Ah, sleep; he remembered that, a dim and distant memory of a past life. That was one thing they’d never warned him about, that he’d never have a good night’s sleep again. He was prepared for a life of crazy, tight deadlines, of working until his hand cramped up, but he wasn’t quite so prepared for the lack of sleep.

Each morning would arrive like a sledge hammer. His bed grasping at his body invitingly, beckoning him to remain in its warm embrace. But still the clock radio would blare its insipid pop anthems in an unrelenting fashion, forcing him up and out of bed.

He would laugh with his friends about his commute to work being such hard work, consisting as it did of the short walk down the stairs into his studio, the crisp packet strewn hovel in which he plied his trade. Yet, some days, that walk down the stairs felt every bit as difficult as the forty-five minute slog through rush hour traffic had done.

On a good day he might venture outside, take in the crisp morning air as he ran to the shop next door to buy some Cherry Coke to counteract the effects of two hours sleep. It took the edge off, kept him going, and the three or four words he exchanged with the woman behind the counter would have to stand in for real human contact. At least for now.

And yet he remained motivated, maybe because this was, after all, his dream job. Maybe it was because Spider-Man’s groin had never looked so damn good. Maybe it was for the thrill of seeing his name in print. Maybe it was dreams of Chicago in the summer, and a pair of soft, perfect lips.

Another day done, and he can return to brief, fitful sleep, and dreams of her.

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Ian Sharman
Ian is a freelance writer and artist. He founded Orang Utan Comics Studio with Peter Rogers in 2006, writes for their Eagle Award Nominated anthology Eleventh Hour and regularly inks for Panini’s Marvel Heroes comic.
Ian Sharman

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