Ed imagined he had floated at least three miles before he surfaced next and his lungs fairly burst with the pain of holding his breath. At first when he surfaced he spit blood but then he realized it was only plum wine and probably a dream.

He floated up in a still pool fringed with iris among waterlilies and blood red lotus. There were Jerries nearby and so he broke off a hollow reed to breath through and slipped below the black surface of the water, drawing it over him like the rubber sheets that whores used.

Someone tossed daisies upon the surface of the water and bluegills rose and hit them thinking it was bait fall. A Messerschmidt strafed the water and the shells went pock pock pock, echoing hollowly beneath the surface, then tumbling down into the sand. A young girl was mourning for her drowned lover, tossing carnations on the water.

Each white puff was a cloud.

The buddha sat on the shore large as life, his skin green and smooth as the belly of a copper frog. It was the damnedest thing.

"I didn't think you were real," Ed said gently.

"Oh I am, lover, I'm as real as an ocean," the whore said. She was Eleanore of Aquataine or someone, the queen who floated away from King Arthur in the mist.

He was enjoying this. He laughed so hard his neck split open and his guts spilled out.