Diaries of a Madman

When Discord breaks free of his stone prison, he proves to be much older and wiser than he was on the show. A being of ancient and unimaginable power, he forces Celestia to make a deal to save her little ponies. What she doesn't realize is that one of the terms of the deal is that she forgets ever making it. Enter Navarone, a poor human just trying to get by—or at least, to the ponies that's what he looks like. Pulled from his home by an accidental summoning from one Twilight Sparkle, Navarone is thrust into a world of ponies and more violence than he expected from such a peaceful seeming world. These are his adventures—with a few asides from everybody's favorite Lord of Chaos, of course.

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36. Chapter Thirty—Ouch, my everything

I woke up in darkness, on some manner of bed. I could barely twitch my wings under me. From the feel of it, I was on a segmented bed, one that had holes for my wings. Despite being in an unfamiliar place in unfamiliar circumstances and no idea of what was going on, it felt great to be able to lie on my back.

That’s when I discovered I was strapped down.

I cannot abide being bound.

My mind was almost ripped in two at that fact. It went something like this:

I was with friends. I’m here for a reason.

Bound! Not again! Never again!

Relax. Just relax. There has to be a reason.

Nothing justifies this! I hate being bound!

Keep calm, just keep calm.

I HATE BEING BOUND!

Fight the panic.

THIS ISN’T PANIC, THIS IS HATE! ANGER! RAGE! BREAK. ME. FREE!

It wasn’t a fun wait.

Nor was it an overly long one, which is good. I was nearing either insanity or a black rage, I think.

The door opened, letting blessed light in. Before I could see who it was or before they could say anything, I demanded, “Cut these binds and let me free!”

Whoever entered gasped, then cantered off. Dammit! Dammit dammit dammit!

I forced myself to calm down, to relax, and to stop straining against the binds. If they’re there, they’re there to keep me here.

After a wonderfully short wait, light flooded the chamber. I flinched and blinked in the glare, and wrenched myself free as the binds were released. I tried to slide off the bed, but magic forced me back.

“I didn’t bring you back from your deathbed to watch you kill yourself, Navarone,” Celestia’s voice said. That immediately caused me to relax.

“Never bind me. I don’t know what happened, but I think I would have preferred death to being tied down.”

“I’ll remember that next time,” she answered dryly. “Are you going to try to stand up again, or can I let you go?”

“Tell me what I am not allowed to do before you let me go so I don’t do it.”

“Feel free to sit up and stretch. Just don’t try your legs yet.” She released me and I did as she said. She smiled a bit as I popped all my joints.

“So, what the hell happened?”

“I think ‘hell’ might be an appropriate description for it, given what you’ve told me of the concept. What do you remember?”

“I flew up to Taya’s room and found her freaking out. Glowing eyes and convulsing. Terrified me. I rushed in to help her. When I touched her, she stopped and returned back to normal.”

“What do you remember about the room?”

“Before, it was pink. When I found her like that, it was black. For a second, I thought she did it on purpose. I suppose she recolored it on accident?”

“She didn’t paint it. She burned it. The entire room was hotter than a furnace. The only reason you’re alive is because she had some manner of shielding around herself that you entered when you got near her, as far as I can tell.”

“Huh. How long ago was this?”

“If I told you a century, how would you react?”

“I’d be kind of pissed.”

“A week. I was honestly expecting it to take at least two for you to even wake up, let alone be able to try to walk.”

“I heal fast. How’s Taya?”

“She hasn’t stopped crying since it happened. You really shouldn’t be up and about, Nav. You were minutes away from dying when Twilight got there to stabilize you. Even then, you still almost died. It took me and Luna both to bring you back. You should get full mobility back, eventually. Your hair and your feathers will take longer to grow back. I don’t even want to talk about the rest of the damage.” I saw her shudder. “I can bring Taya here if you want. She seemed to think you’d never want to see her again.”

“Bring me clothes and a mirror.” My stomach growled rather loudly. I ignored it. She didn’t move. “Please?”

“If I leave this room, you won’t try to stand up?”

“I won’t,” I lied. Her horn glowed.

“Nav…”

“I will not be locked in a bed. I am getting up and I am going to see my daughter. I will do that naked if I have to.”

“Fine! If you can stand up and walk to me, I’ll get your clothes. I don’t think you want a mirror yet.”

