Mr. Evans is trying to get a good night's sleep before the town jamboree, but insomnia and a dastardly trio of furniture and electronics have other ideas.
1:07 glowed the bedside clock’s dimly luminous display.
I stared at the green digits. Another minute blinked by. Then another. I flipped the pillow over, gave it a few pummels and lay back down. I hugged the pillow, and rearranged my limbs and the linen. I tried counting sheep, which worked for a spell. I drifted to sleep, or some approximation of sleep. I noted a crowd of sheep watching those jumping through my imagination, a crowd of sorts, bleating encouragement. Their mouthed opened and closed in unison, emitting a sound which, even in this dream, seemed far more electronic than sheeplike.
Bleet. Bleet. Bleet.
I blinked, and groggily rolled over to face that idiotic clock. It now read 2:21.
"Finally," said a voice to my left. I flinched, suddenly awake, and shrank to the right of my bed. Away, I think, away from the husky male voice. "You can stop that now, Harvey."
"Fantastic," said the little bedside clock, the green numerals pulsating with every sylable. The bleeting ceased. "Deep sleep, Mr. Evans? My voice was getting really quite hoarse, there."
I tried to speak. Probably convinced I was still dreaming, I pinched my arm.
"Mr. Evans?" said the husky voice once more. I registered, with a jolt, that the voice was emanating from the bedside lamp. "Why, you are a world away this evening, aren't you?"
"W-who are you?" I asked.
"I take it you're the owner of the household?" remarked the bookcase in a low, monotonous voice.
"Who are you?"
"We're just a couple of chaps who'd like to ask you a few questions," said the clock.
"You want to ask me some questions," I began with hesitation. What was going on? I wasn’t still dreaming, was I? "What…what sort of questions?"
"Well, to begin with: which energy provider are you currently with?"
"You heard me."
Right, that was it. I was dreaming. This was another dream, a particularly vivid one, but certainly a dream. I rolled back over and closed my eyes. The bookcase, clock and light continued with badger me, with increasing irritation. I think they gave up eventually, but I slipped into blackness well before that point.
I woke up the following morning with bleary eyes. Four hours sleep is better than nothing, I guess. I had little time to prepare, so my preparation for my day at the Jamboree was lackadaisical, something of a rush. The last thought that went through my head as snatched the keys off the bedside table and threw the door shut, was that the lamp was gone. So were the bookcase and the little bedside clock.