Running on Empty

Why do people say that they are running on empty?

They aren’t running.

They are just empty.

The sun can suck your energy out.

Especially if you live in a country where the sun is consistently shrouded by cloud.

Clouds of shroud.

Covering its beaming face.

When the sun comes out all and sundry scuttle from their hidey holes.

And it drains energy.

So lobster arms and legs sprawl, blistering, in the heat, empty cans hanging loosely from fleshy claws.

And people are truly, then, running on empty.

And when the sun sets, and the ashen dregs of barbecues are ground into the floor under hardened soles, the cold night air surges again, and the stars pop out to twinkle, one by one.

We never run on empty.

We just run.

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Tired

Fatigue was lying next to her in the morning. Her eyelids fluttered open, prodded gently by soft rays of golden sunshine, and when her eyes were open properly she saw Fatigue lying on the bed, his transparent fingers nestled behind her eyebrows and on the crown of her head. They caused a dull ache and no amount of wiping away would remove it.

Fatigue draped its heavy self over her bones as she struggled out of bed. It curled up in the pit of her stomach and painted all the colour out of her face.

When she moved, her feet were weighted down by gravity, which surged up excitedly to meet its old friend. Fatigue bent down to grasp Gravity’s hand in a solid handshake, and it pulled her down with it. She sighed and eventually gave up, dropping onto a chair as they completed their rendezvous.

‘I’m tired,’ she murmured, when she realised the day refused to wake her senses. She went for a walk in the sunshine and laughed with the neighbour, picking some fresh blossoms and breathing the spring air. The sun made her head pound and Fatigue became angry, prodding her eyelids until they drooped pitifully. She closed her eyes and lay back in her chair, her fingers loose about the pen which she tapped listlessly against her book.

Words swam before her eyes, and Fatigue crossly told her that she couldn’t possibly focus today. It wanted some toast and goaded her until she made some, washing it down with a mug of hot tea. Fatigue smiled wide and draped its arm over her eyes and she succumbed to its wiles.

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I am tired today, and there is no reason to be. The sun is out, the world is waking up, the buds are forming on trees and spring is in full swing.