I slid out of bed. When my feet touched the floor, it felt like my knees were breaking. I couldn’t stop a flinch, but I clamped my mouth shut. I couldn’t keep my wings up and I could barely hold my feet. I managed a shuffle of sorts, and made my way slowly to Celestia, limp, featherless wings hanging behind me. I’m sure I looked like a fucking fallen angel. I stumbled slightly once, and Celestia was at my side faster than I made it to Taya a week before. I weakly pushed her away and made as if I was going to the door. She barred my path with a wing.

“You’ve proven your point. Nurse!” A pony stuck his head in the door and saw me standing and just gaped. “I know. Go get his belongings. I can’t believe I’m letting you do this…” she said when the nurse left.

“I’m sorry I’m such a bad influence on you, Princess. Where are we?”

“The palace. Twilight and Taya are nearby.” She probably expected me to go rushing off to find them if she told me where. At that point, the only rushing I was going to be able to do was to the ground.

“I don’t suppose you have some manner of cane?”

“Would a walker work?”

“…I’ll manage.” The nurse brought my bag. I assumed all the clothing I had been wearing was destroyed. In the bag was my crossbow—which I had thankfully left in my room—the naga knife, a few sets of clothes, and some bandoliers of throwing knives. I grabbed the clothes. I fell on my ass trying to put on pants, and it felt like I shattered my entire body when I did it. I couldn’t stop tears of pain from coming out, but I managed to not yell in pain. I slowly got up and finished getting dressed. Celestia just shook her head.

Since Celestia refused to bring me a mirror, I grabbed the naga knife. It somehow survived the fire, though the sheath was gone. It was still mirror-reflective, though.

I was bad. Very bad. My gasp of horror and revulsion alerted the princess, who snatched the knife from my hands with magic. I glared at her. “Don’t try to protect me from myself.” I relaxed my gaze a bit. “Taya is going to be terrified when she sees me…”

“If you think you look bad now, you should have seen yourself a week ago. Luna was almost sick when she did. Taya will be fine.” She passed the dagger back, and I slipped it into my pack and threw the pack into a corner. My entire body felt sunburned, leathery. The pressure of the clothes on my body was enough to make me want to give in and get back in bed.

I turned to Celestia. “Where are they?”

“And you said you would be a bad parent,” she muttered. “Follow me, if you can,” she said louder.

I put a hand on her side to steady myself, and followed her out like that. I hope that day was the most painful thing I’ll ever do in my life, because I don’t think I’ll be able to survive anything worse.

Taya and Twilight weren’t far from my room, thankfully. I was somewhat wondering why there was a damn hospital wing in the palace when we stopped. I was pretty sure if I looked back, I would see a trail of bloody footsteps.

I didn’t look back.

Instead, I looked into the room we were in front of, and saw Twilight looking out at me, mouth wide open.

“How are you…? Princess, why did you let him out?”

I pushed my way past her and saw Taya on the bed. I heard them talking behind me, but I stopped listening.

Her head was buried in the pillow and I could hear her crying. She has to be dehydrated by now…

I put my hand on her back and felt her flinch. She didn’t pull her head up, though.

“Taya, daughter, what’s wrong?”

She said something through the pillow. I barely made out, “Don’t call me that.”

“Taya is your name, and you are my daughter. Why are you crying?”

More mumblings. “I almost killed you. I used magic against you! You hate me!”

“I will never hate you. If you knew the effort it took for me to get here and tell you that, you would understand.”

She didn’t say anything.

“Look at me, honey.” Her horn glowed and I was lifted off my feet. “Taya?”

She looked up at me through a haze of tears, and gasped. “You’re… real…”

“Yep. Why am I floating?”

“I can’t use magic in the dreams…” She set me down, my legs almost buckling at the weight of my body. “Why don’t you hate me?” she said through her tears.

“Accidents happen. Twilight had something similar happen to her.”

“Accidents don’t usually almost kill you...”

“With great power comes great responsibility. And the great potential for disaster. Which is why you have a teacher. I know you were given leave to practice magic, but what were you doing?”

“One of Pinkie Pie’s sisters came by and wouldn’t stop knocking and knocking. I tried ignoring her, but she wouldn’t go away. I got so angry, and my horn started glowing… I woke up when you touched me… Daddy, you looked so awful!” she sobbed.

