Written by Alexander Aspinall on Tuesday the 22nd of November 2011
He'd forgotten how to sleep.
Not the switching the lights off, closing your eyes basics; more the actual logistics of nodding off.
It was proving difficult to remember: did he sleep on his back, or on his side with his legs tucked up into his chest? Facing left, or right? Foetal: really?
He slid his arm under the pillow and drew it down by his side. He stacked two and three pillows on top of each other, before throwing each one on to the floor. He tried lying on his stomach with his face pointing straight into the mattress. And on his back, as straight as a pencil.
But sleep would not come.
He didn't bother counting sheep because when he tried to picture the field in which they were skipping he became side tracked by obscure observations.
The grass in his field wasn't the right colour green. It lent too far towards blue. The sky wasn't right either. And the mottled leopard-print clouds, were moving far too quickly for him to be able to concentrate on the sheep, which all seemed to be fast asleep in the corner of the castle anyway.
He decided to get out of bed and go for a walk around the blue field. He couldn't sleep, so why lie in bed, he reasoned. Perhaps the exercise would tire him out.
Over the grassy mounds he strolled, further and further from his bed, spotting lizards and horses here, tiny motorcars there, and various strange flowers all over the place. He even saw a girl he used to know sprinting after some invisible foe. But he decided not to get involved when she sped past. 'None of my business,' he said to no one. He chuckled and continued on his way.
After some time he decided to look for a place to rest. And as luck had it, a few seconds in to his search he happened upon a pile of soft leaves positioned neatly next to a pool of fresh water. He helped himself to a few refreshing handfuls before curling up into a ball and drifting off into the deepest, most satisfying sleep he had ever known.