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By Natalia Theodoridou
What happens to dreams if no one sleeps? That’s the question explored in Natalia Theodoridou’s dark and unsettling short story built on Twine. Based on the premise that human sleep has suddenly become a thing of the past, the story follows its characters—never quite asleep, never quite awake—through all-night coffee shops, nightclubs and call-in help lines.
Maintaining a tight focus on the text, the story makes sparing and sometimes subtle use of visual and audio accompaniment to reinforce its mood. Sleepless is at its best though in its use of dynamic text and arrangement on the screen, capturing all too well a liminal state of consciousness. Like many Twine stories, it can feel a little slight depending on the choices made by the reader, though it is worth repeating for a fuller experience.
Sleepless is available online.