By Gary Corseri
December 24, 2009
“Revolution without the Arts is meaningless,” writes Gary Corseri, whose self-appointed task since his undergraduate days has been “to humanize and aestheticize political-social-economic consciousness and to revolutionize and socialize the perspectives of artists.” He has performed his work at the Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta. His dramas have been published and performed on Atlanta-PBS and in five states. His articles, poems, stories and plays have appeared in/at Dandelion Salad, Thomas Paine’s Corner, DissidentVoice, The New York Times, Village Voice, CounterPunch, Sky, Redbook, Philadelphia Inquirer, City Lights Review, CommonDreams, Georgia Review, The Miami Herald, WorldProutAssembly, Palestine Chronicle, TelesurTV.net, LuogoComune, and hundreds of other periodicals and websites worldwide. He has published two poetry collections and two novels (A Fine Excess; and Holy Grail, Holy Grail), and edited the Manifestations anthology. His work has been translated and published in Japanese, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Icelandic.
Born and raised in New York City, Dr. Corseri holds holds degrees from the University of Florida, Harvard and Florida State University. He has taught in public schools and prisons in the U.S., and at universities in the U.S. and Japan; he has worked as a busboy in Miami and Atlanta, furniture-mover and grape-picker in Australia, gas station attendant in Atlanta, journalist, speech coach and editor. He currently resides in the D.C. area. He may be reached at email@example.com.
A Sunset in Bali is the first chapter of A FINE EXCESS, a novel set in Bali and Australia, with flashbacks to Japan and the States. It’s 1976, and 29-year-old Tony Speed is caught in the riptide of sexual revolution and the whirligig of life. The war in Vietnam is finally over, costs begin to be assayed; grief, pain and loss acknowledged so that new growth can occur. At last, persistence begets a transcendental vision. The novel can be purchased through Amazon or ordered through bookstores. Gary Corseri can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Fine Excess: An Australian Odyssey
By Gary Corseri
Chapter 1 “A Sunset in Bali”
Pretending to be sun-bathing, Speed watches through one half-opened eye, as the child moves slowly and surely on the white, hot sand. It seems as though her tawny limbs have carried her a thousand years; it seems they’ll carry her a thousand more. One hand steadies the basket on her head and the other holds a metal container with ice and Western soft drinks. Cigarettes, straw fans, hats, and little carved birds of polished wood drift in the basket.
She’s the one he had spoken to the day before–twelve years old, with light brown skin, dramatic dark eyes, and a pretty pout when a customer won’t buy.
He stretches his body languorously in the hot, Balinese sand. Raising his head slightly, he can see wave-swallowing-wave crash down. Only the skinny dark man, squatting by his driftwood altar thirty yards in front of him, ripples his isolation.
His father’s words call back to him, out of the dream:
“Tell us your plan. You gotta have a plan.”
The meaty, once-handsome face bobs in front of him. The white eyebrows signal weariness, but the eyes are still bright for battle in the condo in Miami. …
But now the girl is watching him closely. She settles the basket and container in front of him. Ceremoniously, she smoothes a straw mat on the sand and lays out her wares.
“What you want?’ she asks, kneeling in the sand, her tone impudent. “You want Coke?” Reaching for a bottle, she holds it out to him. It sweats in her hand.
He leans back on his elbows, playing the game. Still squatting, she purses her lips, makes sand whorls with her other hand. She creases her brow, tilts her head. “So?”
“How much?” he asks with a shrug.
“How much you say?”
“Aiee!” she cries, shaking her head, waving her hand at him like she’s burned it. She picks up his woven cloth shoulder bag. “How much you pay this one?”
“Aiee! Too much. I sell you cheaper.” She clucks her tongue.
He smiles at the expected response. They all try to be friends with you, it’s part of the game. He’ll buy the Coke so she’ll come visit him again tomorrow. But he wants her company a little longer. He reaches into the pocket of the shoulder bag and brings out fifty rupiah.
“What’s that?” She appraises the money with contempt. She curls up her nose.
“For the Coke.” he says.
“Ai… It’s very hot, yes?” She fans herself with one of the straw hats. “You want hat?”
He puts the money back, stretches supine, hands behind his neck. “I don’t even want the Coke.” As the sun of Asia pulses in the sky, he feels himself melt into its heart.
