One thing was for sure: Elise couldn't be Robert's void wife. On the day the void was scheduled to hit San Francisco, she hid from him in the ruin of the Sutro Baths. She gazed out at the Pacific while behind her, the void consumed Oakland. The void had appeared six months ago in a slender belt around the globe near the 90th meridian, slicing through Detroit and New Orleans, Bangkok and the Kirov Islands of Russia. Since then it had expanded in both directions on both sides of the planet at the rate of seventy miles a day, like two immense pairs of lids drawing over the eye of the earth.
In silence, the women gather. Girls draw together, jostling to get in front of the camera, but once they are there they don’t know how to behave. One chews her hair, the other gesticulates, losing her cool out the ends of her fingers, she fans them like a child searching blind-mole for a lost toy. A woman’s face has collapsed. A mother searching for a lost child. As she speaks of him she strokes her hand against her own cheek.