Dalia dreamt that she was the queen of a high tower, like the Burj Khalifa except taller, that looked out over a desert. She had been a pariah but was clever enough to insinuate herself into the desert society that had cast her out by artifice and oration—by signs and wonders performed at her hand. Absolute silence was in the pinnacle of her tower, and absolute stillness and political equilibrium was what she looked out over and meditated on—her achievement as sovereign head. As dusk approached it grew cold; the sun, a distant, shimmering spec like a star in that land, wherever she was, floated down toward the horizon and brought the orange, the deep blue down around her city—a calm, a timelessness and neutrality of feeling, a neither-one-thing-nor-the-other feeling like the coda in a composition that had resolved itself and needed nothing else to be said was stirring; not simply in her, on everything somehow. She woke up with that general sense of the completion of all things and her own role in such a state of affairs, and took some time to understand where she was and what new things were required of her. Outside she heard crunching in the snow. She looked at her alarm clock. “Dad,” she whispered.
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