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By John Dromey
Dot Mayhew drifted in and out of sleep.
She was surrounded by unfamiliar, unfriendly people. A flash mob perhaps, but—if so—what were they doing there? What was she doing there?
Was that for real? No, she decided. She’d been asleep. She opened her eyes and the people were gone. They were unseen, at least.
One-hundred forty characters in search of a victim. Anonymous searchers, as faceless as a sans serif font, but with a familiar target: Dot.
Dot awoke with her thumbs twitching. Muscle memory at work. The physiological safety mechanism that normally prevented movement while dreaming was apparently on vacation.
Dot tweeted her followers to come extricate her from her predicament. Where are you? someone asked. Good question she replied. I think I’m
Each bit of sleep she snatched lasted only the length of time it took for her to text 140 keystrokes or fewer. She began tossing and turning. That caused rapid shifts in her point of view.
What if I’m the victim of cyber bullying? What if my followers are also my tormenters? Linking my username to a physical address could be
What’s wrong with me? Dot wondered. I’ve never been a technophobe. Maybe it’s the side effect of modern-day communication devices. Perhaps I can’t concentrate on what’s happening to me because I’ve developed an incredibly short attention span. If that’s the case, then why am I fully spelling out all of these words?
Why R U spelling the words out completely?
I don’t want an abbreviated sleep cycle. LOL
Relax, Dot. If a sleeping person cannot hear him- or herself snore, why do you think laughing out loud in dreamland would be any different?
It was going to be a very long night. Dot abandoned the first-person point of view she had adopted half a dozen paragraphs earlier in a futile attempt to take control of the situation. She surrendered her fate to the third-person narrator, who—since Dot had also begun hallucinating—may or may not have been the elephant in the room.
The nightmare resumed…
… and then it spilled unbidden into Dot’s conscious state. Her repeatedly waking up exhausted was taking a toll on her psychological wellbeing as she was deprived of the deep, satisfying REM sleep that in the past had healed her psyche and prepared her to face another day. Was Dot calm? Not at all. There were physical consequences as well.
Dot’s heart skipped a beat.
Both. She was experiencing tachycardia.
Her heart was all atwitter