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Begin the story here.

All day at the office Daniel felt distracted. His wife’s absence during the night, the strangeness of her, roiled in his eyes. It made the corners of his eyes red veined and dry. The computer screen brightness did little to help. By mid-day the ladies from H.R. were asking him if he was tired and didn’t get enough sleep. Daniel nodded, smiled politely and said, yeah, just had trouble falling asleep last night was all. Then he went back to work, rubbing at the corners of his dry, red eyes brutishly as if to prove what he said.

The dirty dishes were still in the sink when he got back home from work. Setting the briefcase down on the bar stool, Daniel’s nose wrinkled. The smell of eggs was still strong and now crisped with the day’s heat. The house was still. Usually coming home, the television would be muttering or there would be some cooking going in the oven. But it seemed all was quiet. Even the blinds were closed. It seemed a shame to ruin the stillness.

“Honey!” Daniel yelled. Still, nothing moved.

“Say, hon?” he repeated. Now the silence seemed obtrusive. No reply.

He walked up the stairs to the bedroom. Unbuckling his belt buckle as he climbed the stairs, not a whisper followed the clinking of the metal loop. The bedroom door was closed. He paused. Then he raised a knuckle to the surface and tapped. So softly did he tap that he could barely hear himself, but the door slowly opened under his touch. The bottom dragged against the carpeting with a whisper.

There in the center of the bed lay his wife sprawled out across the mattress. She could have been dead she was so still and awkward limbed. He moved closer. To check, he touched the very edge of her shoulder with his finger. A quick poke in the arm. No reaction. His breath held in, he quietly spoke her name.

“Lucy,” he whispered.

With a delicate groan her eyes fluttered and she rolled onto her back. Lucy’s eyes did not immediately recognize him. She blinked. In a startled movement she sprang up to a sitting position and looked around her.

“I had the most wonderful dream,” she said, voice still foggy with sleep.

Continue here.

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