The La-Iin Series
“La-Iin’s All-Nighters–Part 1”
That day after school, La-Iin slammed her hands down suddenly on the table while Mit-Sun was reading a book. Her eyes were wide open and Mit-Sun noticed black circles under them.
“La-Iin, did you get enough sleep last night?”
“I didn’t get any sleep last night,” she said proudly. “I wasn’t even trying to stay awake, but I ended up staying up all night.”
“What the–!? But I checked on you! You were asleep.”
“Faking being asleep,” La-Iin said cheerfully. “I haven’t slept in I don’t know how many hours, and I feel great, except that my limbs feel like they’re going to fall off.”
“You need to take a nap at least,” Mit-Sun said. “Come on, let me get you to bed.”
“I don’t want to!” She protested, flying above Mit-Sun. “After staying up so late I realized what a helpful skill this could be. While all my enemies are fast asleep, I’ll be awake, prowling their territories and taking advantage of the night! Vampires practically belong in the night time anyway, Mama, and it’s only getting darker earlier and earlier. If I take a nap now I might miss valuable night time!”
“You just don’t understand it, Mama. This is a helpful skill. What if you wanted to do something but you had to go to bed? It would get ruined.”
“You’re not making any sense,” Mit-Sun sighed. “Fine. See if I care about you staying up all day.”
Mit-Sun was worried, but only slightly, and she figured that sooner or later, La-Iin would fall asleep and she could take her to bed. With her acting the way she was, the last thing she wanted was deal with her behavior.
‘Oh, she’s not going to learn many valuable lessons acting like this…’
“This will be a great skill, Mama. I’ll go to sleep eventually maybe. But if I know how to use this skill, and hone it well, I’ll be able to stay up for anything. It will be great.”
“Keep tellin’ yourself that,” Mit-Sun scoffed.
“You’re a bad Mama, Mama.” La-Iin said. Mit-Sun gave her a look of disbelief as La-Iin flew out the kitchen and to the living room. Choungetsu sat on the couch, playing with a cloth toy Mit-Sun had made for him, but he dropped the toy when he saw La-Iin and yipped at her.
“Poor little Choungetsu,” La-Iin said, her tone mocking. Choungetsu appeared to be oblivious and started to lick her face, seeming as cheerful as usual. “You’d never be able to stay up as long as I have. I bet soon it will be almost twenty-four hours since I last slept, if I haven’t passed that already! With how many naps you take on the couch, you could never do it.”
Choungetsu didn’t seem to care. He curled up next to La-Iin. His soft fur briefly lulled her. La-Iin shrieked and flew above him.
“You won’t put me to sleep!” She yelled. She flew away from Choungetsu at a high speed, through the hallways and the kitchen–ignoring the yell from Mit-Sun–and up the stairs until she was safe in her bedroom.
Her eyes widened.
‘I can’t risk being in here. I might fall asleep! But advice from my trusty friend is just what I need right now…ah, I can wake her up and run!’
“Bes-Isa! To me!” She yelled. She levitated Bes-Isa to her in one swift motion.
“Huhwuh? La-Iin? Is there something you wanted to play with me? You look playful. ….or maybe sleep-deprived.”
“The correct answer is the second one,” she said. “But wait! Let’s not talk here. It’s too dangerous to talk here!”
“I think you’re high.”
Ignoring her remark, La-Iin sped across the house once again, ignoring a yell from Mit-Sun for a second time.
“I’MTAKINGCHOUNGETSUONAWALK!” She yelled. She grabbed his leash, put it on, and flew outside, only landing once she was a safe distance from her house.
“Now we can talk.”
“So….you have hyper-energy because you’re sleep deprived?”
“I learned that self-sleep deprivation is a valuable skill to have,” she said. “If I stay awake while my enemies sleep they’ll never know what I might do. People might take advantage of me while I’m sleeping if they have daysleepers on their side. ….I guess I could become a daysleeper too, but then, most people are nightsleepers, so it’d make me more vulnerable in the end!”
“Please stay consistent on what you’re talking about. ….and did you just say daysleepers and nightsleepers?”
“If I learn how to deprive myself of sleep, I’ll be able to take advantage of people who are sleeping. I’ll have to hone this skill carefully so I can use it in future situations where it may be useful. And yes I did. They’re actual words, you know.”
