Voting for episode 1 ended September 27, 2013. The majority of readers of Episode 1 decided that Abraham should be a woman in Episode 2. So he becomes Abby—although she still thinks of herself as Abe. She is the only person in the episode although the Ball (now hatched) continues to advise her as an inner voice—in a deep bass.
Unh… ow… i… red… red? A meadow… dead tree… red sun… everything’s red. Mars? Hell? Am I dead? All those dead people, all that blood. Have I got all my parts…?
“Whoa, Nelly! Dagnabit, I’m a woman!” And I’m an alto.”
A bass profundo bass vibrated within him: Not Nelly—Abby.
“Don’t tell me….”
Right. It’s me. Your ball. Hatched, my dear. And this is—really is—the first day of the rest of our life. Now get yourself together. There’s a fountain under that tree. Go get acquainted with your reflection, wash up, and get a good, long drink because we hitting the road. Oh, yes, and eat.
That apple on the tree.
Abby looked skeptically at the dead apple tree. “Are you kidding me? Isn’t this all a little too Biblical? And isn’t that supposed to be my line? Btw, I don’t like apples.”
Then starve, Abby.
Abby sat up. She felt shocked, anxious, but very good. She took a deep breath of the red air. Very, VERY good. She looked about her more carefully to get it all in focus.
Everything was a shade of red: she was in a red meadow centered by a shattered and leafless tree about which grew red grass itself surrounded by a woods in full leaf under a clear red sky. At the foot of the tree was swelling crimson fountain, which had just overrun its small bank of round pink stones and, as she began to walk toward it, began to flow in the direction of the rising sun.
Abby stooped to look at her reflection in a still area of water. “Hey, me, you are drop-dead beautiful. She examined her upper body. Who needs clothes when she’s stacked like this. She smiled and then, pulling her curly mane to one side with one hand, scooped water up to her mouth with the other.
“My god, that’s good!”
An apple fell to the grass by the fountain. She inspected it a little suspiciously and them gingerly nibbled it and swallowed.
Abby grinned. “My God! That’s grand!” She marveled at the unaccustomed limberness of her body, the abundant energy that coursed through her, and, as she looked about her self, the clarity and detail of what she saw. She felt like a goddess.
“Now follow that brook in the direction of your shadow.”
Beyond her shadow and under the brightening light of the morning sun Abby now saw a brook had widened and was flowing between two banks of pink stones into what seemed to be an vast orchard, behind each tree rapidly appearing others, all bearing a burden of bright red apples. Trees on either side of its sides, the brook flowed quietly under the latticework of their linked shadows.
“Where are we going?”
To find your other gifts.