As we’re gearing up for the creepy fall, horror is on my mind. And usually, I don’t give a reason behind the muse, but this week’s is inspired not only by the picture, but also the most terrifying thing I can imagine – not sleeping. A few years ago I read a book by D.T. Max called The Family That Couldn’t Sleep. It’s about a genetic disease causing a malformed protein or Prion (like Mad Cow) that causes the victim to not sleep for anywhere from seven months to a full year or longer. Things bumping in the night can’t hold a candle to that kind of horror – at least for me.

Don't forget to check out my fellow YAFFer's stories based on the same photo:

R.M. Gilbert
Rebekah Purdy
Traci Kenworth
Vanessa Barger
Jenn Fischetto


  1. Min,
    I love the journal style you used. Very cool idea, the "not" sleeping route. And it was creepy (LOL).

  2. O.M.G. Loved the style, the voice, the character and circumstance. And it read so quickly too. This is one of my favorites in the series so far. Great job!

  3. Thanks ladies. :) I'm glad you liked it. Yeah, the four stages of FFI really suck each compounding on the next: 1. insomnia, paranoia, panic attacks up to 4 months, 2. hallucinations for up to 5 months, 3. completely unable to sleep for up to 3 months and then 4. dementia and unresponsiveness that can linger for another full year. Super creepy.

  4. Awesome, Min!! Being a sometimes insomniac, I can identify with such.

  5. Very cool! I didn't know the stages of insomnia and didn't think this was about not sleeping at first. Very, very cool. Great stuff, Min.

  6. Well, now you know my horror... because I'm always being kicked awake in the middle of the night by you. :)

  7. Entirely drawn in here, and I love it. The hipbones hurting was a perfect little detail. Very well crafted.