I held her in my arms, through the pain. “I’m better now. Mostly. I’ll be here a few more days and then I can go home. You and Twilight can head on back now, and continue your studies. You need to make sure this doesn’t happen again, where someone less resilient might find you.”

“I… I don’t know if I want to keep studying magic. Not after… that.”

“Magic is a dangerous tool. But it is a tool. It does what the wielder wants, until you make a mistake. If you want a weapon, you get a weapon. But you don’t have to want a weapon. There are plenty of ways magic can help people. Healing, teleporting, manipulating items. And there are always a few out there that do want to make weapons, and you might be called on to help stop them. It is unlikely to find another in your or my lifetime, but you never know. But as long as you learn to control it, magic will do whatever you want it to. No one will make you study it, but I think you should, and that you’d like it.” I’m afraid of magic, but I’ll not let her stop studying just because she fucked up once.

“I’ll… try.” I nodded and let her go.

“I’m sorry to stop by and leave so soon, but I think I need to go lie down again.”

“I understand, daddy. You go rest.”

I turned to find Celestia and Twilight looking at me.

“Shut up, Celestia,” I said. Twilight looked insulted on her behalf, but Celestia just shook her head and carried me back with magic.

She gently set me in the bed. “So what’s with the straps, anyway?” I asked.

“Every time anypony came to heal you, you struggled like a madpony. At least once a day, you tried to slide out of the bed without a word. Today is the first day you’ve managed to talk or make it more than a few feet without collapsing.”

“Huh. How long will I be in here?”

“Until your skin isn’t harder than my hoof and more sensitive than your eye.”

“Fair enough. Now that I’m awake and able to talk, do you think you can heal me instantly and just let me sleep off the shock?”

“We could. I had something else in mind.” Just then, Twilight and Taya came in. “Twilight, take it away.”

“This patient is complaining of terrible burns. Healing him fully in one sitting would be too draining for any but the strongest unicorns, and it might kill the patient. Blah blah blah.” She didn’t actually say that, I just don’t feel like writing the crap she said.

I suppose that’s one way to teach magic. Celestia stood by idly, ready to assist if needed.

The next few days were a bit torturous, but I slowly got better. Taya learned how to heal, and I got a little less terrifying to look at each visit.

Luna and Celestia both came to visit me a few times. Neither mentioned the Gala or the aftermath, which I was somewhat thankful for. We talked a bit, though, about eternal, or at least a really long, life. And Celestia delivered the promised talk about the revelations I had after the pirate attack.

She came to visit me one morning not long after she raised the sun. I was awake, reading a book from the royal library that Twilight was kind enough to bring me. Celestia entered without a word and walked up to my bed wearing the sad smile she seems to wear so well.

“I’m growing weary of these walls,” I said as I put the book down. “I don’t suppose I can leave soon?” It had only been three days since I woke up.

“I’m afraid not,” she answered. “You still have much healing to go. I’m honestly not certain how you are still alive, but that isn’t why I’m here. I think we need to have a talk, Navarone,” she said with a grim firmness.

“I am listening, Princess,” I answered.

She sighed, as though uncertain how to begin. I’m pretty sure that was a masquerade—Celestia is a lot wiser and smarter than she lets on, something that I’m slowly learning over the years. “Your mind is fraying, Navarone,” she finally said. “I did not know the causes of it until you mentioned it to the slaves you freed. Post traumatic stress disorder, you called it. Tell me more about it.”

I told her what all of I knew, which to be quite honest wasn’t that much. I didn’t spend my time dealing with stuff like that back home.

“And you think you’re going through that?” she asked.

“I know I am,” I answered. “If Pinkie ever hits me with a surprise party, there’s a chance I might react violently before I realize what happened. I’ve lost a lot of patience for regular ponies. I find it even harder than usual to care about gossip or the like. I’m happy alcohol supplies are so limited, because if they weren’t, I would probably drink myself to sleep every night so I could avoid the dreams that occasionally hit me.” I shrugged. “It’s what happens when you take an unprepared person and put them in high stress situations where they have no training and no coping mechanisms. It’s a good thing I didn’t care about any of the slaves we lost on the march to the Suez, or I might be even more fucked up.”

She looked a bit shocked at that. “So this was my fault,” she whispered.

I blinked. “Not really. You didn’t have anything to do with my first kill. I did that to myself. You didn’t really help, but I don’t really think it was your fault.”

“I ordered you into Egypt,” she asserted.

