There is a world beyond our dreams, existing on the edges of our imagination but not very far from where we are. It is not very far at all. In fact is is only just a porthole away...
"At the tone, it will be twenty strokes before the dream porthole closes."
"Hoot, hoot, hoo-"
There was a loud bang as the alarm owl narrowly dodged a blast from Wexland Dreamer's pen.
"Ahem, at the tone, it will be nineteen and three quarters strokes before the dream porthole closes," the suicidal alarm owl continued.
"Hoot, hoot, hoo-"
This time, the bang was followed by a shower of feathers accompanied by the smell of burnt chicken. Wexland's stomach responded by letting out a loud rumble. Surprisingly it was the rumbling that woke him up.
"Hoo...huh..." puffed the alarm owl, before fainting dead away. There was a thud as it fell from its perch and onto the floor.
With eyes still closed, Wexland almost succeeded in trying to unglue his face from the pile of paper he had fallen asleep upon. With his right cheek still firmly attached to a piece of paper, he dragged himself to the kitchen and stuck his head in the refrigerator. The blast of cold air finally managed to peel the last of the sleep from his mind. He pulled himself out of the fridge, but not before grabbing a slice of rhubarb and cherry pie.
It wasn't until his stomach was full (this required polishing off the rest of the pie as well as a pumpkin and five peas) that he noticed the smell.
"Fiddle cakes!" he cried.
With a little panicked hop, Wexland launched himself into the air. For a few seconds the only sound that could be heard was the frantic waving of arms. This was then followed by a loud thud. For a stunned moment, he lay on the floor. After the brief moment of confusion, Wexland realised that his wings had been confiscated (for violating section 13, that is flying while operating a mobile pigeon phone) . Picking himself up, he ran into his room and tripped over the fallen alarm owl. At exactly ten strokes to the dream porthole closes, Wexland's nose, followed by the rest of him, came to a skidding halt in front of the pigeon phone.
"You have a message," the pigeon phone announced despondently.
"Umph," Wexland grunted in reply.
"Press one, if you would like to listen to the message. Huh...two if you...well you know the drill."
From his position on the floor, Wexland reached up and pressed one. There was an unhappy sqwark as the pigeon phone squeezed out a message egg. The egg fell through the air and landed with a messy splat on the floor.
"Message received at eighty two strokes before the dream porthole closes. This is Dreamwriters Central, you have been reassigned to Billy Kramer, aged eight. His file will be faxed to you following this message."
There was a loud SPLAT! which was then followed by a muffled "Umph".
Unfortunately for Wexland, the fax-egg had landed on his head. The contents spilled out to reveal an unsmiling photo of Billy Kramer, aged eight. Class bully.