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NOD

by Adrian Barnes

A waking nightmare - literally! Imagine the world without sleep and society disintegrating as people go mad. It would be very depressing reading were it not for the fact that you are challenged to think: about our inherently violent nature, our dependence on words and how we might be able to change.

Extract

I opened my watering eyes, my single mandated hour of sleep now over. This regimen was making my eyes twitch, and I occasionally saw electric flickers of movement in the periphery of my vision - coming attractions, I supposed, for the visions of Nod the Awakened were seeing all around them. An hour wasn't long enough to allow me the Dream, and its absence left me sullen and resentful. And yet, my meagre ration of sleep had to have been a bounty compared to the absolute zero that Tanya and everyone else around me was subsisting on. I couldn't imagine and still can't. All I think of when I try to imagine absolute sleeplessness is a single day that never ends - a good definition of Hell. Hell is time, isn't that obvious? Take your greatest pleasure or your greatest fantasy and let it come continuously true - for a day, a week, a year, a decade. And that's hell.

Parallels

Lord of the Flies by William Golding
I am Legend by Richard Matheson
The Chrysalids by John Wyndham
 

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