Written for the prompt "Chill" at [info]open_on_sunday

These have been revised. Turns out my word count application was off, and it'll bug me if these don't come in at 100 words exactly. The originals are here:

Somniloquist and Insomniac



Xander opens the window and lets the chill of the night air wash over him. On the bed, he waits for the dry heat of the electric blanket to seep into his skin for a moment before he pulls the plug. Safety first.

He turns his face into the pillow, away from the window, and pretends not to listen for the familiar flick, puff, exhale.

He's been told he talks in his sleep, and maybe it's true because he knows if he says anything else tonight, it'll be "come in", and he'll pretend to be asleep when he says it.


It's not every night. Just every night this week. Spike's steps crunch and crackle on frost and dry leaves. Only cold, dead things out tonight.

The window's open again, though it's been weeks since the summer heat left the air.

Flick. Puff. Exhale. Another night. Spike waits until the cigarette burns his fingertips before discarding it. He watches it fall, contemplates the full pack in his pocket and the long hours ahead. His hand brushes the barrier as he forces the glass panel downward.

He knows enough of human frailty to recognize the October chill for the deathtrap it is.

The End

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