Challenge #02559-G002: Needing a Hand

His name was Marvin. He traveled with a band of friends on various adventures. But his life had not been quite this pleasant before he met them. Abused, mistreated, made to feel stupid, even when he was with the gang, people he thought were his friends, it had been misery. Now, with the wizard, the kobold, and the others, he actually had a chance. But, on quiet nights like this, as they had set up camp and he was not on watch, he thought back to those days, and when asked, again, why he had trouble sleeping, after all this time, he decided it was alright to talk about it. -- Anon Guest

Lady Anthe usually took the middle watch. Her being naturally adapted to the dark also made her naturally inclined to be nocturnal. It also aided in making sure Marvin was okay. Their first few nights as a party cemented the fact that he was a light sleeper, but after a few weeks, the fact that he actually had chronic insomnia became known.

It was at its worst when they were on the road. Some nights, he just didn't sleep between dusk and dawn. He would lie very still in his sleeping bag,, eyes closed, but he was not sleeping. He would always have one hand curled around the hilt of his weapon. Some nights, that grip would be white-knuckle tight.

Most nights, Anthe couldn't get him to respond in more than grunts to offers of conversation, but she kept hope in her heart for a breakthrough. When he felt safe, he would permit himself to be vulnerable. Tonight, her calm announcement that the stars were beautiful tonight actually got a verbal response. "I can't really sleep on quiet nights," said Marvin. "When I was with the gang? It was the quiet before the storm. I knew I was gonna get hurt, and the worst part was the waiting, so... when it went on too long? I'd get something wrong on purpose so the hurting would be over with. Quiet... always makes me tense right up. Can't sleep. Waiting for the hammer to drop."

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