Right from the beginning you grab the reader's attention and force them to hold onto it. We become curious of this world and how it works and the memories that the narrator is recalling. While we never are told straight out what the world is, we know by the end that it is a dreamworld, and one that is open to interpretation. We all have our own dreams so this is a great place to begin. For everyone, this world may be different. We just see it from Daniel's POV.
That's what also makes this so interesting and beautiful. We are left with questions at the end, in a good way, that we want to continue reading to find out. We know that this is Daniel's dream and his thoughts on this "memory" he mentions, something that I'm sure will come up in later chapters. As a reader, we become invested in this question and want to know what it is that Daniel "recollects" and what this dream world really means to him. We get heavy Ophelia imagery throughout, so it's clear that he has lost someone (since he addresses them often), but who is not yet clear. For that, we want to continue reading to get the reality of this situation, to mirror that of Daniel's dream.
I love the insertions of the "wake me" elements, as well. It's them that makes the reader know right away that this is a dreamworld and a place where thoughts aren't constructed well and are a little jagged and abstract. You convey that well in your work with the abstract imagery, but still ground it with the concrete. The first wake me section is more like reality slipping into the dream world, that consciousness that we sometimes feel while asleep. It gets the reader to know where this is going from the start quickly and keeps them grounded. The final "wake me", however, is well written with the change in structure and the harsh exclamation point to signify that he is "crying out" and demanding to be awoken at this point. It's more a cry for help than a simple dreamy "it's time to wake up".
I feel if I gave this anything other than the five stars it deserves, it wouldn't be getting justice. You have written a gorgeous piece of literature here and a great opening to what I believe will be a great book. I look forward to reading the later chapters, but for now, I must say that you are off to a beautiful start with a very polished and well-written piece.
Thank you so very much! Although there really was no "critique" of errors in here, what I love the most is that you actually took the time to tell me what you liked about this piece rather than just "it's great!" I'm glad to hear what parts are strong and make this piece work.
Thank you for taking the time to read and review this! It truly means a lot to me