Early rays of light were just beginning to crawl through the gap in the curtains when the clock struck six am. The grinding sound of the alarm rang out, hard and piercing.
Jackson groaned as the bell bit into the dream he was contentedly enjoying, digging its claws in and tearing the soothing blanket of sleep to ribbons. Rolling over as much as he was inclined to, he felt about blindly in the dark to shut off the source of the offending noise.
He’d used to set the radio to wake him up. Music in the morning had been an unorthodox but effective way to rouse him from sleep without the pounding irritation of an alarm bell, but in the last year or two since the trigger for his condition had changed it was safe to say that was no longer an option.
He closed his eyes to rub the sleep from them, running a hand back through his unbrushed hair as an afterthought. A flick to turn on the bedside lamp at least gave him enough light to make out the dark frames of his glasses, which would give him the clarity he needed to stumble around the room to wash up and get dressed.
Contrary to what people would think to look at him, Jackson Jekyll was not a morning person. He’d used to be, but that was before what he liked to refer to as “the three Hs” rudely kicked their way into his life - homework, hormones and Holt Hyde. These days, he just wasn’t getting the sleep he needed.
Eventually, after waking up enough to get his clothes on in the right order - the sweater vest goes over the dress shirt, thank you - the clock was showing 7am and Jackson was awake enough to venture downstairs.
At least Holt didn’t leave red paint in my bed this time, he thought. There was bound to be something horrifying his other halfhadleft for him to find later, but Jackson didn’t have the leisure of dealing with that now.
The next hour passed amiably enough: his parents were considerate enough to tune the kitchen radio to a talk show, and though Jackson’s father set fire to the morning paper a couple of times it was hardly out of the ordinary morning routine. As soon as he’d eaten, talked and cleared up, Jackson grabbed his bag - homework all finished and neatly packed inside - and bade his parents have a good day before setting off.
It wasn’t a long journey to school from the neatly kept Jekyll residence, but morning classes at Monster High started at 9am sharp and there wasn’t a minotaur’s chance in a china shop that Jackson was going to be late.