In the two weeks before, there are signs and wonders.
A cat gives birth to a two-headed kitten. A river runs backwards; children playing in the ocean taste the water and find it sweet. For half an hour in the night, the moon stands still in the sky.
On Thursday evening, there's a streak of light -- like a shooting star, and then like a road flare, burning potassium-bright in the center of an acre of blood-red snow.