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In a moment, Francine is going to reach out and touch his shoulder. She’s learned that this is beyond her control; her will, when he needs comfort, is not her own.

But she can change what “moment” means.

A spider spins a web from the tip of her finger. The silk turns to cobweb, the cobweb to dust. Through the French doors the path of the sun elongates into streaks of fire. Buildings sprout buildings. Mountains lose their tops.

A geological heartbeat is measured in the movement of magma. Still and outstretched, Francine waits for her hot stone blood to recede.