A Good Sleep

by Jay David

Chapter 1: A Good Sleep

A Good Sleep

Working all day, and then going on to work all night. When Mac first heard from his sisters exactly what he'd been doing for the last few nights, he hadn't been able to believe it. But the evidence was pretty undeniable once they'd pointed it out to him. Though he was happy that his unintended actions had helped out with their harvest, the large stallion was still a little miffed that he'd nevertheless lost a fair amount of rest over the last few days. So, as the sun finally began to set on this latest day, he looked out to it with grim determination. He would get a good night's sleep tonight, no matter what. And as the sun finally disappeared, he gave a firm nod, turning to his bed and jumping right on into it. As he covered himself in his quilt, he let out a contented sigh. But this was always the easy part, just getting into the bed. Getting to sleep proper? Now that was where the real work lay. Though Mac did his best to avoid thinking the word "work" right now, as he'd had more than enough of that lately. Instead, he cozied on down into his bed, took a few deep breaths, then put on a small smile as he exhaled.


A few minutes passed, and at first, all seemed well. He was feeling more relaxed, he was comfortable, and there was nothing obvious that seemed like it would interrupt him. But then, of course, the first of such interruptions came, as the sound of a tweet of some sort caused him to crack one eye open. In order to keep his bedroom cool tonight, he'd left the window slightly ajar, and as he turned to look at it, he could see, even in the gloom of the final hours of light, a bird in the tree closest to their house. It was tweeting happily, unaware of the trouble it was causing for the stallion, and Mac frowned before grunting with irritation. He got out of bed, however loathsome a task that was for him, and walked on over to the window. Though he knew the room wouldn't be as cool as he'd like it to be, silence took precedence here, and he shut the window. And silence did indeed follow, much to his delight, and after he'd finally gotten back into his bed, his smile returned.


However, there was also the matter that he was not the only pony living in this house, and before long that fact became all too clear when a second sound made itself known to him. It was a sound that all who lived in old houses were acutely familiar with. Creaky floorboards. Somepony was moving about, and having lived in this house all his life, Mac knew exactly who it was. Apple Bloom, no doubt going from her own room to have a quick bathroom break. Mac grumbled, but he wasn't going to give his sister a hard time over this. So instead, he simply laid there in his bed, staring at the ceiling, his sharp ears picking up every sound his sister made while she was out there. The sound of water from their sink as she washed her hooves, the further sound of creaky floorboards as she tried her best to silently walk back to her room, all of it. But thankfully, her time out there did indeed come to an end, and eventually, Mac was blessed with yet another silent time, heralding the return of that same smile he'd worn so often tonight.


Unfortunately, though the feeling of relaxation he now felt was sweet, it did not last forever. For very soon, the thoughts began to make themselves known to him. His eyes opened wide, and a plethora of ideas and worries and concerns began to flood into his head. Did Granny Smith turn off the oven after cooking dinner tonight? Did Apple Bloom finish her homework? Did Mac himself remember to lock up the barn before finishing his work today? Was it tomorrow that Applejack said they needed to clean up the house for some friends visiting, or was it next week? Is the weather going to be too bad tomorrow for them to do any other chores around the orchard? All this and more began to plague his attempted slumber, and in a moment of frustration, Mac pulled the pillow out from under his head and covered his face, as if trying to silence it all. When that inevitably failed, he instead tired to force himself into thinking about other things. Puppies, clouds, kittens, a spring meadow with a gentle breeze, all the things he knew was supposed to be relaxing. And eventually, the more hectic thoughts subsided, leaving a relieved, though still tired-looking stallion in their wake.

"...Eyup," he said weakly.

So he placed his pillow back behind his head, sighing deeply, trying to get back into position to fall asleep. And that was when he noticed something. Was his position actually the best possible one to fall asleep in? He turned his head, looking to the right side of his bed, and shortly afterwards moved to be facing that direction, lying on his side instead of his back. A few minutes went by, and though at first this seemed right, he finally opened his eyes again, frowning. This wasn't right either. So, he turned over, facing the left instead. This too only felt right for a short time, and he snorted in annoyance. Left and right, left and right, left and right, he did this several times over, and it never felt satisfying. No matter what side he focused on, it was either too warm, or not soft enough, or come combination of everything else. After a time though, the stallion got back to the position he started out on, flat on his back, and here, his frustration was replaced with confusion. For whatever reason this actually felt right. More right than it was when he started. He didn't know why, and quite frankly he didn't care. He was just happy that he felt comfortable for once. So, he took another deep breath, content that things were feeling just right.


And that was when it happened. Though the first bird he'd had to deal with was a small thing, easily shut out by the closing of a window, now Mac had to deal with a full-on rooster call. It was a sound that penetrated even the thickest of windows, and Mac's eyes snapped open, fury taking hold of him, and he sat upright, his head darting towards the window, ready to go over there and just plain throw something at the rooster that was making this racket. But when he looked, his expression became one of both astonishment and dismay. For the rooster was not being needlessly early in its call. The sun was peering over the horizon, heralding the new day. Mac sat there, in his bed, mouth agape. It couldn't have been an entire night already, could it? He glanced over at the clock on his bedside table, and sure enough, his fears were confirmed. A whole night had indeed gone by, and now he was right at the start of the new morning. He blinked several times, his brain utterly unable to accept that he'd wasted an entire night and not even realised it. And that stunned silence continued, even as his sister Applejack opened the door of his room, stepping inside and looking as rested and raring to go as she always did.

"Howdy, Mac! Beautiful day today! Ah hope ya had a good sleep?"

Slowly, Mac looked to her, his face one of utter resignation, and he sighed.


Author's Note

Waking up tired for several days on end? Can't deny that Mac was pretty relatable in that episode :eeyup:

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