“….no, I don’t think they are.”
Choungetsu tugged on the leash. La-Iin took to the sky as the walk began, Choungetsu happily walking across the sidewalk, his movements almost like skipping.
“Aren’t you just going to fall asleep eventually, though? This sounds like it has the potential to fail.”
“You doubt my abilities, Bes-Isa, and that’s depressing. I don’t even feel sleepy right now. I feel awake, especially with the air on my cheeks! There are plenty of distracting things to keep me distracted and awake. Like walking Choungetsu.”
“So, hypothetically, could one of these distracted and awake actions consist of you, say, listening to a song or reading a book? Maybe watching an Usl-Thaehey music video?”
“Maybe, although unfortunately I doubt I’d be able to do the last one…”
“If you idle like that, you might just fall asleep.”
“Don’t act like a know-it-all, Bes-Isa. You barely even come out of my bedroom most days. How would you know?”
“I’ve stayed up late thinking about things too. ….okay, look, I don’t know if keeping yourself preoccupied by walking dogs and acting out plays would keep you awake, but I can do nothing but idle when I stay up to think about things. And eventually I get tired from all that idling…the disgusting mixture of boredom and inability to move your body just sends you to sleep. It’s why I’ve been tired sometimes when I’ve supposedly been ‘asleep’ for hours.”
“Then I’ll just have to stay on my wings. ….or my feet.”
“You can do your best, but we’ll just say I’m not holding out much hope that you’ll succeed. You might just pass out from sheer exhaustion. It’d be cool if you managed it though.”
“If I pass out, I’ll just try again!” La-Iin declared proudly. She started to fly at a faster speed, and eventually passed Choungetsu, who gagged when the leash choked him.
At dinner that night, La-Iin took a cautious sip of the soup Mit-Sun had made. She pushed it away.
“You used to love this when you were five,” Mit-Sun said.
“It’s still good, Mama,” she said through her hands, “but it’s dangerous. What if I fall asleep because I ate it and it’s warm and I get sleepy?”
“That’ll be a good thing? Because you have to go to school tomorrow?” Mit-Sun said, her tone deadpan.
“I can’t do it, Mama. You’ll have to save it or cool it down, for I cannot take the risk!”
Mit-Sun rolled her eyes. “You have to eat it, La-Iin!”
Mit-Sun shoved a spoonful of soup into La-Iin’s mouth. She swallowed.
“….okay, maybe a little bit won’t break me,” La-Iin hissed. “I am stronger than this.”
“Sure you are,” Mit-Sun sighed. “Sure you are…”
“You’re going to help me tonight, right, Bes-Isa?”
“I suppose I have no other choice. You won’t stop badgering me unless I do, and I don’t like being badgered. But just because you’re trying to stay up all night, it doesn’t mean I’m going to!”
“I have fully prepared for this ardorous night,” La-Iin said. Her tone agitated Bes-Isa. “I have a cold pack of ice waiting to slap me if I dare get sleepy. I’m wearing a lighter night gown so its softness does not tempt me! This night gown isn’t even soft anyway. It’s all silvery or something.”
“Something tells me ‘silvery’ isn’t quite right…”
“Ignore your instinct!” La-Iin yelled. “Knowing full-well that preoccupying myself with studying and homework will send me instantly to sleep, I have prepared fun alternatives, such as Haven in Dystopia….even though I already beat the game…..and various drawing materials. All over my room are scattered treasures of staying-up-on-my-feet fun. And then I have you in case I start to nod off.”
“I will succeed!” She exclaimed. “I shall hone my ability until I have mastered it and can use it in the most advantageous way possible! Maybe I’ll teach other people! No, wait, that would only work on people it would be advantageous for me on. Like San-Kyung! But I will do my best! I’ll show you, Bes-Isa, if I’m fast enough and maybe skip the cutscenes and the annoying story parts I can beat Haven in Dystopia in one night!”
“What about drawing?”
“That’s for the credits. Drawing doesn’t take all that long. I don’t need to dedicate the night to it.”
La-Iin set up her supplies on her table, levitated Bes-Isa close, and picked up her gaming system.
“Let the all-night begin.”