There’s a chance the static might’ve come from the bolts of lightning shooting into the ground, their electric arms spraying the sweat of gods over the organic circus below. Then again, it might also have been the product of a generator powering the many rides of the funfair as it buzzes unseen like bees in a hive so tantalisingly close to their excitable minds. Either way, the high-pitched ringing causes Gretchen to wince. She winces the same way she does when she chews foil and the foil reacts to the fillings in her teeth, or when her mother starts blabbering on about the virtues of religion. If she could, she’d stick her fingers in her ears but has to keep her arms firmly held around the neck of the fox to stop her from flying into the rivers of mud that swirl like snakes around the fox’s feet. Picking at the back of her neck like the scuttling, pinching legs of a spider, the static kiss causes her to clench her teeth and sink them deep into the flesh of the fox as though if she didn’t, she would go insane. The fox, taking it as a sign to go faster, bolts ahead like a prized racehorse, and even though there’s no way of understanding why they were chosen—and for what purpose—somehow, they both know they’re reaching a place in time that will elevate them far above the waters from which they were born.