Her heartbeat triples. The voice is in her head. It races through the valleys between every ridge in her fingerprints. It reverses the flow of her blood. Her eyelashes vibrate as quick as cricket wings.

More time passes, or doesn’t.

Eleanor occupies a strange space between here and there, like a secret passageway between rooms. She seems to have forgotten about what might be happening back in the real world. She doesn’t seem worried about the terrible battering her body has just taken. Is her body still there, somewhere behind her? It doesn’t occur to her to wonder any more about this once the voice replies to her.

With this conversation, the course of the rest of Eleanor’s life has been set. Her childhood dreams of being first an astronaut, then a physicist, are dismantled. She doesn’t yet know that everything has changed completely.

What happens when the conversation ends?

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