Talons scratch down to blood. Spell out the whole reason for your horrible tardiness all semester. A scream, intense and otherworldly, tears the crystalline web of your waking thoughts and recollections. Dream scenarios wrap around you, warm arms evaporating. Air rushes toward your skin when you lift the blankets, runs on unseen feet toward you. A thumbtack in your car's front tire incessantly reminds you of an impatient teacher, tapping her silver ring against the heavy blonde wood of her desk. A backdrop of green chalkboards, chalk dust like dandruff on her blouse. Her face bends down, in the direction of a frown. The wings beat the hell out of the air. Wake up, wake up! This isn't a classroom, there's no teacher here. The light is getting louder in the crack between the glass and the curtain. A beaten feeling isn't the same as being beaten. Repeated. In your head. A washing machine feeling, giant feathered body twirls. Corkscrewing the air, making a drain toward the ground. Talons reaching, grasping, down.