The stillness doesn’t last long. Perhaps only as long as a fraction of a second. However long it is, Gretchen doesn’t seem to notice or care. Like the now long-dead gods drifting on their backs in the bubble of nothingness when everything was nothing and all that would ever be was waiting to blossom like weeds shooting through the cracks between two paving slabs, she’s as serene as she’s ever been. She’s also wrong, she discovers, for although all traces of the fairground have vanished, the faint echoes of music can still be heard. It’s barely audible, yet in the near-vacuum she inhabits, it causes the atoms in her body to vibrate like water in a glass jar. It’s the same song as before, and as she sways to its splendor, the lingering image in her mind of the Ferris wheel and moon behind it—fractured into a thousand tiny pieces by those giant metal arms—is enough for Gretchen to wish that she could stay this way forever. Suspended in space like a puppet on a string, she grins and grins and grins, and yet at the moment when she’s at her happiest, so she’s so cruelly snatched away.