Harold jumped, aware that he'd been falling in his dream and desperate to wake up before he hit the ground. He was terrified that a dream of falling and hitting the ground would lead to his physical self becoming crushed and broken. Gillian pooh-poohed the notion but Jasfoup, when he'd confessed his fear over a glass of amaretto one winter evening, had nodded vigorously. “It quite possible. You've heard of psychosomatic illnesses? It more than feasible that a traumatic event in your dream leads to something happening in reality. There a demons who inhabit nightmares, after all.”
So Harold remained in a perpetual state of fear and forced himself awake during dreams of falling. Today, he was relieved to find himself alive and well, but less so to discover he was fast asleep on his own study floor. Dill continued to potter about, working on the computer but there was, thankfully, no sign of the second head.
“What time is it?”
“Zero-eight-thirty-five” The clipped home-county tones of a lady radio announcer.
“Who?” Harold looked around.
“Orias.” Dill gave the impression of smiling without actually doing so. “I've upgraded him.”
“Him? You've given it a woman's voice.”
“Good to know that sexism is alive and well in your generation Dill sniffed. Again, Harold knew there was no earthly reason why a golem made of play-dough would ever have need to clear a non-functional nose of imaginary snot but Dill did it anyway. “Along with your xenophobia, ageism, Luddite nature and everything else.”