“What you want doesn’t exist in this world,” his father was saying in the dream. “You don’t even know what you want.”
The face and voice petitioned him, appealed in some way he could not explain. His father was a medley of complacency, male strength and vulnerability. A second generation American who had “made it.”
He couldn’t look into his father’s eyes. “I know what I want,” he said softly.
“What you want?” the girl asks now. Opening his eyes, he’s half-surprised to find her still perching by his side. Her pouting reminds him of Yoshiko, how she looked the last day he’d seen her.
Down the beach the motorcyclists buzz crazily between him and Kuta, the main tourist compound. The surf roar swallows their whining two-strokes.
“Serious,” the girl says. “How much you say?”
“Can’t you be serious?” his father said. “Anthony… look at the world.”
Lame from the war, his father hobbled closer, a wry smile twitching at his lips. “I don’t like it, either… Your mother and me, you think we liked it? We did for you and the other two–that’s all. … You steal a little here, and a little there. I don’t say it’s right, it’s just how it is. Everyone wants to be a nice guy until it comes to his own. You’ll see. You’re no different. Nobody will make room for you. I tried to tell your brother, Frank, God rest his soul! What’s he gotta prove, huh? You tell me. What did he have to prove? What a man he is? How strong he is? You’ll see. Nobody will make room for you if you don’t grab it. Not your country, not your people, not the nice, smart people where you work. … You think of number one. You think of your family. That’s all.”
“Do you think it’s like this everywhere?”
The wry smile deepened. The eyes, watery with six decades of disappointments, searched out his son’s. “Here”–he thumped a little too hard with two fingers above Speed’s heart–, “here it’s the same.”
“Hey!” the girl says. “You all right?” She studies him with her head tilted. “You talking to somebody?
“Are you still here? Okay, how ’bout a hundred?”
She pouts, arches her brows. “One hundred fifty. Final offer.”
“All right… But you must let me sketch you.”
He takes out his pencils and sketch pad. Her brown skin shows off her smile. “Where you from?” she asks. “France?”
The fingers work quickly, deftly. “No.”
“No … America.”
“Ah…” She strums an imaginary banjo with her open hand. “Very rich.”
“Some people. …”
“You are so dark.”
He points to the sun.
“You have girlfriend?”
“You always joking. … Serious. …”
“Used to, but … no more. …”
She catches his tone, clucks her tongue in sympathy.
The motorcyclists race up the beach, jockey their bikes like horses, ride the back wheels and crash in the sand. Speed instinctively hates them. Behind him, a few Balinese men watch with their arms folded. The strange, dark, skinny man watches, too.
Digging the wheels into the soft sand, throwing it up behind them, like insects spraying their foes, yelling at each other, they try to smash each other. They would be Australians in their late teens–tall and athletic, they seem almost too healthy next to the slender Balinese. Bali is just another place to get “pissed.” Get pissed and vomit their guts out, and then get pissed again.
“Why they do that?” the girl asks.
She watches the pencil work, leans over to see her image. “Ah, very pretty, yes?”
“Yes. … You must hold still.”
He hears the cycles’ roar. His eyes narrow as the girl pouts. He moves the line of the mouth down slightly until he catches it.
“Why they do that?” she asks again.
“Emptiness,” he says apologetically.
“Is good, yes?” she asks, about the drawing.
But he knows he’ll never get it right. He might imitate the Balinese style, but he would always miss the natural rhythm of their lines. He knew he’d always be a dilettante. With a flourish, he signs his name, and gives the girl the sketch.
He tilts the Coke bottle against his lips, surprised by its strange tactility. The sweet, cool syrup-seltzer tingles down his throat.
“You want other one?” the girl asks.
“Tidok. I’m full.” He pats his stomach.
“No charge,” she says.
“No charge?” He smiles at her generosity.
She smiles shyly. For the first time, a real smile. “You different,” she says. “What your name?”
He watches the young men on the cycles, anger and sadness welling in his blood. At last, tiring of their circular games, or wanting a larger audience, they point their snouts towards Kuta.
The girl sighs wearily, beyond her twelve years. The basket floats to her head; and suddenly, she’s standing. “I go,” she announces. “Have a nice day.”
“I come back tomorrow, yes?”
“Yes. … What’s your name?”
“Vennie. Is good, yes?”
He holds up his thumb. “Number One!”
