Arris lays above me, subsuming my eye line like burnt caramel spooled into the red sea. ‘if I stick out my tongue,’ she says, ‘I can taste the electricity between your atoms. It’s like irradiated snowflakes.’ As I shiver and shake, something deep beneath the lizard brain wakes, extending tendrils through neuron and nerve ending, subdermal first but rending tissue so quickly, burning through me, yearning to be free. I submit and let its rough light permeate my pores and core, a bodily blitzkrieg that finds me fuller, occupied rather than conquered, activating cellular citizenry now primed with purpose.
All that shifts in the night is silence and smoke. ‘I want to show you something,’ she says. Placing my hand in hers, she lays them on the counter, placid. The smoke coils, dancing between us. Countless molecules shimmer, cavort, and graze upon their fabric. The air warms, its crisp brace shredded in a still kinetic bath. She raises her hand and one hundred trillion atoms are suddenly meagre, they burst and multiply, flitter and merge, shouting joyously across an indefinable space. ‘Can you see it,’ she asks. I tell her, I can feel it. Suddenly everything is different.