John woke up on the sofa, the TV flickering quietly in the corner. Ouch. His head hurt.
He dragged himself up to a seated position and put his face in his hands to sigh before standing and wobbling to the kitchen to fetch some water.
How had he even got home last night? He didn’t remember. There was the pub after work, and then meeting a friend in another pub after that.
He remembered them not really wanting to go home come kicking out time, and moving onto some club or another. After that it was all very hazy. Just a few brief flashes of memory really. Flirting. Dancing. Drinking yet more.
He looked at the clock on the oven as he gulped down a pint of water;04:22.
Ugh. Three hours till he had to get up for work. His head throbbed in time with the opening and closing of his esophagus, allowing the water to sluice down to quench the fire in his belly.
He staggered back towards his bedroom, picking up his coat from the floor on the way. As he hung it on a peg on the back of his bedroom door, a small book fell out of the pocket onto the floor.
John narrowed his eyes wondering where he’d picked that thing up from and nearly fell over as he bent down to pick it up. He tried to steady himself on the door, which began to move under his weight throwing him further off balance.
He turned the book over in one hand while he unzipped his trousers with the other. There was a picture of a fat squinty-eyed penguin on the cover under the title: “Do Dream-Sheep Bleat?“
He tried to focus on the back of the book as his trousers dropped to the floor and he stepped out of them. It claimed to be “A short story about magic and mind. About cognizance, conjuring and the nature of consciousness. Also, there’s a penguin.“
Under that there was a quote from some nobody claiming “Incredible, this book has completely changed the way I live my life. It’s taught me my aims, my goals, how to achieve my dreams. Now I’m rich! – John Shamrock“
It really was only a short book, pocketbook sized and only eighty tiny pages. The whole thing couldsurely be read in about an hour.
John threw the book onto his pillow, pulled his shirt up over his head and tossed it to the floor near his trousers before climbing under the duvet and tunneling up to the head of the bed.
He checked his alarm clock was set, prompting another sigh at the fact he’d have to crawl back out of this bed in only three hours, then started skimming through the tiny book, trying to remember where he’d got it from.