She smiles, showing an incredible array of perfect, white teeth. “You Number One, too,” she says.
He watches her go and suddenly feels lonely. He wants to call her back, buy another Coke and share her spirit. But it would be unfair to take up too much of her time. The few rupiah she makes from the tourists help support her family. Better she should walk the beaches than walk the streets of Denpasar.
Soon the Balinese men standing behind him are also gone, wandering down the beach to find their particular places to watch the sunset. Only the skinny dark man remains. Speed nods and the man nods back, then looks at the sea again.
Who was he? How long had he been there, squatting? Even in Indonesia, he was remarkable. Much darker than the others, with Negroid hair, parted in the middle, gray on one side, black the other–his scalp made Speed think of the Yin-Yang symbol of the Tao. Now he was squatting beside an abstract pattern of driftwood randomly tied together, about five feet high. Speed had taken a careful look once when the man wasn’t there, but it made no sense to him. Yet, it looked like it might make sense to someone, somehow. Sparsely decorated with old feathers and strings of shells that dangled haphazardly, it seemed a kind of shrine.
The first day Speed had arrived, he’d taken the man for an Australian Aborigine, and he’d congratulated himself on seeing some sort of vision of his future. But now the man’s imperturbability disquiets him. He would almost prefer one of the hawkers to approach him, to say something human. He thinks about accosting the dark man, but the man’s attitude is alert indifference and aloofness. Besides, what on earth could he say to him?
It’s one hour before sunset. The freaks will be congregating in another hour. His new friends, Peter and Kay, will come down from the losman to watch the sunset with him. It’s the fourteenth sunset he’s seen in Bali. The clouds will assume fantastic shapes of good and evil and the wind will come alive. The wind will sing of his past and future.
He looks behind him: the pond fronds wave against a copper sky. In front of him: the ocean swells ominously–as it had that time in Japan.
For Yoshiko’s sake he’d gone there, hoping she would enfold him in her culture’s wings. She’d been his student in the States, and then his lover. It’s three months since he’s seen her, but it seems much longer. He’s been in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia since.
“What do you want?” she’d asked.
“To feel real.”
“I don’t understand such a thing.”
He looked out over the sea he’d flown across to be with her. He spoke slowly, forming his words carefully. “Thoreau spoke about living deliberately. … I want to escape … hamburgers, and plastic … and television. … I want to throw myself against the universe and see if I bounce. … I want to live by my wits and the grace of God. … I want to make something–something no one else has made, or can make.”
But the question was still on her face. “I don’t understand what is your plan?”
The plan. …
So he told her again. He would find a job teaching English. She would continue her translation work. As soon as they had saved enough money, they would get out of Tokyo.
“Ah yes,” she said, as though hearing it for the first time.
And that night they’d drunk Suntory whisky and celebrated in their lovemaking. But a week later she was uncertain again. Onna gokoro to aki no sora! the Japanese said. A woman’s heart and the autumn weather. …
They walked along the polluted bay and she shook her head. They had been silent for a long time. “What is it?” he asked.
“It is hard to say,” she said softly. “Can we sit?”
They sat in the sand. They could see a hint of the setting sun’s shape and color through the haze.
“I cannot marry to you,” she said slowly. “You have no plan.”
“I told you my plan,” he protested. “What’s wrong?”
She sighed, on the verge of tears. “My father is ill. I told you.”
“He’s not that ill.”
“Someone must take care to him. I told you.”
“I can’t work here unless we’re married,” he said again. “You know that.”
He threw a stick of driftwood at a covey of terns, scattering them. His resentment kindled, he wondered why he bothered. Their moments of uneasiness were as common as those of pleasure. He suspected that deep down she distrusted him, she just didn’t know him.
But when he looked at her he wanted to hold her. She was petite and beautiful, fragile as a Japanese doll. But the romantic impulse was his. He sought a life of spiritual simplicity, dreamed them nesting on a mountainside while he taught English in a village school–poor, self-sufficient, happy. She responded at times, caught up in the strangeness of his fantasies. She’d curse Tokyo’s crowds, snuggle against him, call him a crazy gaijin, crazy foreigner! She’d cover his face with little kisses, swearing no one could make her happier.
A day would pass and her doubts would return. Her complexities attracted him: it awed him how anyone could be so tiny and so hard and determined.
