Foolishly, you run, despite knowing that the fire is omnipresent and ever-hungry. In an instant, your footsteps in the soft earth are swallowed up by the torrent and you are out of breath from the fumes. You feel the sensation creeping up your feet, and then your legs, paralysing your body with pure fear. This must be the end.
You wake up, the harsh flare of your bedroom light above you, making you blink at your safe surroundings with mystery. Your sister, Alice, stands in the doorway to your room, her hand on the switch and her eyes weary.
“I can’t sleep,” she says, “tell me a story.”
You gesture to the bed, on which Alice then flumps down.
“All right, I’ll tell you a story. An ever-changing story about a girl who slipped into her dreams…”