White. Everything was white. Twyla fit right in here, besides of course her curly brown hair. She felt the strange sensation of floating in warm water, which was of course impossible. She was in bed. And the water was never warm in Michigan, anyway.
"Twyla . . ."
A female voice. She didn't know it, but it sounded so familiar all the same, which confused her.
"Twylaaaa . . ."
She groaned in response. Leave me alone. It's my birthday. I can sleep in till noon if I damn well want to.
"Twyla, baby, it's time for you to wake up."
Twyla let out a groan that she hoped sounded something like "No."
Twyla finally sighed and opened her icy blue eyes to meet a pair exactly like hers. Hers widened as she stared into the face of who could only be one person.
"I've been watching over you, Twyla."
"And I'm not very happy with most of your choices, though I can't say I blame you. All I can really say is I'm sorry I gave you a name that has been such a source of misery for you. I should've just gone with Grace Emily, huh?"
Unable to speak for several moments, all Twyla could force out was, "I like my name."
Her mother smiled kindly. "I bet you're wondering where you are. You could call it a limbo, I guess. Basically, an ocean of dreams."
"I'm floating in dreams?"
"Yeah, and I'm supposed to grant one. The problem is, the only recent wish you've made . . . it's not very safe . . . it could get you hurt."
"Do it anyway."
Grace Robertson stared at her daughter, startled. "Are you sure?"
"All right, sweetie . . ." her mother began to pixellate. "Happy birthday, Twyla Starfire Midnight Robertson."
The world faded to black . . .