Under subterranean cobweb-style vaulted rock waited the car. Charcoal of partridge feathers black, roofless, a living dimetrodon spine sail dividing it in half lengthwise. Mammatus cloud and frog egg clusters of wheels stirred beneath its labyrinthine shafts, and from the front corners extended out of hollow sockets luminous pale wrists ending in four or five bent and tapering branches: these moved, stretched out almost imperceptibly, the eye stalks of half frozen snails, fingering the darkness they only penetrated by their form, sending out no ray, bright though they gleamed.
Sean entered the driver’s side; Marie felt alone on the other side, separated from him by the spine sail, which twitched and flexed by her shoulder. She could hear him plainly enough: he told her to watch her feet. The darkness under the dashboard was bulbous and articulated, quite possibly infinite: she could not tell certainly where she could put her feet to watch them.
The car began with a whine: the yawn of a crow, drawn out, a slingshot drawn out by a car winch until it snaps and whips loose: had the car broken? The jerk had her seizing whatever she could – except the bony and membranous wall beside her, which now whispered and undulated in the rushing air.
The pale forks in front, the tiny twigless and leafless saplings of waxy gleam, which protruded from the car’s snout – ectoplasm from the nostrils of a desert night porpoise – these shook with the lunging career of the car across the barren and unlighted wilderness. The tips of the fingers of these lurid trees sent out thin ribbons of the same colourless colour, and these streamers licked and danced over everything: slippery and dim lightning, without jaggedness or any division, feeling the knobbed stones and threading the cracks. They were an army of chameleon extended unforked serpents’ tongues, at a fiftyfold clip of time. Sean swerved, dodged, and Marie never saw the things he avoided.
“Is it not glorious?” came his voice in the dubious semi-dark within the car.
“I wish I could see you,” was Marie’s only reply. The saurian sail quivered.