The Wakeful Watcher is the boundary between sleep and alertness, keeper of the border and hunter of those that would stray from one realm to the next. When it appears, it appears as a two-headed owl: one head forever watching the world of sleep, one head eternally guarding the world of wakefulness. It speaks, if it must, with both heads at once in a tremulous unison.

Those who cross the boundary each night are watched, and in the event that a dream becomes to wakeful or waking life becomes to dreamlike, the Wakeful Watcher will turn its attentions thereto. It will pursue dream attempting to become real or reality attempting to become dreams, and it will offer them only a single warning before attacking.

Thus it was that the great two-headed owl waited atop the boughs of a twisted cypress one cool morning. It was waiting for Cindy Gompers, with a warning borne on steel talons and destruction carried on the same. Her crime?

She thought that she was real.

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