Insomnia: The perception or complaint of inadequate or poor-quality sleep because of one or more of the following: difficulty falling asleep; waking up frequently during the night with difficulty returning to sleep; waking up too early in the morning; or unrefreshing sleep.
The clamour of the nearby fast food restaurant preparing food jolted Daniel Burghess from his thoughts. He stood up quickly, and then sat down just as fast when a wave of dizziness washed over him. Taking a glance at his Rolex; he saw that it was 5:00 AM.
Daniel sighed. He had not slept in thirteen days.
He saw no chance of trying to sleep again, so he got up, grabbed his overcoat and headed for the bathroom to clean up. Looking into the mirror, Daniel winced as he saw a tired looking face staring back at him. He had a pale waxy complexion, with crows feet that looked more like eagle claws. Having a receding hairline didn't help matters much. He looked years older than his current 41.
After brushing his teeth, he went over to the restaurant (which was already serving food), and looked at it critically. It was a rather generic looking affair, he thought. One of those massive franchises in which every store was an exact clone of another. Taking a peek at the menu, he ordered the Soup of the Day, and then almost laughed at the sign beside it, which proclaimed "Special of the Weak". This lack of professionalism shown by the restaurant made Daniel think of his own company, which was small conglomerate producing everything from eating utensils to action figures. Anyone who made that sort of mistake in his company would be fired on the spot, Daniel mused.
The soup finally was delivered to him after thirty minutes, an unacceptable time for a fast food restaurant. Daniel looked down at it in distaste. It looked like Cream of Mushroom, but the slivers of egg and the frog leg on top seemed to point away from the fact. Daniel threw away his breakfast into the nearby trash can after a few bites and went outside the airport for a run. While he was leaning against a tree catching his breath, his cellphone suddenly beeped. Daniel glanced down at it in annoyance. He was just about to nod off. Flipping it open, he spoke in an irritated voice, "Daniel speaking." just to hear a pre-recorded message reminding him for the umpteenth time that his appointment was today at three o'clock in the Fushara Clinic. Suddenly finding himself mouthing the words contemptuously along with the message, Daniel quickly shut himself up.
Daniel decided right there that he would not go to see another doctor. Since he had officially been identified as an insomniac, everybody had wanted to treat the multi-millionaire. They figured a sleep diary and a few sleeping pills would cure him, and that they would get a nice bonus after the treatment was finished.
So far, Daniel had visited 19 clinics, all of them telling him that their treatment was 100% effective. None of them had worked. Daniel had suffered through stagnant water, blinking lights (which just made him feel dizzy), probes, and various tests which made him vomit. Nothing had worked. Daniel walked back to the airport, figuring he would shop around and maybe find a better restaurant to eat at. While he was standing in front of a suspicious looking buffet, he noticed that a well dressed woman was walking towards him purposefully. He also noticed the fact that she had a rather large, pink, hamster which was peeking its head from her pocket.
"Mr.Burghess?" She asked in a scratchy, gravelly voice while holding out a business card. She was immediately given the nickname of Scratchy. "My name is S'rat Chyn (close enough), and I am here on behalf of my company, LD Enterprises. Please follow me." With that, she walked off, not even bothering to glance behind her to see if Daniel was following her. He contemplated staying where he was, but followed her anyways when curiosity got the better of him. They walked around for a while, and then Daniel was led into a small VW beetle, the expensive looking chauffer sitting in it a sharp contrast to the car.
Ten minutes later, Daniel found himself standing before an ugly, squat looking building. You know, the ones which look as if they are designed as emergency bunkers for troops in case of a war which definitely, imminently, obviously will erupt between Iceland and Denmark. Or maybe it was the location of a future school. He groaned inwardly to himself, thinking that he had been duped by another wannabe doctor seeking to gain recognition by curing him. He had enough of them to last him a lifetime
He was pleasantly surprised when the interior of the building was shown to him. It all looked very professional, and very, very, very expensive. He followed S'rat through the entrance, and into a small side door, which was promptly unlocked by S'rat. The size of the door belied the true size of the room. It was gigantic, easily half the size of a football field with a smooth, eggshell-like roof. And in the room, scurrying around was a number of scientists. Daniel was immediately confused by the whole affair. Why were they taking him here? If it was to try and cure him of his insomnia, why wasn't he told about it? He had a brief flashback to Friday the 13th, and then dismissed the idea as absurd. At that moment, Scratchy came back, along with another doctor. She held a pill in one hand and a cup filled with water in the other. "Drink this," She said. "We are confident that this will finally prove to be the cure for your condition."
Slightly suspicious, Daniel asked, "Don't I need a consent form or something?"
This had the effect of making Daniel even more suspicious. He was about to give back the pill that Scratchy was trying to give him, when the other doctor spoke up.
"It is just a blend of concentrated vitamins and other supplements". He said with a thick Middle-east accent that instantly reminded Daniel of terrorists. "Do not worry about it."
Even though he was still a little hesitant in taking this, he felt that these strange events were rapidly tiring him out. He had enough surprises for today. So he swallowed the pill, and then asked if there was something else he would have to do.