In November she had the strangest dream in which Samantha and Javier's daughter were sleeping in the nude together and embracing, face to face, innocent as lovers. The dream was all in swirls of blue like housepaint when you first open it or like the swirly art they used to sell to rubes along the midway.

"What are you doing?" she asked Samantha, who rose from the swirl like a swimmer surfacing in a dream but who somehow didn't leave the embrace of her sleeping sister.

That was how she thought of her in the dream, a sister.

"Can't you see I'm in cyberspace," Samantha protested. Her voice was annoying and annoyed.

"Don't be absurd," Lisle said. "I've been to cyberspace. No one sleeps there. It's all August and autumn rushing in and back to school."

And still they floated on, the girls, not ignoring her but somehow knowing otherwise.