I slid open the balcony door.

The midnight breeze swept into my room, bringing along with it the post-storm scent of petrichor.The clouds had dissolved away – as if someone had just pulled a pair of grey curtains from the sky, revealing a starry canvas behind.Fat raindrops that were splattered across my window refracted the otherwise unbroken view of cars and buildings outside: a kaleidoscope of city lights.

It could not have been a better night for a stroll in park.

Yet here I was, sitting on a desk with a cup of bitter tea in one hand (I wasn’t much of a coffee drinker), a pencil in the other, and my eyes staring blankly at a laptop screen. Slowly but ominously, an Ikea-bought wall clock ticked the seconds away, reminding me how much (or rather, how little) time I had.

The room was an ocean of scrunched-up paper, each scrap scribbled with unused ideas. Still unable to type a single word, I reached out for the assignment sheet and re-read the task: “Design an effective module for the improvements to communal…..”
“Designate an effervescent modulus for the impoverishment to communications…”

It made less and less sense with every read.

“Degrade an offensive modulate for improfanity to commy anal…”
“Degrandeur an offroading moby dick for impolite comrades…”

Like a camera lens slowly losing focus, my eyes trailed off as their heavy lids flickered downwards. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep.

Then, I had a thought. What is everyone else doing? Is the team ready? Is the project really happening? Did they procrastinate as well?

I groaned and repeatedly slammed my head onto the desk.

This isn’t working out, I thought. It’s due tomorrow, and I haven’t even written a single word. What if I miss the deadline? What if I fail the assignment? What if I disappoint the team?

I was jolted back to reality by a shrill howl, followed by the sounds of shattering glass and falling metal.

Hands still hovering above the keyboard, I peered past the raindrops that still stained the window and saw the monstrous Mr. Albert cursing at an equally monstrous Great Dane. One would think a frail 80-year old would barely stand a chance against such a beast, but Mr. Albert being Mr. Albert, the animal was reduced to a mere puppy.

“Get the **** away, you huge ****! Don’t touch my ****ing dog, or I’ll make you **** yourself, ya hear?”

In one of his hands was a red leash, torn at the end. The man (or, more accurately, the creature) turned to a frizzly-haired lady behind him, and lifted a finger. It began waggling at an incredible speed, like a metronome set to an absurd tempo.

“Is this your ****ing dog?? If it is, keep the **** away from my ****ing house and my ****ing pets!!”

The lady shook her head slowly, in what I can only describe as a mixture of petrifying fear and obfuscating bewilderment.

“THEN CALL THE ****ING PEST CONTROL OR SOME ****ING THING! MY ****ING CORGI RAN THE **** AWAY FROM ME BECAUSE OF THIS ****ING ANIMAL!”

I couldn’t help but chuckle. Geez, that man needs his meds.

Sighs escaping with each heavy breath, I slid back into the armchair. The cursor blinked desperately, waiting for words to enter the document. Blink. Blink. Blink. My eyelids began flitting to the steady rhythm.
Blink. Blink. Blink.
Sleep. Sleep. Sleep.

Maybe, I should let it all go. Head off to dreamland. See the sights again.

I allowed the night to claim my sight.  Every tick of the clock echoed like footsteps in a hallway. The banshee-like wails of one Mr. Albert dissolved into the darkness. The frigid air from the balcony swirled around me, dancing in a choreographed ballet, drowning me. I felt the tides sweep in, the carpet beneath my feet washing away to reveal warm sand. Snowflakes descended from the ceiling, each crystal carrying a foreign voice.

The soothing whisper of the midnight wind. The melody of wind chimes. The comforting tunes of those long gone.

I let my hand rest on the keyboard. Maybe, I should just let time take me.

Maybe, I’ll just zzzzzzzzzzz