"What's on the top floor?" she asked, peering up the twisting wooden stairway.
The owner winced. "Nothing safe. Nothing good."
"Well, then," she whispered, already on the third stair.
At the top, she stood alone, looking around at gleaming plank floors, mostly bare of furniture. Wide windows, no curtains, The light streaming in had a foreign, rushing quality; she'd never seen anything like it.
"We're at the very top, you know. We're going very fast."
She jumped in surprise. She hadn't seen the man sitting quietly on a cushion in the alcove to her right.
"The top? Of what? The house?"
He smiled, knowing. "The world." Nodding toward the window, he sat back and waited.
She was grateful she'd put her hands on the window frame, because the sight of everything flying beneath her at unimaginable speed shook her; she crumpled to the floor.
"How? How is this possible? How can you just sit there?"
"Because we are all traveling unbelievably fast. Always. We're just the ones who can see, you and I. Try again."
More cautiously this time, she edged to the window.
She was in the front seat of the roller coaster. In the engine of the train. On the back of an eagle.
"That we are standing still, safely on the ground, is illusion. No one is. But most of the time, we don't know to look out the windows. Sit with me a while. Try to hold both these thoughts in your mind: safely sitting on a rug on the floor, and at the same time precariously flying through everything we've ever known."
She sat with the small man. He inched closer so his knee was touching hers. They both sat perfectly still, racing at top speed through the universe.