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  In the dissipating murk at the far end of night, she arises once more from something like death. And now, deep within her shrouded chamber, she is at last alive although she cannot bear the light. She rises up on tender soft feet to shamble around (mindlessly it seems) from place to place, moving and shuffling and blind to the world. Her fingers fidget and tremble. They are slick with watery slime, fragrant and sweet as the on-coming dawn.
             The machine is calling. Its gentle summons is pleasing to the ear; so sweet yet softly insistent. Bumping and banging the picture hung walls she gropes her way through the asshole darkness searching for the switch. Carefully, she traces the delicate clutter. She is fearful of the light but needs it to find the machine. And she needs the machine more than she fears the light. So with gentle fingers and tentative touch she gropes along through the black hallway. Her bare feet scuff the cold wood floor. She is driven only by thoughts of the machine; its glorious power and wondrous rejuvenating magic. Beyond that her mind is just muddles and fog.  
            Slowly, carefully inching along, one hand hovers lightly above the interrupted smooth surface of the wall searching for the switch. Barely touching the very edges of myriad delicate protrusions along the way, she slides her hand slowly, carefully, very carefully until …
            And everything is changed.
            The night is all at once gone, evaporated into the “click” of glaring brightness, leaving only a shrunken black remnant to cower at the far end of the corridor. And in that moment of “click” the world and all of its visual nuances are revealed. But this wonderful, revelatory moment has its price as instantaneous waves of agonizing hellish white light overwhelm her senses. They explode in her brain like the high beam surprise of a midnight tractor trailer, or the killing flash of a nuclear bomb. And at the peak of this wonderful/terrible moment (and just for that barest instant in time) she regrets the switch and (stupidly) wishes that her tortured eyeballs would simply fall out of her head and roll away into the hollow distance so the peaceful black painless night would return. 
            But (thankfully) she does not get her wish.
            And when her eyes finally adjust to the assaulting light as invisible rivers of night purple drain quickly away (to the secret place where they go) the throbbing pain subsides. Very soon she is able to see through tearful squints, the radiant doorway just ahead. It is an open welcoming blur of luminescence
             It is her destination.
             Now she thinks again of the machine and is beguiled by those thoughts. With renewed anticipation she moves onward, unerringly toward the slitted glow of that hazy bright place. All at once she feels a sudden rush of icy cool air. It is a pleasant shock to the damp night sweated skin beneath her paisley gown. Stretching both arms out wide, she billows momentarily in the sweet cold air as though she were a clothesline of bed sheets rippling in the brisk autumn wind.
            She steps across the threshold, into the swelling brightness of the room. And there under the sun washed checkerboard skylight, in a dazzling shimmer of brilliant twinkles, the machine awaits. And very soon thereafter, she is renewed.
            She waits for him.
            And bye and bye he comes teetering from side to side. Blank faced and heavy lidded he comes, slowly emerging from the corridor through the shrinking cloak of morning shadows.  He comes as someone newly regurgitated from death; someone who had escaped the twisting vines of nightshade that held him to his grave; someone who had walked through the spitting mud and pouring rain of a terrible stormy night. He comes like a wet dead thing, to dry out now in the sun as a bundle of rotting weeds. His thick matted hair is twisted into complicated snarls and his lips and cheeks are slick with a slug trail of translucent dried saliva. As he opens his mouth to speak, a foul wafting of his breath fills the room with an oppressive wave of yellow unpleasantness.
            She sits calmly cross legged in a blur of white, engulfed and marinating in great swirls of cleansing hot steam. Confetti sparkles sift down from the skylight to celebrate this brand new day. They cling to her hair and her gown. One dimpled knee pokes out from her hem as she smiles broadly, perfect white teeth sparkling in the morning sunlight.
            “Sit,” she said cheerfully. “I made coffee.” 

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