This is a very true story.

Trish lay in bed, exhausted, frustrated, and sad. She wanted to go the fuck to sleep, but the smooth velvety comfort of unconsciousness simply would not come for her. It’s not that she wasn’t tired: she was. It’s not that she wasn’t comfortable: she was. It was the fact that her two friends, Dane and Gian, were downstairs screeching and yelling like two hyperactive monkeys. They were in a kind of indoor courtyard and the sounds would echo and amplify, a fact of which they were well aware. The sounds would pierce Trish’s brain at irregular intervals and at such loud decibels that it would yank her away from sleep’s warm embrace. Trish could hear the tinny sounds of some show through their laptop. Whatever they were watching was tickling their fancy mightily, whether because it was hilariously funny or because they were magnificently drunk, Trish didn’t know. She just knew she wanted to go the fuck to sleep but she couldn’t because every three seconds Gian would yell “YAAAAAAAASSSSSSS!” and Dane would follow that up with an “I LAAAAAAAV HER!” This had been going on for about an hour so far.

Trish was a complete and total monster if she didn’t get enough sleep. She tossed and turned and thought about her options. She could stick her head out the door and call down to them to please be a little quieter, but that would necessitate her getting out of bed. She could turn up the white noise she was playing on spotify, but it was already at full blast, not strong enough to mask their piercing braying. She could shove the pillow over her head deep into her ears, but that was physically impossible. Cut her ears off? She didn’t have a knife, plus she would still have the holes in her head and it would piss her off if she couldn’t wear earrings anymore but still had to hear them trying to wake the dead. She could continue to try ignoring it; surely they couldn’t keep it up for much longer? Don’t call me Shirley, she thought to herself, and giggled. She was fucking losing it.

‘HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH,’ yelled Gian in delight. “SCHKRAAAAAAAAAYYYYYY,” said Dane decisively. Trish flopped onto her left side, then onto her right side, then back to her left like an indecisive pancake. I want. To go. The fuck. To sleep. She felt like she was going to cry, you know that feeling? When you want to sleep so badly but you just can’t get there? When your eyes are so gritty with the sandman’s dust that you can’t keep them closed but you can’t keep them open? She tried to meditate but found herself anticipating the next loud noise and she couldn’t concentrate. She started counting backwards, slowly, from ten thousand.

Nine thousand nine hundred and ninety nine.

Nine thousand nine hundred and ninety eight.

Nine thousand nine hundred and ninety seven.


Trish’s eyes flew open. There was nothing for it, she would have to get out of bed.

“Guys? Guys can you keep it down, down there?” she called from her bedroom door.

“MEEEEHHH EHHHHH EHHHHH EHHHHHHHH,” she heard from below. ‘OLLALLLALLOOOLLLLLLLLAOOLLLAAALLLLOOO,” as well.  “DANE! GIAN! PLEASE KEEP IT DOWN, IT’S LATE!” she shouted authoritatively. There was a moment of silence. She waited a breath or two and then, hoping beyond hope, she crawled back into bed. There were five minutes of blessed peace and she was starting to feel that familiar fog of sleep starting to take over. But then. “YAAAAAAAASSSSSSHALLELUJAHAMEEEENNNNNNQUEEEENNNN!” from Dane and a “WOOOOPPPPPADOOOOPADOOOOPA,”from Gian. For fuck’s sake! Thought Trish. Really, she should down and say something to them directly. But then she would have to turn on the light, find her shoes, go down the stairs, have a confrontation, all of which would possibly leave her even more awake than before. She tried putting on her noise canceling headphones and playing some ocean waves. This succeeded in calming her down somewhat, but, unbelievably, the wails from downstairs would still pierce through. It was like falling asleep at the beach and then having a seagull squawk directly in your ear. Plus it was impossible to sleep with bulky headphones. She ripped them off her head and lay there for a while, imagining all the ways she would avenge her sleepless night. She would bang a spoon against a pot in Dane’s room at 7 in the morning. She would dash a bucket of ice water on Gian while she slept. Trish sighed. She would do none of those things, just like she wouldn’t. fall. The fuck. asleep.

“CRAAAAAAAAAAAARK,’ said Gian from downstairs. “MALARKY!” Dane countered, followed by loads and loads of drunken laughter. That’s enough of this bullshit, thought Trish. She yanked her blanket to the side, turned her light on and stomped down the stairs. She was fuming, enraged, sleep-deprived and also, annoyingly, kind of hungry. She wanted to go the fuck to sleep! With each step, Trish grew and grew: six feet, seven, eight feet, nine. Her spine began to stretch and bend, humongous spikes ripping through them from the base up to her neck. Her mouth distended and elongated like the maw of a crocodile, filled with rows and rows of sharp, spiky teeth. Her muscles ripped and bulged and burst through her skin, growing more muscles and more muscles, muscles on muscles. Her tread became heavier as her feet widened and grew, the toenails thickening and blackening and curling over like claws. Her hands were as big as cinder blocks and just as hard and black smoke steamed up from the top of her head. She snarled and growled and stomped downstairs and flung open the living room door so hard she tore it off its hinges. Dane and Gian’s heads whipped up, the whites of their eyes big and bright. The monster looked from one to the other, then put the heavy wooden door in its teeth and chomped and chomped and chomped until it was nothing but sawdust on the floor. Gian began to pee. A tear escaped from Dane’s left eye. The beast opened its mouth; saliva, black and thick like oil, dripped from its jaws.

GO. THE FUCK. TO BED. It said in a voice so deep, so full of menace and gravel and evil it seemed to have dug its way from hell. Dane and Gian sat frozen on the sofa, their breathing ragged, the tinny sounds from the laptop still springing forth. NOOOOWWW! Screamed the beast, and with that Dane and Gian ran helter skelter through the living room and up the stairs and slammed their doors. Gian left a trail of pee the entire way, Dane trembled and quivered beneath his duvet and wept for his mother. The beast sighed and made its way back up the stairs. With each step, its feet got smaller, its spine straightened, its spikes disappeared, it shrunk and shrunk. Trish felt a small twinge of guilt for scaring her friends so badly. The house would smell of pee for sure. But as she lay her head on her pillow, she listened and listened and listened, and all she heard was the blessed sound of a country silence: wind in the trees, a nightingale singing to his lover, a chorus of crickets serenading a frog.

Nine thousand nine hundred and ninety six

Nine thousand nine hundred and ninety five

Nine thousand nine hundred and ninety four

And slowly, peacefully, eventually, Trish went the fuck to sleep.