When is the Last Time You Slept?


“When is the last time you slept?”


Irritated by the question, Sam doesn’t look up. He keeps his focus on the bright, glowing screen of his laptop, because burial records were much more enjoyable than talking about his blossoming head cold. “Why ask? You should know.”


He gives a chuckle, “Oh, I do know. But I want to hear you say it. Come on… tell me.”


You can’t spend every second of every day with someone and not know when they’ve come down with some bug. Sam’s been sneezing and coughing all day, though it started last night with enough discomfort that he hadn’t been able to nod off for more than a second at best, which really couldn’t be considered sleeping.




“Don’t call me that.” Sam sighs and closes the laptop. His head is pounding and now that the topic of sleep has been brought up, it’s all he can think about—how nice it would be to burrow under the heavy blankets or sink his head into a cool motel room pillow. He’d do it right now in an instant if he could. But he needs to be researching and, even then, he’s got this cold to contend with.


uhh-Huhtchuhhh! Huh-IHXShuhh!” Sam stumbles to the bathroom and blows his nose furiously before splashing his face over and over with the coldest of water. He’s shivering when he comes out, but he’s wide awake and not thinking about bed. Not at all. Not even a little.


Sam yawns. Okay, maybe just a little.


“You okay? Those were some pretty big sneezes in there.”


Sam grits his teeth. He doesn’t need this concerned act right now. What he needs is to figure out where the old man was buried so his spirit doesn’t haunt anyone else in that park. It’d be a whole lot easier to concentrate on research without these distractions. “hehh… huh-UHTschhhh! Huhkshhhh! Uh… huh-UHShuhhh!


“You really don’t look so good, you know.”


Yeah, he knows. Of course he knows. “I’m okay,” Sam insists. He’s got a stash of Kleenex in his pocket. He’s got a bottle of pills he hasn’t touched yet but will if he needs to. And he’s got a cold bottle of orange juice to work through. He wasn’t fantastic, definitely wasn’t perfect, but he was okay. And okay was good enough to do some research. “Really, I’m okay.” He’s trying to convince himself of that fact now.


He grabs his laptop and sits down on his bed. His head throbs again and he closes his eyes as the motel room starts to spin.


“You’re run down and sick. How about you rest, and I’ll handle the research this time?” Sam feels his laptop being taken from him. He feels sleep creeping up on him.


But then “huh-IHShuhh! Huhkgshhhh!” His body shakes, and it shakes him awake. He makes a clumsy but effective grab for his laptop and holds it tight as he sniffles. His long hair brushes the sides of his face, some falls into his eyes, but he holds onto the laptop and shakes his face free. “No, I’ve got this. I’m doing this.”


“No you can’t. You’re sick Sam. This is crazy.”


“Crazy?” Sam laughs. “You think I don’t know about crazy?” His hands leave the laptop. The thumb of one presses, pushes, digs into the palm of the other. The hallucination of Lucifer standing by his bedside flickers and vanishes.


That was easier than usual. Maybe he’s too tired, too weak to even hallucinate properly. Or maybe this thumping in his head and thick congestion are making things feel real more easily. Whatever it is, he’ll take it. He brings up the next burial site and starts scanning it for the one familiar name. But the names on the screen start to blur. And his eyes start to burn. And all he wants to do is close them. Just for a few minutes. Just for a quick nap.


“Hey, Sammy!” comes that voice again, and Lucifer is back. He’s on the other side of the bed now, sitting down and wearing his extra concerned face. He doesn’t seem to like it when his toy is broken in ways he didn't devise himself. But then a mischievous smirk fills his face. “When is the last time you slept?”