Flash Fiction: Sleep (255 words)

There was a good moon that night, bright like white fire, happily fat, and floating high. It painted the night in brighter tones than usually, turned it friendly in a way that spread rumors about the coming sunrise. The night seemed destined to be shorter than usual, and more sweet for all the white and gray that laid calmly between the still, black shadows.

And Olissa glared at the moon, arms crossed over her knees, leaning back on the rooftop.

There were some nights built for trouble, and there were others built for trouble. She liked both, but only the former was good for working, for sneaking, for stealing and escaping and earning.

She was dark herself, brown curly hair, deep-tanned skin, brown eyes and clothes that couldn’t keep a light color for more than a few days in the back alleys she liked to run. She could hide in the former, under a cloudy sky when the moon was sleeping somewhere on the other side of the world.

But the latter, lit up, painted in shadows that never moved, pointed fingers at her. She was the only pitch-black thing that tiptoed, while all the other shadows stood on flat feet and never crossed the lines of their tides. She was the shadow that broke all the rules.

And the moon, all white and toothy and grinning, beamed down on her.

Gotcha, it said.

“Yeah,” she muttered, and wrapped her arms tighter around her feet, shifted to brace herself more firmly against the slanted roof. She tilted her head down to keep the shining face from seeing the return smile twisting her lips, and glared up through her lashes. “Just wait. I can stay up longer.”

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