“Someone had to go. If you need me to tell you that being a leader is hard and that it involves sacrifices, I think your memory might just be shot. You’ve been ruling forever; surely you know what dirty jobs entail. There’s no reason for you to pretend with me.”

She smiled darkly. “Fine. Shoot through my disguise. That doesn’t change the fact that you are unwell. I will admit ignorance in how to deal with this sickness, though.”

“We never found a cure. We never found a cure for any mental illness, not really. Hell, I don’t think we really understood most of them. As I said to the unicorns, though: friendship and support can do a lot.”

“But are you willing to give friendship a chance to help you? Or will you retreat within yourself as you did on the boat?”

I looked down for a moment. “I hate relying on others. Always did. I figured that if I couldn’t solve my own problems then I didn’t deserve to have them solved.” I looked up to her. “You can’t fight something like this with that attitude. I’ll try, but I can give no promises.” I’ve already failed. God, why did I turn down Twilight’s help?

“You haven’t failed me yet,” she said. “Please don’t start now. You shouldn’t be forced to live your life plagued from the memories of a few short events.”

“Should and would build no bridges,” I answered sadly.

She nodded slowly.

 

One time, they both came to visit at once. “Both princesses, eh? I must be about to die again.” That was far from the truth. I was almost well enough to leave, actually, and I was quite looking forward to it.

“Nav, we’ve been putting this off, but…” Luna began, and stopped.

Celestia sighed, and said, “There were some unintended consequences from what Taya did.”

“Is she going to be okay?” All traces of my bettering mood were lost.

She is going to be fine,” Luna said.

“Then there’s something wrong with me? Or Pinkie Pie’s sister?”

“Do you not think it important to learn names? Anyway, she’ll be fine. It’s you. You were so close to death…”

I started getting it. “You… didn’t. Please tell me you didn’t.”

“There are a few dead trees in the garden now, Navarone,” Luna said.

I closed my eyes and leaned back. “How long?” is all I managed.

They took a second before answering. “At least a thousand years. We can’t know.”

“Who knows?”

“You and us,” Celestia said.

“Taya… I’m going to watch her die. Hold her in my arms, feel her last heartbeat, her last gasp of breath, see her eyes glaze over… All of them…”

“You would have died,” Luna said. “You would have died, and then where would Taya have been?”

“Don’t you—” I stopped, realizing I was yelling. “There is so much I want to say, and I’m not going to say a word of it. It’s done. I guess we’ll find out what the future will bring. Together, for what it’s worth.”

“It’s worth a lot more than you think, Nav,” Celestia said. Her normally beautiful eyes were downcast, leaden. It broke my heart to see that.

I closed my eyes again and said, “I could give you both this entire world. Nothing left but ponies. No cats, no naga, no dogs, no dragons. Nothing sapient but ponies…”

“What about griffons?” Luna asked, jokingly.

“I still haven’t met one of those,” I said, feeling very tired. “I suppose I have all the time in the world to, now.”

“That is not how you rule a world, Navarone,” Celestia said. “We ponies are on top because we work with the other races, not because we subjugate and destroy them.”

“I figured you would say that. Once my daughter is dead, I’ll help you however you ask.” A thought occurred to me. “Can I tell anyone about this? My aging, I mean.”

“As long as you tell them it was only an accidental byproduct of the healing and not something we did on purpose, yes,” Celestia answered. Well, at least now I have something to tell Fluttershy.

There was a long pause. They turned to go. Celestia left. Luna paused, turned, said, “Nav…”

I answered, “Is there ever such a thing as happily ever after?”

She took a step toward me. “There are worse things than living forever.” Another step. “Celestia didn’t mention this, but…” Another step. “We can take that extra life we gave you just as easily as we gave it.” Another step. She was right at the foot of my bed, looking down on me. “But we might overshoot, take too much. If the choice was living for a thousand years or living for one, which would you take?”

“If you take a little too much life, why can’t you just give me more? Keep going back and forth until you get it right?”

“Because it doesn’t work like that. If we took too much from you, and left you with just a minute of life, you’d die before we knew how much longer you had. You age based on the life you have left. Right now you have a few thousand years. You’ll effectively stop aging. You’ll heal and grow as normal. Faster, possibly—neither of us have been badly injured, so we haven’t tested that, but you’re doing great right now. But if I started taking life from you, and I took too much, you could age too quickly for me to give you anything back.”

