City Of No-Sleep

by Vera Nazarian

(an excerpt)

If you ever get lost, somewhere West of the Compass Rose, look for a city called No-Sleep.

The city is young--as each new day is young. And it's filled to the brim with miracles.

But the king here is old and mad like a mangy goat. They say his mind is broken; a fractured mirror, filled with disjointed everchanging images which are his dreams. They re-shape the fabric of the city every night.

The old madman spends his waking hours attempting to put together the shards of the mirror in order, and then sleeps erratically, during which time, chaos returns to him. And the residents are known to keep themselves awake for as long as possible, so as to delay the inevitable changes, for they come only after sleep's oblivion.

You are welcome to visit this place if you like, to marvel at the wonders.

Only, whatever you do, don't fall asleep here. For, the next time you wake, the city will have rearranged itself.

* * *

...

[SWORD AND SORCERESS 16]

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