Introduction: Today’s inspiration is kind of obvious. I’m an awful sleeper, and the joys of a good eight hours are sealed off from me. It does, however, give one plenty of time to think (some would say too much time), and occasionally brings with it a spark of inspiration, enjoy.

02:00. The time shone across the room like it was mocking me. 02:00 and I was still awake, staring into the darkness, my brain ticking away and refusing to shut off despite the fact I had to face the world in a few measly hours.

Not that this was anything new. Long nights spent desperately craving the oblivion of unconsciousness are like old friends by now. I’ve always marvelled at people who can sleep. How do they lie their head down and drift off like that, making it look like it is the most natural thing in the world? I had an ex-girlfriend who was an incredible sleeper, one second she’d be awake, the next she was gone, and I was left next to her, wishing I could join.

Although, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t have its uses. A person can do a lot in the early hours of the morning. I usually wake up at 4 am, my brain insisting it is rested despite all evidence to the contrary, and that gives me quite a lot of time to play with. The world around you is at rest, and there is mischief to be achieved.

For 4 am is the perfect time to walk the streets of this city. It’s dark and quiet, the only other people out being those stumbling home late, oblivious to those around them, and the occasional delivery man caught up in their musings. It’s the perfect time to weave a spell or dig out a secret, using the darkness of the night to dip into the murkiness that surrounds us all.

In those quiet hours before the world awakes, I can dance down the street, summoning demons to caper beside me or imps to do my bidding. I can slip into buildings, like a cloud of gas, to create chaos for no reason other than to delight in its creation. Or I can go deeper. I can go deeper and talk to those who do not walk on our Earth but know our secrets. Those who whisper in my ear and show me things that you would never believe.

And I have in the past wondered whether the two might be related. Perhaps when you slide into the dark pool and start drawing from its well, you are giving up the right to a peaceful night. When you’ve sketched your circles and called out to the beyond, you have crossed over a line that humanity is supposed to leave alone, and sacrifice the right to rest in doing so.

So, as I lie in bed at night, craving oblivion while the shadows in the corner of my room dance and whisper darkness into my ear, I wonder if it’s worth it? If I could go back, would I do it all the same, with the knowledge that I would face so many long nights, lost inside my head and desperate to be let free?

The answer? Of course, I would. The safety and calm of the day are for others, while the chaos and fear of night will be my realm. To give one’s self over to the dark and accept it is a beautiful thing, and while the clock screams 02:00 across the room and I know that no rest will come tonight, I still smile. For when there is no rest, there is mischief to be done.

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