Every night at 11:17 p.m., Johnny would fall asleep. He’d sink down into the mattress of the twin-sized bed of his little cabin in the woods.
As he descended and sleep came, the world around him disappeared. The forest. The trees. The crickets and wolves. Folding in on one another then fading away like an origami suitcase, until nothing remained but Johnny, floating in the deep black of nothing.
His toes and knees, knuckles and eyelids blinked out of existence, one by one as his mind shut down for the night.
Then he was nothing but a speck of brilliant dust floating in an infinite void. Everything and nothing all at once. While he slept.
At 2:34 in the morning of June 16th, Johnny woke and found himself floating here. In his true reality. But he did not scream. He did not choke. He did not cry.
He merely imagined a smile and fell back asleep.
Happy in the world he’d created.