Explosives: Hypnagog

Barker used his helmet to scoop out a hollow in the hardpan for his hip. He folded his other shirt to form a pillow, lay on his side in the hollow and rocked twice so the edges of his blanket would flip under his body.

Richards looked down at Barker. “Have you considered the relative advantages of term life insurance versus whole life?”

“Not ever,” the sleeper muttered.

“Well, I have,” Richards informed him. “And I can tell you that a whole life policy is the worst investment choice you can make. You see, if you compare the rate of return to an equivalent annuity…” Barker issued a mild snore, then a louder one. Richards tiptoed away.

People thought his insomnia was a superpower. Then they wondered why he sometimes made so little sense. The truth was that, while he didn’t sleep, he did dream. He dreamed awake. Sometimes the dream viewed reality in a parallax way, and his actions were startling, insightful, poetic. Other times it was just a fantasy, and he’d suffer for what he said and did.

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