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Happily Ever After

Ethel Rohan

1. Bobbing

Usually it happened in his nightmares.

One morning, not long after his honeymoon, it happened for real on the street at his bus-stop on his way to work. Everyone and everything without foundations rose with the water, swimmers shouting "ahoy" one to the other as they passed.

The tabby cat splashed by on her back, her legs bicycling the air and tail trying to hook onto stop. In a voice plain as white she said rough. He understood his choices and made one, reminding himself that, this way, he could always change his mind.

That night, his new wife floating alongside him, the whispering water lapping their ears, he imagined deserts, and people pulling-up beside him wearing sunglasses and stretching out on psychedelic beach towels - all the while knowing that he'd never get on solid footing again, that from here on out it was swim or sink.

2. Splendipity

At the end, the exit plan from watery Earth was the spaceship to the planet Fram. For whatever reason or reasons, he and certain other people and animals knew to arrive at a certain beach by a certain ocean at a certain time on that certain day. They clamored aboard the spaceship, he and his wife and thousands more, and blasted into space, narrowly escaping the lashes of Earth's fires.

On Fram, they disembarked from the spaceship and discovered that they had all turned a certain vivid shade of orange. An orange so vibrant it was a taste; so energetic it was a state of being. The people and the animals, at last equal in their orangeness, were swollen with souls and speech and song. Rendered beyond.

And so began the end of life as they knew it and ended the beginning of life as they could only have imagined it. In their orangeness, equalness, swollenness, and shared beginnings and endings, they settled into a wondrous existence on Fram. There, they burned brighter than even its Sun, each being so glorious they could only evoke worship in one another.

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