The Sleep Thief – Friday Fictioneers, January 2017

Copyright Dale Rogerson

Copyright Dale Rogerson

The sleep-thief pauses at Becca Johnson’s door, sensing she’s staring into the darkness, believing every breath her last.  Across the corridor, the retired schoolteacher will be fretting, anticipating a long-deserved police visit, while in the adjacent room Ellen Ross is praying for a soldier grandson missing in action.

A profitable night in prospect.

Later, the sleep-thief pauses at Reception, opening its swag-bag of somnolence to lighten the load a little, and the already drowsy night-nurse slumps, her lighted cigarette dropping into the wastebin.

The sleep-thief shrugs, before strolling off towards the dawn.

It’s not like the old folks are asleep, is it?

A cheery little tale for the insomniacs amongst us.  🙂  Friday Fictioneers, so named because we meet on Wednesdays, is on the road once again, with Rochelle Wisoff-Fields directing the traffic from her purple bandwagon.  Thank you, officer.

About Sandra

I cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and write fiction and poetry. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
This entry was posted in Friday Fictioneers, Just Sayin'. Bookmark the permalink.

96 Responses to The Sleep Thief – Friday Fictioneers, January 2017

  1. neilmacdon says:

    What a captivating noir fairy-tale! The delicate inking-in of the stories behind each door was masterly. And the blaze beyond the end of the story extended out past your 100 words

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Ooooh I love the concept of a sleep-thief!! Superbly done 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Graham Lawrence says:

    Wow. A charming and fascinating tale. Very enjoyable. I’ve already read it a few times.

    Like

  4. As a fellow insomniac this would have made me laugh if I wasn’t too tired to do so!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Sandra,

    I had a visit from that wretch. I love the concept and you wrote it beautifully. I suspect what happens next isn’t pretty.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  6. michael1148humphris says:

    A lovely night time story, just perfectly crafted.

    Like

  7. The sandman’s evil stepmother! Nicely told.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Iain Kelly says:

    An excellent story, I would love to know more about the sleep-thief – what do they do with the sleep they steal? The beginnings of a dark fairytale. Well done.

    Like

  9. Sarah Ann says:

    Love the idea of this. Of course the old don’t sleep so will escape the flames. Nice of the sleep-thief to care and think ahead. Wonderfully evocative.

    Like

  10. Love the sense in this… I think my story took the perspective of being subject to the evil ghost of insomnia… wonder if there will be anyone left with the cigarette in the waste bin.

    Like

  11. Lata Sunil says:

    Wow.. Loved this take on the prompt.

    Like

  12. There is a sleepy feel to this story which belies the thief. One of your best, Sandra.

    Like

  13. wmqcolby says:

    Woooooow! Sinister, sinister, sinister. Irony is SO good. Love it!

    Five out of five grains of sleep thief swag bag sand.

    Like

  14. Joe Owens says:

    Oh Sandra, thank you for explaining who it is that keeps snatching my Zs. I hate when my normal sleep time is shortened because I know it is gone forever. I agree with Neil that your story was woven with masterly care!

    Like

  15. Tamal says:

    Splendid. It’s like an anti-thesis of Neil Gaiman’s Morpheus. You should write further adventures Dream Thief.

    Like

  16. Sightsnbytes says:

    Nice one. The sleep thief visited my room last night….managed a few winks and that was about all.

    Like

  17. writelindy says:

    An intriguing story Sandra.

    Like

  18. Dale says:

    That wretched fellow (because no woman would do such a thing) keeps hanging around my door as well. Lovely take!

    Like

  19. James says:

    So that’s the son of a gun who wakes me up far too early in the morning.

    I agree with Tamal. The concept is worthy of being expanded and I’m jealous I didn’t think of it myself. 😉

    Like

  20. I have found the way to combat the sleep-thief is just to accept you are not going to sleep that night. She is less powerful then! A great story with so much that could be explored.

    Like

  21. paulmclem says:

    Great idea, superbly executed. See you next week.

