The problem with having lucid and antagonistic dreams, was that was really no escape, or so Stanley thought as his car trundled toward the town centre. It would get them in the end, whatever it was, whether it was as a somewhat tweedy woman or a giant fluffy dice crushing them as they tried to escape its devastating course around the Temple of the Blatant Mango. All the hope was bleeding out of him in a most disgraceful fashion.
Beside Stanley, his new acquaintance Helen (not of Troy, nor of Tadcaster sadly) was thinking about hypnosis. She had a feeling that this would be a trip of great significance, at least if they managed to live out the following night unscathed. The sun was setting directly in their eyes, most aggravatingly. Tugging the shade down she looked to the left, out of the passenger window, at the passing landscape of Wigglesworth.
Hang on, though, there was something wrong with all of this, but what was it? What was wrong with Wigglesworth? Wigglesworth? With a rush, it all came crashing in on her! "Stanley! Simonson! There's no such place as Wigglesworth!"
The car veered all over the road, drunkenly. "What on Earth do you mean, there's no place called Wigglesworth?!" No, it was the car that was veering, but the road itself.
"We're asleep!" The tweedy woman was standing in the middle of the street as they raced down it, smiling coolly. "Dodge that fruitcake!"
"Urgh." The car missed the evil nemesis by a small margin, and they continued down the street. "We might have been better off mowing that monster down. When on Earth did we fall asleep?!" Stanley was confused as never before, except possibly as he had been at the last staff meeting, but that had involved a goat, the field hockey team, a bizarre reference to the Monkees, and the headmaster's parrot. Everyone had been confused that time. Except the headmaster. Why was his mind drifting so?
He kept on driving, past the town centre, onwards out of town again toward Egberttown, the petrol gauge never dropping even a millimetre. "Do you think we can get away if there's enough distance between us?"
"How would I know?!"
On the road ahead of them a shining light was swinging, as if suspended by some incredible and unsuspected string. Stanley stopped the car. Soothing music began to serenade them from the roadside, and then... they awoke...
The hypnotherapist's treatment room was warmly decorated, and smelt nice. Simonson and Ostrander slowly came back to themselves and examine their surrounding anew. "Ah, you're back with us, I see." Dr Kibbel looked at them gravely. That was quite the most bizarre interlude in my professional experience. You answered identically, down to the most bizarre details, upon being prompted about the details of your surroundings in the trance state. Astounding."
"Trance state... we shared a trance!" Helen blurted.
"Yes, and so did she, the tweedy woman, and I don't like it." Stanley's post-hypnotic calm began to dissipate.
Dr Kibbel listened, mused, and then leaned forward and rested his elbows on his knees as he rested his head in his hands. "I think there's something you really need to know." He levered himself up again, retrieved a sheath of papers from a drawer and handed it to them, Stanley taking the papers. He looked at them, and then passed them over to Helen. Kibbel continued: "You see, it is astounding, but not at all unprecedented..."
There shall be more.