The day broke with a certain suddenness, a soundless clap that scattered the birds of her dreams and jolted her into a state of awareness. Her eyes, closed, saw it there in front of her; it beckoned her toward it with a silent call, drawing her away from sleep, creating in her an urgent desire to touch, to feel. She reached out and it opened up to her like a flower to the sun, petals soft and shimmering with nameless colors that pulsed and shifted as she took it gently in her hands. Bringing it up to her face, she peered inside. Within it she found a cold, soft, brilliant stillness that quieted the hum of her waking mind and whispered away the restlessness that had begun to burn in her bones. It stayed with her as she approached wakefulness and, cradling it like a secret, she tucked it into her heart and carried it with her into the day.

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