It happens like this: 

(Or perhaps not, it seems to happen different for everyone) 

The warm, dense fog lifts just a little 

A cold tendril brushes against your cheek 

From the deep recesses of 

Both mind and body 

There emerges a dim spark 

Muffled and hidden, 

But growing 

In the meantime, however, 

Your thoughts are incoherent 

Your movements sluggish 

Your hair unkempt 

Vision seems to be 

A thing of the past 

A layer of bulletproof glass 

Stands between your eyes and reality 

All images are indiscernible 

All shapes a faint haze 

There is a mild feeling of discomfort 

That doesn’t seem to disappear 

It’s high and out of reach 

You are a bear 

Lying on its back 

Batting its paws at a beehive 

But missing by inches 

The majority of your self 

Is a gaping void 

Only a dim fraction is alive

The rest is primitive 


You are completely reliant on instinct 

Your skull is impenetrable 

Your brain is nonexistent 

Or perhaps 

So shut off from the outside world 

That it remains like a locked box 

Impervious to the elements

Flung into a volcano

Eaten away at from the outside 

Unretrievable, unattainable 

But still intact 

For now, you’ll have to fend on your own

Relying on basic impulses. 

You blunder about, 

Hands groping to find their way

In a blind world. 

Then comes the dreaded 


It is an irritant. 

A curse to your addled brain. 

Aggressively, you turn to its source

And snarl at it.

It looks back at you like what you are



You can’t really be differentiated 

From a wild beast

You retreat from the light 

Fearful of what it might bring. 

Soon, however

Though it seems to take


The blurs you see 

Begin to take shape 

Inquisitively, you lumber forward

To observe.


Is the first thing you see

In eagerness 

You look around you

Look at a blurry world

That is coming into focus.




The Words come easier now.

You discern other fellow


In your vicinity.

Still slurred

You attempt to speak

A few words

They respond in kind

But so much more 


There’s breaks

Between words and sentences.

You, on the other hand

Are still Evolving. 


That’s your next task. 

Your brain has since

Been retrieved 

From the volcano

Of sleep

But it is still 

Struggling to reconnect

With your body.

You want to grab a glass

But your eyelids

Refuse to move 

From their half-closed position

And your fingers 

Make contact with the glass

But don’t grab it 

A crash 

Near your feet 

Disrupts your evolutionary progress

And you are an 

Animal again. 

Stamping and screaming 

Smelling blood

When there’s none.

Complaining with vehemence 

Does nothing to solve

Your current predicament.


Ever so slowly 

The smell of blood

Goes away

Your eyelids lift themselves

Just a fraction higher

The spark inside you

Grows a little brighter.

You have the sense to 


To those around you

And your hands move

In the way you want them to

As you clean up

The mess.

By now 

You are more fully Evolved

And have the sense 

To ask the others 

About plans for the day.

With a much 

Cheerier disposition

Your family 

One by one

Exits through the front door 

Before you leave, however,

You check the clock

And realize

Your morning evolution

Took the whole of 

Forty-five minutes.

Photo Credit:

Written by

Zoe Zarubin

Zoe Zarubin, senior, has always had a deep love for storytelling. When she was younger, she would tell them verbally to anyone who would listen, but now, creative writing is her new outlet for her thoughts and ideas and it brings her great joy. Other things that bring her joy include her family, her friends, her church group, reading, climbing, and visiting Donner Lake every summer. She has a passion for both telling stories and hearing/reading them and is looking forward to her third year in the academy as the Assignment Editor!