Counting sheep

Tom sighed and looked at the ceiling. One, two, three, four…. He kept losing count around ninety.

Eighty-two, eighty-three, eighty…eighty….Damnit. How was this supposed to relax his mind? Damn therapist. One, two, three, four….

After the sun began to rise on his third sleepless night in a row, Tom dragged himself out of bed and shuffled to the kitchen for some breakfast. He forced down some dry toast and ice water. Anything else, and his sleep-deprived stomach would reject it.

He stared at his briefcase for ten minutes before picking up his cell phone and dialing his boss’s number. There was no way he was going to be able to function at work today. Feigning a cold, Tom called in sick, and his boss wished him a speedy recovery. Tom hung up and wished for an end to the madness.

The day was spent staring out the window, looking at the meadow behind his back porch. As he sat, Tom counted. One, two, three, four….

Tom wasn’t aware he had fallen asleep until he opened his eyes and saw the darkness before him.

Darkness…and the eyes.

Beyond his porch railing, Tom saw dozens of pairs of eyes staring back at him.

The sheep he’d been counting for nights on end had come to visit. There had to be eighty or ninety sheep standing in the meadow.

Eighty or ninety pairs of eyes reflecting the porch light back at him.