“So my choices are eternity or early death.”

“Not eternity, unless you wish it. There are trees aplenty. Celestia and I… I shouldn’t even say this, but we’re happy. Not happy for your sorrow, but happy because we’re not so alone anymore. You’re the best thing to happen to either of us in thousands of years. If you spend the rest of your life hating us, remember that we only did it for you.” She bent over, touched my leg with her horn, and healed me the rest of the way. “I’m sorry you’re not happy about it, but I’m not sorry it happened.” She turned to leave.

I almost stopped her. Almost told her, ‘When the seven years ends, find me.’ I almost did… But almost doesn’t mean anything, in the long run.

She left.

I lay in bed for a long time, thinking.

 

When Twilight and Taya came by, they found me pacing erratically. “What’s wrong?” Twilight asked, “And why are you out of bed?”

I looked at her with bloodshot eyes. I don’t know if they were like that from lack of sleep or if I had been crying. I just know she blanched upon seeing me. “Later,” is all I said, and grabbed my pack from where it rested. “Let’s go home.”

“So soon? You still have more healing to do,” Twilight said.

“Daddy? Are you okay?” Taya asked, sounding worried. Hearing her voice almost made me cry, if I hadn’t been before or if I had anything left to give.

“As well as I’m going to be for a while. Luna healed me the rest of the way, but they left me with an affliction worse than I had. Let’s go home.”

“You’re not making any sense, Nav. Are you sure you’re okay?” Twilight said.

“They made me immortal on accident,” I said.

That stopped them.

“They… what?” Twilight asked, dumbfounded.

“They couldn’t heal me normally, so they did something drastic. They think they accidentally gave me a thousand years or so of life.”

“Nav, that’s impossible!”

“Are you saying Celestia lied?” That shut her up. “It is possible. It just isn’t well known magic.”

“I don’t understand…” Taya said. “Why are you sad?”

“I hate to pull this card on you, but you’re too young to understand. I might be able to explain it to you when you’re older, but for now… Let’s go home.”

“Do you want me to talk to Princess Celestia for you?” Twilight asked. “She might know some way to reverse it…”

“No. There is a way to reverse it, but it has a pretty high chance of killing me. I’ll just ride it out. I’m sure they’ll find ways to keep me busy.”

“You seem to be taking this kind of... nonchalantly.”

I looked at Twilight again. I made sure she saw my eyes, everything I was hiding inside. My fists clenched so tight they popped. “You have never seen me act on my anger. Be glad,” I said in the tightest voice I had. I breezed past them both into the corridor, and started walking to what I was hoping was an exit. Part of my storm had passed by the time they caught up, and I was mostly in control again by the time we reached an exit.

“We need to stop by my place before we leave, Nav,” Twilight said. I started walking that way and they followed.

The wind felt so weird on my barren wings. They had just started itching over the past few days, and I could see the beginnings of new feathers growing in. Hair on my body was starting to poke out a bit, too, but I could barely see it. I predicted an itchy month.

I got even more looks than usual from the ponies on the way to Twilight’s house. After my two jaunts in Egypt, a lot of ponies would hail me on the streets of cities like Canterlot. Now, they took one look at me and my eyes, and decided maybe they didn’t want to say anything right then. We left a trail of silence in our wake.

When we got to Twilight’s pad, I looked out the window for a bit, just thinking.

“Nav, we have everything. Are you ready?” Twilight asked.

I turned to face them. “Don’t tell the others,” I said. They nodded. “Let’s go.”

 

“I used to like trains,” I said. We were on the train to Ponyville now. “Back on Earth, I mean. I didn’t get the chance to use them often, and when I did it was like a novelty ride, something from history. The place I came from, we preferred personal transportation over mass transportation, so we canned our trains for the most part. When I came here and found they were big, I was happy to hear it. Finally, I thought, a chance to do something I like doing, and possibly for a good reason.” I paused, then continued, slower. “But then I got wings. Now, trains are just a way of getting from point A to point B faster than I can fly. Sitting on trains is hard, since I can’t lean back. Standing on them is a pain, since I wouldn’t take a train anywhere I could easily fly to, meaning anywhere we’re going is a pretty long distance away. It’s a tradeoff of sorts, I suppose…” Taya and Twilight were dozing, Taya lying across my lap. I was whispering, and gently stroking Taya’s mane.

