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Morning This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

The girl’s eyelids open, pulling back ever so slowly, until soon she is lying on her back with her eyes open. Her hair is spread out around her, making her look rather insane—and for all she knows at this moment, she could be; her mind is not yet attuned to the real world. White static hovers overhead and everywhere she looks, static she sees each morning and night yet still cannot make any sense of. She takes a moment to allow the dreams and thoughts of the night before to ebb away, to prepare herself for the coming day. Over the course of a few minutes, the memories and thoughts of the night before, as well as plans for the new day, slowly creep back to her, much in the sense that a group of birds might hop slowly back towards a bird feeder that has just crashed to the ground in order to continue to eat from it.

After a few minutes, she notices the buzzing in her ears, as well—the other aspect of the morning and night that she can make no sense of. In some ways, she knows, it is simply the silence around her; she finds that silence unsettling and for this reason sleeps with music on—to push it away. She’s calmest when the washing machine or dryer is on, tumbling clothes loudly from the next room.

These thoughts flit through her mind in a single instant, as, almost subconsciously, she turns her mind to her dreams. She cannot remember much of these; she seldom has one so long and vivid that it is worth writing down in the “dream notebook” she has optimistically started in the hopes of recording her dreams regularly. She grapples with herself for a moment, trying to will herself to get up out of bed and retrieve her journal, but the dream fragments that come to her are not worth it; the most she can remember is something about making a mistake on a vocabulary quiz.

She supposes that if anything, her dream proves that one’s daytime thoughts make their way into a person’s dreams; the word she defined incorrectly was a word that had been bothering her for the past few days, a word she knew she had heard somewhere but could not place. She allows herself a few moments to attempt to remember it, but it is no use; it is just as elusive as ever.

She freezes for a moment as she hears her mother making her way up the stairs; though she is now awake, she is not yet ready to get up and face the day outside of the confines of her head. Instead she relaxes back down into her pillows and stops controlling her thoughts, simply letting them take her where they will for a few more minutes.

Finally, she eases herself out of bed, a conversation she had had the night before with her mother in mind. It was really more of an argument; her mother had questioned her about her dreams to be a writer, asking what she was doing to keep herself on that track and reminding her that a goal was never an action. Though the girl’s mind is still slightly hazy, she knows her mother’s words ring true, and for this reason pulls back her desk chair and wakes up her computer. It is more agreeable than her after its long sleep, and greets her brightly, the screen and keyboard lighting up at her touch. She navigates over to the word processing application on her screen, and after a moment of thought, begins to write…



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