The way the light glimmered in her, as she stood there and boiled, was breathtaking; and he discovered in himself a childlike fascination with it, unable to tear his gaze away. She caught the fading light from outside and refracted it back against the walls, where it writhed and danced with frenetic grace, great loops of pale green luminescence unspooling forth from her frothing body with each new epileptic spasm of bubbles.
It was such a beautiful way to die. It commanded a respectful silence, which they gave without thinking, standing at rapt attention as little lapping waves of her essence collapsed over each other in an attempt to escape her steaming feet.
He was grateful that Al didn't speak. It would come out later, he supposed, in hesitant whispers at night, if they survived this ordeal to sleep again, to share the velvety shadows of a safe room. The way her chin tilted back, exposing the soft line of her neck as carbonation rushed up it like a glass laboratory tube. The hair like rays of light that fluttered out and curled gently around themselves, catching on their own impossibly thin fibers. Her hands, opened wide to accept the air's embrace as it ate her away.
A cathedral moment, there in the echoing factory, watching a sin rise up like an angel and blow away in fragments of glory.
Her face slipped toward them in the last moment, down from its contemplation of the heavens invisible above the roof—perhaps her death had always waited there, in that lonely inability to ever really look away? The transparent eyes gazed through them, then, and he knew that behind that last trace of faintest blue iris there ran a pair of little boys, chubby baby hands raised up in supplication.
"Remember to clean up after yourselves," came the last soothing hum of the vocal cords, before they percolated away. "Such good boys..."
The wrenching feeling in his gut nearly brought him to his knees, as the beauty of the moment shattered, and with it his composure. Al's scrape of shifting metal was not quite a cry. Edward ground his teeth together, and forced himself to watch the final bubbles rise towards the ceiling. Not his mother. Not his mother at all.
If anything, he thought fiercely at the burning reprise of lost-boy agony rising up inside, he was her father...illegitimate sinner that he was.
And she was forever stillborn.