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Night No. 3

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Henry woke with a jolt. At first he wasn’t sure why he was awake, but then he heard it. The extremely unpleasant, earth-rattling snore that came from the bed above him.

Henry groaned and pulled his pillow from behind his head to cover his ears. This was only their third night at the oil fields in Alaska and he had barely been able to sleep for any of them. Henry was aware of Walt’s snoring problem but had never considered it his problem until now. Work in the field was exhausting, and the grueling work combined with the inability to get a good night’s sleep was slowly driving Henry insane. Henry wondered how Walt managed to stay asleep while his body managed to make such an unholy noise.

“Walt,” Henry whispered, careful not speak to loudly as there were other workers who shared the same room with them. Although he didn’t know why he bothered. Who could actually be sleep with Walt snoring so loudly?

“Walt.”

No reply. No movement from the top bunk.

Henry rolled over and looked at the digital clock that sat on the box he used as a bedside table. 12:39am. He had to get back to work at 4:30. Time was running out and so was his patience.

“WALT.” Henry stood up from his bed and smacked Walt with his pillow. Walt snorted and lifted his head in surprise.

“Henry? What the hell?”

“You were snoring.”

“Oh. Sorry. I do that.”’

“Well, stop.”

“…’kay.” Walt replied sleepily. The bunk bed creaked as Henry got back in bed. The clock read 12:41. If he fell asleep right now, he could get a little over three hours.

Better than nothing I guess, Henry thought.

--

Thirty minutes. Thirty minutes was all it took for Walt to start snoring again. All Henry wanted was sleep. One hour. Two hours tops. How unreasonable of a request was a few hours of actual, uninterrupted sleep? Henry stared at the clock as he felt his anger build. Normally, something like this would not anger him, but he was so tired. How much time was left before he lost his mind?

Silently, Henry rose from the bottom bunk. He grabbed his pillow and raised it above Walt’s face.

Walt jumped when Henry’s pillow hit his face full force. Walt flailed his arms and elbowed what he assumed was Henry’s face. Walt heard Henry gasp “fuck!” as the pillow fell away and Walt was able to sit up.

“ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR GODDAMN MIND?” Walt yelled.

“PROBABLY, YES.” Henry scowled as he gripped his now bloodied nose, “I have not had more than eight hours of sleep within the last thirty-six hours and it is your fault.”

“My fault?”

“Yes, your fault. I cannot get any rest while you make such a hideous noise.”

“What? I don’t- oh. The snoring?” The room was dark but Walt could still feel the angry look Henry shot him. “Geez, Henry, I’m sorry. Why didn’t you wake me? I could just turn over. Usually that helps.”

“I did wake you! Why did you not do that earlier?”

Walt sounded confused, “You…woke me earlier? I don’t remember that.”

“You must be kidding.”

“No, man. I don’t remember, Look, I’ll just turn over. Sorry about your nose…….”

“It is fine,” Henry’s tone softened from angry to apologetic, “I did just attempt to suffocate you.”