Thalia lay on the great hard slab, eyes open, unseeing. Beside her, her scientist looked through dim eyes, ready for bed after working all night.
Outside, the rain poured. Lightning forked through the sky, and distant rumblings were heard. Still, Thalia lay, unmoving.
“Thalia, my sweet,” Thalia’s scientist whispered in her ear. “It’s time.”
Thalia remained dead to the world, staring at the ceiling. If she were looking, she would see the bland whiteness, the light beveling of paint, the small nicks where something had hit it. The spot that had been painted over, was now a slightly lighter shade of white. But she was not looking, she could not see these things.
“Thalia, my dearest,” the scientist whispered. “Please, rise. It’s time.”
Thalia blinked once. She took a deep breath in. Her eyes focused, moving from nothing to distant galaxies to the plain white ceiling above her. She took another breath and turned her head.
“Must I?” she asked.
“Yes. You need to get up, darling.”
“Oooooooo,” she croaked. “kay. Okay, I’m going.”
Thalia sat up, rubbed her face with both hands, and yawned. She looked at her Jamie, smiled sleepily, and said, “Okay. On my way.” She pushed out of bed as Jamie slipped in, made her way toward the shower, a newly risen beast.