As it begins to kick in Polly is fascinated with how the water moves over her hands quite separate from her skin; she feels she could peel it away in one clean sheet and hold it up to the light like a piece of paper. The faint impression of a pencil across the pad, words of warning sliding across the back of her hands and into the drain.

It’s a strange feeling. She soliloquizes:

What is this wonder,
This inexpressible strangeness?

Voices come into the outer room, singing. She recognizes the tune, but the words are distorted and alien.


When it is fully upon her like a pale rider she slips the window open and leans far out into the dry air of October. Far to the north sparks are leaping up from the bonfire and she can just make out, with her augmented vision, tiny figures dancing in front of it. She leans farther forward and lets the air carry her upward.

Flying is wonderful, but she has business to tend to, and the vitamins distort her time sense. How long has passed, how long does she have? She soliloquizes:

What need has the world
Of speed of lightning,
or roar of thunder?