As Leif prepared to go to bed, he purposefully procrastinated for more time than he knew; at the moment he lacked the courage to face it. By managing to evade it all day, Leif had only grown increasingly anxious and even scared to go near it, but the time had come. After much deliberation, he walked over to his alarm clock with an acute hesitation. There it stood—the alarm clock—in all its vileness, waiting for Leif to set it. Leif did just that and crawled into bed, barley able to pull himself up. The day had been especially long, yet its events come across his mind as nothing but a blur, a fading memory of unimportance. “Like a dream,” he thought. The day is over though. Night awaits, and with it a new dilemma: the alarm clock. Leif hated nothing more nor met anything else with more contempt than having to be awoken to the shrieking wails of his alarm clock. Harboring these thoughts of abhorrence, he swayed back and forth, awake then asleep; drifting for what felt like hours. At last, though, Leif did fall asleep. This is his story.
My mind awakes, yet my eyes remain closed. I do not know where I am, but this place seems familiar, so familiar. I look up to find massive skyscrapers with tinted windows and black walls that ascend into a bleak and dusty sky. They go on for miles, to the point where the sky and the buildings merge, becoming one. The towers sway back and forth, as if one more oscillation or even the slightest push would send them hurling into the space below my feet. This is when I realize I am floating, maybe even swaying. Not like the skyscrapers, though; I count to a different metronome. The buildings remain, but where is the city? Where are the people?
Now I find the moon pushing through the allusion above. The light comes closer, and as I try to look away the light redirects itself toward my feet. “Hello? What’s wrong with you now?” Like a shriek these words pierce my mind. Not the shriek, no it is far too early for that, but I digress. I look up and find an obviously annoyed official of some kind. There was no way to assure his official-ness, but I could tell. Looking at me like I had forty eyes the man is slumped in a chair too small and too yellow for his obese build. “Can you hear me?” He continues to talk to me, but I do not care. The buildings are gone now; nothing but a passing memory. I now find myself in this room with this obnoxious mouth-breather with a blurred face.
Finally my reason for being here resurfaces to the front of my mind, and I speak to the official, “Tell me how to find the alarm clock.” “So you can talk,” he is not amused, “how about you tell me what you were doing on the upper levels of our building.”
I do not have time for this. I need to find the alarm clock and destroy it; this was the only way I could peacefully sleep free from any anxiety or fear. I stand up, much to the dismay of the official, and walk out, shutting the door behind me. I shut the door and find myself outside the building, falling all the way down the skyscraper. After having fallen multiple stories to the ground below, I could finally see a city, full of dull-looking corporate pedestrians walking about.
I am now on the ground, so I start walking, the official nothing but a passing memory. I find a poster taped onto the side of a tinted building. Boasting a blurry picture, the propaganda’s text reads, “Are you searching for a meaning to your life? Look no further! Join Mr. Alaclo, our fearless leader, in defending our Realm. To sign up; enter though the sliding doors on the left.” Armed with this newfound knowledge, I make a bee-line for the corporate door on the left leading into the tinted building with black walls.
The lobby is dull, decorated with a lone flower trying so hard to cheer me up. In dire need of water and care, however, the flower knows its strains are in vain, and ceases trying to bring life to the monochromatic room, wilting. There are doors everywhere. The secretary looks at me, obviously annoyed at my being here. “Can I help you,” she inquires. “I need to see the alar-… er I mean…Mr. Alaclo,” is my answer. She seems shocked, her frail stature blown away, her neck hidden by her uncharacteristic double—no triple—chins. She gathers herself. “Well that’s simply not possible.” I ask her why, and she tells me I need to register for a meeting at least three months in advance and get a blood test. I get angry, realizing I have little time left. “You need to take me to him right now!” Now she is looking at her watch—too blurry for me to see what time—and getting up. “Now where are you going,” I demand. “Well this is my lunch hour,” is all she responds. I explode with anger, ready to tell the secretary off, when the lobby disappears, and with it the woman, dead flower, and all but one door. I walk through it, and begin to fall upwards toward a room far above the remnants of what used to be the lobby and is now a fading memory.
The falling ceases. I am in another room with an altitude so high I can barely breathe. This room lacks a distinct color. It possesses no distinct look at all, just the indescribable feeling that the alarm clock is about to go off, about to produce the ear-piercing shrieks of defeat. I know if ever there was a chance to eliminate this feeling and its collateral, the time is now. “You cannot stop me, Leif.” I look to the other side of the room, finding the alarm clock in all its disgusting glory. “How do you know my name?” “I know many things, but what I know most of all is your dire need to wake up. You don’t belong here, this is my dreamscape, and I control its citizens,” it proclaims. The high altitude gets to my head, resulting in a faint shrilling noise. I respond, “I am here to destroy you, Mr. Alaclo, and from then-on I am going to sleep in peace.” He asserts, “Don’t you understand? Your attempts are for naught. Each night you sit at your bedside in fear of me. And each night you set me up to wake you up.” Having heard enough of his nonsense, I charge him, but the light shrills turn to a shriek, stopping me dead in my tracks. I fall to my knees. The truth reveals itself: the noise is the alarm clock attacking me, doing its worste. Defeat is inevitable. I look up at the alarm clock standing above me, producing his cynical smile and piercing attacks.
The ground disappears; I fall once more while the alarm clock stays in its place. I know the flowers ultimate brooding all too well. After all this, my journey was in vain. The ground comes into view; the vociferous shrieks penetrating my mind are now unbearable. And then…
Leif woke up running as fast as he could to the alarm clock in his room to turn it off. He climbed into a relieving hot shower, barely able to pull himself up. The night had been especially long; the dream was over, nothing but a blur—a fading memory of unimportance. Leif was more tired than when he went to bed, and—while immersed in the steaming water—began to sway.