She screamed. I opened my eyes and saw her pressing the kaleidoscope to her eye, swatting the air in front of her. She wheeled around and swiped something I couldn’t see.


“Therese! Put it down!”


Still looking through the kaleidoscope, she raked her thigh with her nails. Bright furrows of blood appeared.


I struggled to help her, but she had strapped me in too tightly. She stumbled into the corner, scratching herself, wriggling her fingers into her wounds. She wouldn’t stop looking through the mortoscope. I held my breath —


My hiccups subsided. The mortoscope powered down. Therese patted her bloody leg.


What had she seen? For a few seconds I must have been radiant, the cancerous blobs of my guts like rare, luminous sea creatures. Then she would have seen galaxies of bacteria spinning slowly, her own thighs incandescent, neon colonies teeming on her skin.


I couldn’t hold my breath forever. As I gasped, I felt the ridiculous, irrepressible tickle of another hiccup.