Rising, somehow, to a shaky stand I popped my eyes open. Still, all I could see in the mounting darkness is the quick flash of her teeth. She bared them in a smile.
I turned my gaze away, noting the walls around us. I had seen an elevator once, when Job had taken me to a hotel, the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. He had booked the honeymoon suite up there at the very top, knowing it would impress a simple village girl like me. But now, this here was like no elevator I had ever seen before.
How can I begin to describe it to you? Space was tight. In distress I looked up—perhaps by force of habit—to cry, to say a prayer. Stones, torn roots, autumn leaves, most of them already rotten, even tiny lizards and worms were soaring over us in a big swirl, bouncing from time to time off the walls, and then being blown up and away with a big spit, straight off the top of this thing.
After a while you could breathe again, if you were so inclined. I was not. In the shadows, if you dared brush your fingers around you, you might feel the mud slipping upward along the walls as we went on falling.
Then came various outlines, various shells and pebbles and hairy seaweed, all floating across a layer of damp air. From time to time a fish skeleton swam by, lit from inside, like the neon signs at the top of that hotel in Jerusalem. And then, puff! The skeleton hit the elevator wall and crumbled to dust.
Layer after layer rose away. Water, vapor, gas; cold, hot, toasty. All the while the floor kept accumulating hairy strands of algae, crumpled insect wings, chopped off lizard tails, split-open pebbles, coal dust...
The ideas seem from a different realm of non-reality, but they are so immaculately constructed that each work becomes a little treasure to visit repeatedly.
-Grady Harp, Hall of Fame Reviewer