Shirk cannot stand it any longer - he really needs to turn off his alarm clock. He slowly frees his arm from underneath the warm, soft comforter and casually slaps at the alarm sitting beside his bed until one strike makes contact and turns the device off. He glances sidelong at the clock, hoping that he hit the snooze and that there might be 10 more minutes of sleep waiting for him.

"So close," he mumbles quietly, and slowly, pathetically drags himself out of bed and down the hall to the kitchen, where his wife is already nearly through her morning routine.

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