Joe lay on his bed late that night, staring at the ceiling. Almost as if he was waiting for something to happen. Every once and awhile he would dare a glance over to the alarm clock and leave his head there for an indefinite period of time, watching the minutes fly by meaninglessly.
This was not a normal thing for him. M0st nights, he would fall in bed after a long day and drift off within minutes. That was the advantage to being in manual labor; he never lacked for sleep due to insomia. His muscles knew as well as his mind did that the time had come to fall unconscious, and neither had enough muscles to argue with the other regarding the issue.
But tonight, Joe was rigid as a board.
With a migraine painful enough to rival moderate torture coupled with a fever he couldn't sweat out, he would have liked nothing else but to get some sleep. And to be honest, the man was drowsy as hell.
But something wasn't sitting right.
He had flipped his pillow over at least a dozen times to get the colder side when all at once he heard a voice. A small, female voice, repeating four words over and over again in his ear.
Go to sleep, Joseph...
Nothing seemed to help - not nyquil, not aleve, not even some oxy that he had found stuffed in the back of his cabinet.
Go to SLEEP, Joseph...
And that stupid voice in the back of his head just would not go away. He looked back at the clock and waited for five minutes. Ten. Twenty-five.
Nothing seemed to help.
After what seemed like forever, a tiny, purple, iridescent woman with butterfly wings landed on the bridge of his nose. Crouching in a position that was a cross between Spiderman and Catwoman, she played with the edges of her skirt and looked disdainfully at Joe.
"You're still awake, moron." She said, with a tiny little voice.
"I sure hope not." Joe yawned, blowing some artificial wind up the back of her skirt.
She glared at him even harder now, holding down the rest of her skirt with her right hand. "I told you go to sleep, you pudgy little tool."
"Would you care to introduce yourself to me before you, I don't know... Sit on my nose at four in the morning?"
"My name is Bau-Belbina. And I'm here to carry you to Utopia. But I can't do it while you're awake." Belbina plopped herself down on his nose and pulled out an itty bitty lazer pointer. She started flashing it in an outline of the bed.
"Carry me to Utopia?" Joe chuckled. "I just met you, let me buy you a drink first."
Belbina was not amused. "I told you to go to sleep. Have a nice tumble down the rabbit hole, prick." She finished the outline, and the bed fell out from under Joe.
Only Joe didn't hit the floor, he just kept falling... Through it.