Mariko knew a lot of interesting things about space. For example: astronomers theorized that, based on its chemical make-up, the dust from the nebula that gave birth to our sun would taste like raspberries. And that the closer you get to a black hole, the slower time runs.
I applied Mariko’s astral pearls to my own line of imagining: Following someone down a rabbit hole can also double as following them into a black hole, where the closer you get to its mysterious center, the slower time runs, and eventually you reach that point of no return, the event horizon, and watch yourself freeze into a phantom imprint, or the X-ray of a void, and it is this dissolved incarnation of you that continues plunging into the dark wonder, the atomizing tantalus of the abyss.
And all because you once tasted ripe warm raspberry on her lips and skin.