Jen by Sophie Baines

The light of the sunrise hit the clouds as they drifted across the sky, the oranges and yellows contrasting with the blue of the lightening sky.

The waterfall fell on iced rocks, splashing and cracking ice with just-above-freezing water and as the whites and greys of the snow slipped away, the jet-black rock was revealed, shining in the ever-rising sun.

It could be anywhere, anywhere cold; beautiful, sharp and cold. But Jen was sat on a small rock in south-west Iceland, admiring the view.

She smiled faintly, hugging her knees closer to her body. A glance backwards reminded her why she was sat there; her friends were still sleeping. Jenny had shifted outside when the sun had begun to rise. Her smile faded.

Jen had been awake throughout the night, staring at the roof of their tent, terrified she might wake one of them if she moved. She had never been very good at sleeping, but it was worse recently. Jen didn’t want to bother them. They had their own problems to deal with. This was just an extension of her nocturnal habits.

Sleep was something that had never come naturally to Jen. She preferred sleeping through the day, working during the night.

A trek across Iceland, south to north. They were hoping to see the Northern Lights. That was the aim. Jen couldn’t see how they were ever going to see them if they slept during the night. Her three friends were very different to her, all early risers and early sleepers. By habit or nature, Jen couldn’t tell.

Jen shifted her attention back to the landscape in front of her, the smile returning, and she rested her chin on her knees, content. The sun was fully over the horizon now and the birds were flying over the waterfall. Nothing could beat this.

Nothing at all.