The last in the series.
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Call it the prelude to dawn.
The fecund air pushes through the open window, heavy with the scent of things alive and fighting to stay that way.
You blink awake, pulling your mind back from the tangled dreams, which are already fading but have left you sweaty and disconcerted. You and lay back on the cool sheets. The ceiling fan rotates above you, a benefactor. With one hand on your solar plexus and the other forearm perpendicular to your supine body like an antenna in search of a secret signal, you watch the dark leaves dance against the changing sky. Deep blue gives way slowly, changing into velvet that lightens one degree at a time. If you're very lucky, a pink or orange slash will bloom.
Sounds follow the sky's lead. The crickets carry the chorus as they always do, but at this hour, their sound moves from the background and defines the world with its even hum. The birds begin to stir. One chirp comes, then another and another until a warbler joins in. Singing and trills round out the symphony.
Just before the sun breaks over the horizon, the breeze tacks. It veers in your window and brushes over your skin. If you've dozed off a bit and are balancing on the thin plenum that separates asleep from awake, you might think it was a lover's caress.
You'd be right.
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