    Like

  22. Lynn Love says:

    Each little snapshot heartbreaking in its own way. And we’ve all been there from time to time, a victim of the sleep thief. Written with your usual deft touch, Sandra

    Like

  23. Quite imagination with lots of detail. Well done.

    Like

  24. Well done. I think we’ve all made acquaintance with this wretch.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. ceayr says:

    Last week I officially ran out of superlatives for your writing.
    This week surpasses all.
    Brilliant concept, superb vignettes, masterly finish.
    I have never read a better 100-word story anywhere, ever.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Wonderfully clever and haunting. Might I add that I’m not sure I can sleep now–– worrying about the night nurse’s lit cigarette in that bin. Damn you.

    Like

  27. draliman says:

    Wonderful concept. I like the sleep-thief’s shrug, tells us a lot about its character.

    Like

  28. So, there is a sleep thief after all and I blamed the Menopause fairy. Now I have to apologize to her 🙂

    Like

  29. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover says:

    A masterful weaving of the individual stories. Very creative.

    Like

  30. Great writing. The sleep thief keeps company with the “self doubt” witch at my house.
    Sweet dreams Sandra,
    Tracey

    Like

  31. Love it. Eerie and mysterious. So much in so few words. Great work!

    Like

  32. plaridel says:

    this reminds me of a co-worker who could sleep in the wee hours of the morning while standing up. he would go to a corner with a tape cartridge in one hand and fall asleep like a log. if you didn’t know him you’d think he was a statue waiting to be picked up.

    Like

  33. handmadejewelryhaven says:

    I was always the child that would sneak to the living room TV to watch the creepy late night flick. I remember watching ‘Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte’. I was 6(?)
    Couldn’t sleep for a month after that.
    Thanks for reminding me how much I love the scary stuff. 🙂
    – Lisa

    Like

  34. oh,my that was wonderful!! Evocative, and just a tinge of evil 🙂

    Like

  35. Liz Young says:

    So clever – and that ending was a tad nasty!

    Like

  36. This is so original …and creepy. I can just see that sleep-thief sliding, smoke-like through keyholes and gaps in curtains. You are such a clever storyteller.

    Like

  37. Maddie's Mama says:

    “opening its swag-bag of somnolence” I love that.

    Like

  38. rgayer55 says:

    The only time the sleep-thief keeps me awake is when there’s a story brewing between my ears or I have taken a laxative and am afraid to fart. That’s the worst.

    Your post today is my all-time favorite so far and will stick with me for a long time. Your writing is so smooth and graceful it just sweeps the reader along. You make it look so easy, when we all know it’s not.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Jan Brown says:

    Great story! I’ve known for some time that there must be a sleep-thief; I just never caught him in action! Is it wrong that I loved the ending to your story? 😮

    Like

  40. gahlearner says:

    Wow, this is wonderful and creeps me out. The description of the residents alone is great, but the concept of the sleep thief and what goes on after the theft just blows me away.

    Like

  41. Laurie Bell says:

    Ooooo creepy! A great tale well told. Hope i sleep tonight

    Like

  42. I will have to tell my insomniac hubby about the sleep thief. : )
    A tale many can relate to and would find humor in your door by door descriptions.
    I enjoyed this very much, Sandra. Have a lovely weekend.
    Isadora 😎

    Like

  43. Michael Wynn says:

    The concept of the sleep thief is fantastic and I love the way having stolen the sleep, he then uses it elsewhere, to mischievous effect in this instance but, I like the idea he could deprive those not deserving of it and, Robin Hood like, give it to the just.

    Like

  44. Dahlia says:

    The sleep thief is a rather frequent visitor at my place too 🙂

    Like

  45. HonieBriggs says:

    Whoa! We were on the same wavelength, Sandra. The sleep thief visited me two nights in a row this week.

    Like

  46. What a nasty imp. He’s made things a lot worse. Great writing, Sandra. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Like

  47. Dark and brilliant, Sandra. I loved it

    Like

I'd love to hear your views; it reassures me I'm not talking to myself.

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