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Short Stories 365:222

Insomnia and I are old friends. We have a history - if antipathy can be considered history - and I did not welcome him back into my life when he reappeared a couple of nights ago. Last night I literally did not sleep. I watched every hour click by (I get very good at judging when fifteen minutes has passed when I have insomnia) and though I've learned from his many prior visits to at least rest my eyes and breathe slowly and physically attempt to recuperate, it's not the same thing as sleep.

I really hope he decided to go today, and not come back any time soon.

Few things are as frustrating as an unwelcome guest.

"The Tower," by Mary Hart Perry

The next story in I Never Thought I'd See You Again is all about unwelcome guests, as well as an unwelcome visit from the past. I loved the setting of this story - The Tower of London - and how Mary Hart Perry set about to put her characters in a time and place where the darker connotations of the Tower itself were a bit reversed: the woman telling the tale here, Maisie, has found security, home, and family through the Tower. She has a good life, and wishes to keep it.

Which is why a man from her past - a past her husband knows nothing about - is such a problem. Blackmailed into helping this larcenous "friend" from years ago, Maisie has some difficult decisions to make. She knows full well that she can't come clean to her husband, but she also knows that this dark piece of her history will not relent after one helping of blackmail. Her whole life is at stake.

And what wouldn't you do to keep your life as it is?

A clever story, with a lovely period flair.