"Call the death by any name Your Highness will, attribute it to whom you will, or say it might have been prevented how you will, it is the same death eternally--inborn, inbred, engendered in the corrupted humours of the vicious body itself--Spontaneous Combustion…"

--Bleak House

Femur/Green Lake/Thurs Feb 24/1:30 pm: Officer Harwood writes: "Anna has been renting the residence for the last year and half. Sometime in September of 2004 her dog dug up a couple of vertebrae inside the fenced backyard of the residence. Today, her dog dug up what appears to be trocanter of the femur. Officers responded, collected the bones, and transported them to the medical examiner's office."

Nonhuman/Magnolia/Thurs Feb 24/9:50 am: Officer P. R. Monzon reports: "While digging in the backyard, a contractor working for the witness [owner of the home] unearthed bones. Homicide was notified and responded to the scene. Sgt. Striedinger and his crew, however, believe the bones to be nonhuman. The bones were transported to the medical examiner's office."

Two Suns/Rainier Valley/Thurs Feb 24/6:00 am: Officer Dan Bracher reports: "Just before [dusk], a mature juniper rockery tree in the backyard of a home on South Edmonds Street caught fire. There were no witnesses. The Seattle Fire Department arrived and put out the fire with little trouble. The fire marshal was not called. Some unknown person at the scene apparently told the victims [a married couple] that the fire was the result of 'spontaneous combustion,' so they didn't file a police report. After thinking about the incident overnight, the theory of 'spontaneous combustion' seemed improbable and vandalism possible. At dawn the couple was convinced that a crime had been committed in their backyard, and they called the police." The couple may or may not have been aware of this, but that morning something wonderful was happening in the sky above their house, their backyard, their evergreen (which was "burnt beyond recognition").

At the very moment that the Rainier Valley couple called the law to denounce the "spontaneous combustion" theory, I, in another part of town (near the Central Business District), saw through the wide window of my room a moon that was unusually huge and white, with a light that was more solar than lunar. The thing was like a little sun--a sun that was too far to warm the world but near enough not to be a star. The fall of the little sun in the west was reflected by the waters of the bay, and the rise of the big sun in the east was reflected by the glass skin of the business buildings. I walked out onto the porch to get a fuller view of this astronomical miracle.

I have always wanted to live on a planet with two suns: one as pretty as the moon was at this moment; the other as useful as the sun always is, the only difference being that the suns in the sky of my desired planet would be much nearer to each other (almost hand-in-hand) with their positions switched, so that the big one was just ahead of the small one. I would trade the rest of my life for just one day that ended in this way: a backyard, an evergreen "burnt beyond recognition," and the deepening dusk of two departing suns.

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