He desired her: the silk of her haunches, her soft murmuring. But he never knew when she would turn away from him, spooled back into the silken ball she’d unwound from. Sometimes, she said, she thought she would never marry.
He took her hand and said he loved her. The words sounded dry somehow. She was silent.
“I don’t know what you want,” he said at last. “Do you want me to go? I can go. …”
She shook her head. “No … I do not to want it. …”
“I don’t understand. …”
But he did. She was “high class.” Her father did not approve of him. In her deepest heart neither did she. He had wanted her to show him the temples, she had shown him the glitter of the Ginza. He read the ancient haiku poets; she danced to a disco beat. He knew he had romanticized her. He had seized upon an image and shaped it to his will and need. Her return to her father’s country had neatly coincided with his termination at the university. Most love, he figured, was just good timing.
Now the sound of peddlers wending their way towards him disrupts his reverie. Over the next fifty yards, there are a few scattered Westerners, and the peddlers would approach each one separately, offering Cokes, beers, cakes, batik shirts, sarongs.
The surf surges towards him: beckoning; threatening.
He runs fast, dives into the first wave, feels himself punched back.
He had run to Tokyo for her sake, and she had left him at a subway station, standing alone in his language.
He had run to Bangkok. The black clouds of gasoline descended with the sun as the Honda two-stroke taxis brought the whores to Patpong’s Grace Hotel where fat German businessmen bought sister acts for the price of beers back home. He’d gone to the massage parlors and saw the girls in their white dresses sitting Church-prettily on pews behind a two-way mirror, and the Chinese manager said, “Only clean girls here. Almost virgins.” And he’d walked away.
He’d stood on the roof of the Malaysian Hotel and felt his heart hammering as the murk descended and Bangkok plugged up and in, the temples corroded, blistered, running like sores; and the city a vast computer throbbing in the tropic heat, a cancer of cathodes and diodes eating oxygen, oxen and hootches. The hot streets beckoned below and he lay down coldly on the concrete roof and beat his stomach to make the gnawing stop and told himself reasons not to die.
Four months, and he hardly knew where he’d been, just that he had to keep going, that he’d never felt more alive–nor closer to death.
The colors deepen now. The sky turns over, curls on itself like mystical dragons, as, behind him, the spears of palm fronds pierce the deepening red. Still no sign of Peter and Kay. …
He strides into the rushing water. The surf is powerful, warm, pulls him with every draining ebb. There is a strange, red light riding the waves, some twenty feet in front of him. It’s like a balloon of red heat, and he can’t be sure if he’s not imagining it, that he’s simply looked too long at the sun. He walks towards it, gets in up to his waist. The current is stronger than he’s ever felt it. It pulls him to his right. He strides against it, feeling strong, at the apex of his manhood in his 29th year.
The water is up to his chest. He jumps with a wave–ebullient. He jumps with another and another and laughs to himself over the pounding surf. He is in Bali! He is almost thirty!
“Bastards!” he shouts to the surf. “Son-of-a-bitch bastards!” He wants to give a rebel yell. He has never done that.
He takes his trunks off, inserts his right arm through one of the legs and rolls it up to his shoulder. The surf massages his naked body, bobbles his testicles.
Perhaps he can come this way, screwing the Pacific. …
He thinks of Jeri, the American woman he’d met in Sumatra. He would send her a card, try to see her in Sydney.
The disappointments don’t matter anymore. They have all been necessary to spur him on, to keep him going.
He just wants to keep going now.
There is something in people that wants to put down roots, and there is something in them that wants to tear out roots and fly.
Maybe it’s true, he thinks; maybe they’re right. He doesn’t know what he wants. He knows, but he doesn’t. Things keep changing more quickly than he can attach a name to anything, and he just wants to live freely and reverently in a world that doesn’t seem to care.
The red ball of light rises again on the crest of a wave. He moves towards it. He jumps with a wave, but doesn’t come down on the ground.
He swims towards shore, his arm through the leg of his trunks.
But he makes no progress.
He is a good swimmer. His strokes become broader, more strenuous. Still the shore recedes.
He tries to tread water and put his trunks on.
But the waves are too strong.
He goes under, swallowing water.
He can’t get his bearings, can’t see the shore, doesn’t know which way to swim. He goes under again. The salt makes him nauseous.
