A high-pitched alarm sounded from the smartphone lying on Paul Blart’s nightstand, rousing him from his sleep with a start. He opened his eyes to a sunlit bedroom, groaning as he recovered from his slumber. It took several minutes for him to regain his wakefulness and get out of bed. Once he was on his feet, he stumbled groggily out of his bedroom and into the kitchen, stopping for a couple of moments to glance proudly at the mall officer uniform that was ironed and lying on the counter.
As he ate his breakfast of Reese’s Puffs, recollections of the previous night’s dreams filled Paul’s head. He tended to be a forgetful man who usually paid no mind to his dreams. After all, with such a demanding occupation, who had the time and energy to waste on fantasies? And yet, despite this, he found himself wracking his brain over a dream for the very first time.
Paul was lying on the floor, groggy and with half-lidded eyes, mustering all of his strength to push through the lightheadedness that plagued him so suddenly. This sensation was all too familiar to the hypoglycemic man, as he frequently found himself faced with low blood sugar, and yet it tended to be very preventable. He always kept a few candies on hand to keep his condition at bay, but in this instance his pockets were empty sans his phone and radio. Paul felt hopeless as he rapidly slipped into unconsciousness. Breathing heavily, he felt his dizziness overcome him and swallow him whole.
Until he tasted sweetness in his mouth.
Opening his eyes, Paul took in the blurry image of a ginger-haired girl. Her blue eyes were wide with concern as she reached towards him, a small, round cake in her hand. Her mouth was moving. She was speaking to him.
“I need your help.”
The dream had completely seized his attention for the rest of his morning. Paul Blart was a man of many senses, and he trusted his instincts. He could not shake off the feeling that it was important. It almost seemed as though it was a vision. But of what purpose? And who was that girl?
He didn’t know exactly what it was about his dream that was so enigmatic, but it occupied his thoughts up until his arrival at the mall. It was a Sunday, an expectedly busy shopping day, and he forcibly pressed his attention onto the work that had to be done.
Paul walked through the sliding doors of the mall and happily stepped inside, adjusting his mall cop badge and beaming. He made his way towards the security center, where all of the officers clocked in to work and stored their belongings. Spotting his segway, Paul whistled excitedly and pulled it towards him. He was going to forget the silly dream and put his focus on a brand new day at his favorite place in the world.
Paul Blart suavely segwayed towards Macy’s, where he’d received report of an attempted shoplifting. He was ordered to stay on watch in the premises in case the suspect tried to return to the store. Parking next to the elevator, Paul’s guard duties commenced.
As he watched the faces of the multiple passersby, Paul couldn’t help but scan the crowd for patches of orange. Despite his devotion to his current duty, he found himself unable to suppress the uneasiness brought to him by his dream. Why did the girl save him? And, more importantly, what did she need from him?
About twenty minutes passed and Paul remained deep in thought. The mall cop soon felt pangs of drowsiness arise within him, and instinctively reached into his front shirt pocket in hopes of finding a Pixie Stick that would satisfy his need for sugar. He froze with dread as he realized that he was empty-handed. His stash of sweets was in his locker.
Forgetting his post, Paul hurriedly positioned himself back on his Segway, feeling beads of sweat beginning to form on his forehead with the anxiety of his situation. This was going all wrong. What if it ended up like his dream? Was it all really a premonition?
He was quickly plagued with the all-too familiar lightheadedness of hypoglycemia. Just as the sign signifying the security center came into view, Paul’s vision was obstructed with blackness and he stumbled backward, slipping off of his segway and landing onto the cold tile floor with a thud.
All Paul Blart could hear was the sound of his own breathing.
And then he felt another’s warmth.
He tasted something sweet.
Paul blinked several times as he adjusted to the light once more, the aching of his body becoming noticeable as he returned to consciousness. The sight of a ginger-haired, blue-eyed girl kneeling before him nearly rendered him unconscious once more.
“You’re awake,” she murmured, beaming at him. “I’m glad.”
Paul found himself incapable of speaking, his mouth hanging open with shock. Was this another dream? Was he still asleep?
“I’m glad the daifuku helped you.”
“Who…” Paul rasped out, trying not to cringe from the pain of his fall. “Who are you?”
The girl giggled warmly, her side ponytail bouncing lightly as she did so. “My name is Honoka. Honoka Kousaka.”
“Honoka…” the man repeated. Her name seemed familiar somehow, even though Paul Blart was positive he’d never heard it before. “I’m Officer Paul –”
“Blart. Officer Paul Blart.” Honoka grinned as she finished for him.
Paul’s mouth was agape. He was in shock. First he met the girl from his dream, and now she knew his name? The entire situation was incomprehensible.
“How do you know my name?” he breathed, his voice ringing with surprise.
Honoka simply remained smiling as she continued. “I’ve come to find you. I need your help.”
“My help?” he questioned. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “Is something going on in the mall?”
Honoka shook her head, and her eyes grew wider with obvious worry. “No,” she responded. “It’s an issue much greater… I need you to help save my school. Officer, I need you to become a school idol.”