It’s been three weeks since the Cure was introduced into the all-consuming masses of society. That’s three weeks without sleep. Today at work my body and mind gave out and sacrificed itself the dream world, only I didn’t dream, technically I didn’t even sleep. I passed out. When I came to half of my face was covered in blood. I guess I hit my head on the way down. The Doctor’s say I should be fine, it was only a mild concussion, and I should be able to return to my regular night shift in a week.
It’s been four months since the concussion. Four months without sleep. Four months without the pure satisfaction of R.E.M. They say I should be fine, that my mind and body will adjust to the Cure but I don’t see that happening. For the last three nights, hours of my shift seemed to have disappeared. I don’t remember anything, from the beginning of my lunch hour right up until I punch out of the clock is missing. Obviously my work is being completed since my Supervisor hasn’t called me into her office. My head hurts.
I went to the Doctor’s today complaining of an intense migraine, it felt like scratching or something growing in my head. The Doctor’s office ran tests; CAT scans and MRI’s, everything came back clear. They did however up my dosage of the Cure, stating that it was the only real way to recover from such an accident. I silently filled my prescription and left for work.
I don’t think the Cure is working the way it’s supposed to. I find myself nodding into sleep but it feels like I’m being instructed to. I’m being told to sleep but the Cure is holding strong. I lost the second half of my shift again tonight. This time I found myself staring at the piston press that molds the small pots and pans my company makes. My head hurts, it feels like something is trying to scratch its way out.
Back at work for the night shift except I’m not controlling myself. I didn’t bother clocking in. I’m starring at the piston press, the small one, and my head hurts. It feels like something’s trying to scratch its way out. I’m inside the housing for the piston press, my right thumb on the button to active the press. The cold metal of the piston is electric on my tongue. Why is the piston in my mouth? Why is the piston on my palate? My head hurts, it feels like something is trying to scratch its way out. My right thumb pushed the button. I’m trying to scream but I can’t.
“Hello Mr. Azure, welcome!” said Night.
“Who’s there? You sound far away, where are you? Where am I?” worried Mr. Azure.
“You’re right where I need you to be Mr. Azure, you’re somewhere in between here and there. If you turn and look towards your right you’ll see me.” answers Night.
I turn only to see emptiness. Nothing. Then I see it, I see him. The faint shimmer of stars in faraway galaxies. The welcoming yet frightening glow of the moon. And then I hear his voice, silence through a megaphone, it pierces my body and I tremble in fear.
“Like I said before Mr. Azure, welcome! I’m Night and you are right where I need you to be. You couldn’t see me before because your right eye, along with the top right quarter of your head and face is gone. If you haven’t noticed your head no longer hurts. You no longer feel like something is trying to scratch its way out. I took care of that for you. Sure, it wasn’t pretty but horrible deeds go unnoticed under the blanket of the night so your body won’t be discovered until the morning shift. Don’t worry you won’t miss your body…much.” said Night.
“What did you do to me?” screamed Mr. Azure.
“I merely removed the pain, the scratching from inside your head. Your dreams needed to escape so I gave them a means in which to do so. And I needed you here.” Assured Night.
“But why?” Mr. Azure growled in fear disguised as anger.
Smiling Night reassuringly says, “Like I said, I needed you here. I have a proposition for you, not that you have a choice, but you’re going to be my eye on the ground. Or more accurately, my eye on the In-Between. Walker comes and goes as he pleases and that’s all well and good. I know him he’s as good as they come. He even gives me some of his children from time to time. But there’s this Drifter that is popping up more and more. He’s poking his head into places he shouldn’t be, places he shouldn’t even know exist, but he’s there and I need to know why. And you’re going to be the one that finds that our for me, do we have an understanding Mr. Azure? From now on I’ll refer to you as The Monocle.”