He can’t get his damn trunks on and he is going out to sea. He can’t see anyone on shore. He tries calling, but he can’t call and tread water at the same time. He feels so stupid with his trunks off, riding into the sea. No one will hear him if he calls out.
He calls out. But he can’t call and tread water, too. He doubts anyone can hear him over the pounding surf. He doesn’t want to call out because that is admitting the danger. He raises his arm to wave and goes under again.
He is in a rip-tide. He swims against it and goes further into it.
He is still strong enough to swim the distance to shore–but not against the current.
His body turns in the surf like a child’s toy doll. The sun fires red as a kiln.
His arms weaken. He feels himself shrinking.
He needs to conserve. Maybe someone will see him?
A low-flying plane?
He searches the sky. … Nothing. …
He gives into it, floats on top of it, watches the shoreline fade.
He is afraid of giving in, afraid not to.
I must not panic, he thinks.
He thinks about his nakedness. His body will wash up on shore naked and bloated. He is ashamed that he is naked.
Calmly, gently now, the tide carries him out.
There is no one on the beach. He can’t see the strange, dark man anymore. Peter and Kay should be down soon. He tries to call out. The water rushes over him.
He has no strength to swim back now. His body relaxes. He is a child and the sea is gentle with him. Above, the sky is redder than he has ever seen it. The clouds rush together, rush apart with the evening wind.
Peter and Kay must come down soon. Surely they will see him.
He’ll tell them his adventure, making half a joke of it. They’ll shake their heads, say it’s part of the miracle of the place that such a thing could happen and he can live to tell about it.
But sometimes people don’t live to tell about it. He’s heard those stories, too.
He floats on his back now, floating out to sea. Is that salt taste tears or the sea?
The sea envelops him in its warmth and he feels light, giddy and childlike. Everything seems so much clearer: clouds’ colors and shapes and the sky glowing like red coal.
He doesn’t know if it makes better sense to let the sea carry him or to struggle back. He doesn’t know how the sky has turned to fire. He is afraid that the sea will catch fire, too.
He has no plan.
He can’t feel himself in the water anymore. Can’t feel himself separate anymore. His muscles sag, go numb.
No longer afraid, he sees himself from a great height: a white bobbin turning in the water, too tired to resist.
He hears again the sounds of the gamelons, sees the women dancing as they danced the night before: in filigreed, brocaded garments, sweeping the clouds around them.
He had sat in awe of the dancers who could move with such precision and grace. How did they master it? Every gesture perfect, isolated; but flowing into the whole until the eye could not see where one movement began, another ended. Life and death swirled in the mystery between their gestures. How could he ever hope to write about such things?
After the dancing, after the priest had twisted the chicken’s head off and the entranced male dancers had drunk the spurting blood of the wing-flapping bird, as he was leaving, Speed had come face to face with the young priest. Soft as a blessing, the smile had blossomed on the priest’s smooth face. A hundred Westerners had witnessed the performance, but only Speed had seen the smile and felt the benediction.
He turns in the water now, plumes of palm trees stroking the coral sky.
The Department Chairman riffled some papers on his desk, coughed into his hand. “It’s nothing personal, Tony. … Personally, I think you’re doing a top-notch job. But we can’t fight City Hall. … It’s just these damn demographics we’ve got to deal with. Too many good baby-boomer teachers and too few baby-bust students. Damn shame, really. …” The Chairman peered into Speed’s eyes, his expression avuncular, seeking absolution.
After a moment, Speed found his voice. “I felt I was doing a good job. That I was accomplishing something.”
“No doubt about it. No doubt about it!” The Chairman rose from his chair, walked over to where Speed was sitting, then sat on the edge of his desk. Absently, he rested his forearm on the shoulder of a bust of Tennyson.
“I just wanted you to know,” he continued in a pinched voice, “I’ve done all I could. Honest to God. Wish I could do more. Wish we didn’t have City Hall to fight. But. …” he shrugged. “That’s why I wanted to talk to you today. To let you know it was nothing personal. I hate these exit interviews more than you can know. We’re letting some of our best go, including you. Just wish I could do more. Just wish. … Well. …”
The Chairman arched a brow, studied Speed carefully. “Yes,” he said without purpose, his pink face nodding. The words had blurred: “Not an easy decision … very highly thought of … nothing personal. …” The Chairman rose. There was a foot of air between him and Speed. They were about the same height. The Chairman was envious of Speed’s youth.