We could have walked to town. It really isn’t that far, would have taken us a few hours. Or we could have asked Celestia for transportation. But I didn’t feel like seeing her. So instead we settled for a train.

It was pretty late at night by the time we got home. I carried Taya in and marveled at how much heavier she felt. I know she was getting heavier now that she actually had a good bit of time to eat, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some of my muscle mass had actually been burned away. If nothing else, some of it was probably eaten away in my nearly two weeks spent in bed. I just knew that soon I wouldn’t be able to carry her anymore, and she wouldn’t be able to sleep on my back.

When I put Taya to bed, I went to the library. Twilight was there waiting for me.

“What kind of life do I have to look forward to?” I asked her. “In less than five years, I have led a war band, I have murdered and killed, I have felled assassins, I have tortured, I have loved and lost and more. All in less than five years. What will a thousand bring? Two? Three?”

She sighed. “I do not know, Nav. You came here in a volatile time, when much is changing. The two princesses control the world, in more ways than most ponies realize. Their moods affect the overarching world situation. When Princess Celestia is feeling a negative emotion, more bad things happen during the day. When Luna is feeling negative, more bad things happen at night. Good moods are positive. And they can be opposite, with Luna happy and Princess Celestia angry. When Princess Celestia ruled alone, she took both day and night to her moods. The first two hundred years after Luna was banished, the world entered a virtual dark age. Princess Celestia slowly got better. And then Luna came back. The world was still reeling when you came. Luna fell in love with you, and Princess Celestia fell into a small depression over her sister’s feelings and the pain that was sure to come from them. The situation in the Middle East happened. There’s always some good and some bad.

“What you have to remember, Nav, is that the princesses are still ponies, eternal and powerful or not. They will have mood swings, and the mood of the world will shift. Sometimes that will help us all and sometimes it will hurt us all. Who can an eternal princess turn to if she wants to talk about some private feeling that she doesn’t want her sister to know about? Not a servant, as that would not be proper. Not a student, for the same reason. They have had almost no friends to speak of, as most ponies live such short lives compared to them. Some pains they had to keep inside for a long, long time.”

“And now there’s me. Another immortal giant of sorts. Not by choice, not something I wanted, but something I have. And I have no power to worry about, no say in what happens in the world. All I can do is try to keep them happy, I suppose, when you’re all gone. But there’s one thing I worry about, Twilight: My mind. Human minds can start breaking down around age sixty, and are usually gone by age one hundred. Will that be relative age, or literal age?” And that’s not even mentioning the PTSD shit I was going through.

“Pony minds are the same way. Princess Celestia is eccentric at times, but she isn’t insane. Neither of them are. But she was born into her role, as far as history records. You might be different. It will be interesting to find out.”

“Shame that, you know, you won’t be able to. At least if all goes well, I’ll be able to know my great-great-great-grandchildren. Though I don’t know if they’ll know me…”

“What would we tell the others, if they ask why you’re not aging anymore?”

“I’ll tell them. I’ve got a bit to talk to Fluttershy about, but it’ll have to come later. I haven’t had a good, long break in a while.” I ran my hand over my head, forgetting I didn’t have any hair left. “I need to recuperate, and dealing with Fluttershy will add more stress. Still, I know I have to.” Assuming she doesn’t get pissed and just refuse to see me. Which would be for the best.

“It’s perfectly reasonable for you to wait a few days after something like this, Nav. Getting back from a long, dangerous trip, almost getting killed, and then getting the worst news of your life takes a lot out of somepony, even you.”

“It is reasonable to wait, but it isn’t fair to Fluttershy, or at least I don’t think it is. But first, we both need sleep.”

“Are you sure you’ll be able to sleep?”

“There’s a bit more of your innocence. Nothing better made to help you sleep than stress and adrenaline. When it all winds down, you go from completely wired to crashed. It’s like meth.”

“Meth?”

“A human drug that gives massive amounts of energy at the cost of your body and mind. It can keep you awake for days at a time, but you’ll have little control of yourself while doing it and when you crash, you can sleep for over a day. And it’s incredibly addictive.”

“Humans are crazy…”

“Yeah. I’m going to bed.” And despite what I said, I did end up lying in bed, trying to sleep, for a long time.

And when I finally did get to sleep, it proved no safe hiding place from my mind. I didn’t remember a single one of the dreams, but I woke up several times during the night.

 

 

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