Brian shook his head, irritated. He looked back. The shoreline, Bata, the crowd, all had disappeared. Nothing but water could be seen, all around him, water near the same color as the sky above him. After a few minutes, he could no longer tell where one ended and the other began. He seemed to float in the middle of some reality of perfect placid blueness. “Great,” Brian said aloud. “Just great.” He felt no fear, though, no unease. He trusted that he would get where he was supposed to go in time—not that he had any idea of where that might be.
Some time passed, if time even existed wherever he was, and Brian began to get sleepy, his eyelids growing heavy. A little while longer, and he lay back, his hands clasped behind his head. He closed his eyes, but the glare of the sourceless light bothered him. After a few more minutes he caught up the lid, the hinges squeaking as he lowered it into place, careful that it did not lock. Seeing that it did not seem to have a locking mechanism, he relaxed. Cooler and more comfortable now—surprisingly comfortable considering he lay within a wooden box without any cushion beneath him, he soon fell asleep. His awakening, when it came, would prove a most peculiar one.