The girl’s stare was unnerving. Finally, Kelly got up and waved his hand in front of her eyes. No response. “What’s with her?” he asked his host.
“She says it’s like drowning,” the older woman said, walking over with two cups of tea.
Kelly took his gratefully, taking a moment to inhale the steam before looking back at the girl. “Doesn’t look like drowning to me,” he said.
“Real drowning is quiet, not like that thrashing about you see on TV. The person drowning just bobs along, trying to get their mouth above water. The body takes over, trying to save itself, but it’s not smart; it didn’t evolve to call for help, or swim, or even float. Unless someone else notices and helps… Well, I suppose in rare situations you might bob into shallow enough water to touch bottom and save yourself, but most of the time you just die.”
“So what’s she drowning in?”
His host paused, bending down to look into the girl’s eyes before shaking her head. “If I knew that, maybe I could help her. For now, though, all I can do is keep her body safe, and hope she bobs back to it in time.”