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To the transcribers of Genesis, Mabel reflects, “sword of fire” was probably the only way to put the weapon of Eden’s guardian into words. Had they shown up this century, they might have called it a “laser.”

They’re carving words into the earth, or she thinks so, from inside the overturned bus. Runes maybe. The writing is also razing the town, but the thirty-foot white faces don’t flinch from bullets or screams.

She used to pray for the Rapture; she’s not sure whether this is it. All she knows for sure is that, finally, the angels have come to Heavener.