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This is the fault of Ben Carson

After they took off, the clouds came down to envelop them. Wilhelmina grips the controls and peers through the Curtiss Condor’s windshield.

Adamson, her navigator, is behind her in the cabin, stiffened and dead from snakebite. On the seat next to her there is a glint of gold; something peeks out from a worn leather satchel. Too late for poor Adamson but the idol vindicates their claims, drowning out the scoffery of those salon-bound fools.

Wilhelmina glances at the fuel gauge struggling above reserve before firmly setting her eyes upon the roiling haze in front of her. Zero she flies.


The rain’s fat, slow and hard, with a warmth behind it and the rising smell of bruised worms: a summer storm in winter. When each drop has its own weight and sound, thinks Edwidge as she shrugs up her thin hood, it’s easy to give them names and stories too.

There: Wilhelmina, who sings as she falls, to the adoration or envy of her fellows. There: Cruet and Sylvan, who touched at twelve thousand feet and were never apart again. There, Dmitri, who knows what the others don’t: that every raindrop, like every pearl, is born from a speck of dirt.