It had been too long. He could tell right away.
His mouth was a dry. He could smell himself. It wasn’t pleasant. His head throbbed, and his stomach was twisted in tight hungry knots.
A single beam of light crashed through some small tear in his foil lined windows. It was like staring into the sun. He dared not close his eyes lest he drift back into sleep’s realm. He’d danced in that garden too long.
With great effort he got the bottle of water from his nightstand. Slowly and deliberately he measured its contents down his desperate throat.
Only then did he painfully sit up and inch his way to the edge of the mattress. He muttered a quick prayer to Hypnos and stood on shaking legs.
In the kitchen he took what little sustenance his stomach was able to endure. He had a decision to make.
He’d made it further than ever before. He had actually stood before the Gateless Dwelling in the Land That Never Knew the Sun. The longer he waited to return, the longer he remained awake, the further he would be from that place. Then again he may never wake up at all.
Digging through his nightstand, the dreaming wanderer found his cleanest needle. His veins were filled with Sleep’s great fire, and he boldly laid his head upon the pillow.