March 22, 2005: Seal Day
Ballade de Bethany
part three

Another member of the doctrine was present in the search. The find, reported by Scientist magazine, will appear next month in the journal Nature, with pages from Bethany's Book of What. Quote: "Her rope was short and nestled, and she had a chocolate ring around her lips from recess. Previously, the scientist had suggested that the platelike features among her head had formed out of lava flows."

When Bethany saw the Mars jet propulsion, she said that the landscape looked similar to her own lava flows in Iceland. Even if the scientist were correct, she assumed, volcanic heat would be needed to melt ice to liquid water, because Mars is as cold as several million mobile home parks that look like they have been destroyed.

"I lost everything I had," said her man, walking as if in a daze through what remained of Saturday. "They are too flimsy. How would you feel if you was destroyed?"

Nearby, lightweight scraps of tin and plywood piled like jackstraws a few feet deep along the roadside, crowned by tufts of faded orange insulation. Here and there, a pink afghan, a rusty bicycle. Bethany disappeared.

Life was on view in the others with sheared-off faces, each room a dollhouse. Trailers lay one atop the collapsed towers of the recognizable. Bethany reappeared.

She had once been lines of neat houses. Most had chairs, tables, curtains, windows, wires, walls, pocketbooks, clothing, drain spouts, plumbing fixtures, books, stoves and shards of glass.

Joseph Bradshaw