He rested his splotched palm on Tennyson’s head. He measured the look of aggrieved malevolence in Speed’s eyes. Nervous, he stepped back. The sweet scent of his sticky roll-on didn’t quite conceal the pungent smell of his apprehensions.
“Sir,” Speed had said, his voice strained and strange to him, “I always figured the courts had it wrong. It’s not the one who kills with forethought who is most dangerous. … If someone kills me, I hope it’s for a good, personal reason. Not because I just happened to be someplace, but because I did something wrong to him–real or imagined. … I’d like to see two words inscribed on all the tombs of unknown soldiers, and on the foreheads of all the children who don’t get enough to eat– Nothing Personal. …”
The Chairman sighed. Like every bureaucrat, he hated confrontations, resented being put on the spot. He looked around his office: the degrees from prestigious institutions, neatly encased behind glass on paneled walls; the scholarly treatises in distinguished journals; two books published, one in the works. He considered Speed–intense, volatile, possibly brilliant, defiant. Very unprofessional, he concluded. Too much dramatic flare. “Do you have any plans?” he asked.
The bust of Tennyson looks down from the clouds. The high, marble forehead, penetrating eyes and flowing beard become the clouds.
Then they change again: he sees them as the map of the world. The continents move into place. The wind scatters them.
God, he thinks, did You take me so far for this–to die unknown and unseen, making no mark on the world, a name writ in water?
He has breathed the strange air, nursed his ambitions, raged and despaired, dreamed, wanted.
Now the vastness will recover him. It surrounds him and is inside him. He has no claim on it, no final claim on his own life.
He floats on his back, too tired to resist, no longer afraid, almost euphoric. A dot of whiteness in immeasurable gray.
Thy will be done. …
The sea carries him out a little further. He is totally at peace with it. He doesn’t even notice as the sea turns around.
Dreaming, he watches the line of palm trees grow larger.
When he feels the earth again, he walks slowly, tremblingly towards shore. He collapses at the edge of the water. The little dark man is still there, squatting in the same place, his expression oblivious.
The sun hemispheres. He blinks at it–its red heart throbbing on the horizon. He rubs sand against his chest until it stings.
On his back, the water rushes over him. Taste of salt in his mouth.
Retching. … Nothing coming up. …
After a while, he tries to stand. On his knees, the planet swirls around him. He is on all fours, and then his head is in the sand again, rump in the air.
He realizes he is naked. His trunks are twisted up on his shoulder. Lying on his back, he stretches them over his body. Wave after wave of exhaustion breaks over him. His body shakes fear from him like a dog shaking out water.
He watches Peter and Kay coming down the beach trail. They don’t see him. Though he can’t see their faces clearly, he can tell from their bodies that they’re laughing and joking.
He stands up, wobbles; a dull ache in his head.
“Hey!” Peter calls.
“Hey!” His voice sounds like someone else’s coming from a great distance underwater.
Peter and Kay walk towards him: odd creatures balancing on their back hands.
“What’s happening?” Peter asks, grinning broadly. There is a thin line of saliva in his red beard. Kay has her usual look of dull surprise.
He wants to say something. His legs are still trembling.
“Are you all right?” Kay asks, noticing something different about him.
But he can only see how young they are, how ruddy-healthy their faces. He wants to embrace them both. But they fidget under his intense gaze. “You’re late,” he says hoarsely.
“We sort of got tied up,” Peter says, smiling at Kay.
Kay blushes. Peter puts his arm around her shoulder and hugs her to him; reddish-blonde beard against her sunburned shoulder.
Speed marvels at them, marvels at life. While he was caught in his death-tide, they had been making love.
The three of them sit on a dune some twenty yards from shore. The round hat of the sun melts into the sea.
“Looks pretty rough,” Peter says nodding at the waves.
“Did you swim?” Kay asks
“Sort of. …”
They watch the sun sink into a red tennis ball and disappear.
Maybe he’ll tell them some day, maybe he’ll be able to tell someone.
But not now.
The wind sweeps the clouds wildly, froths the waves, bends the backs of the pines. It swirls over them, catches them up in it.
“Look at the sky!” Peter shouts. “It’s a dome,” he says with awe. “It’s a bloody dome!”
“Look at that!” Kay says. “Look at that!”