Try as she might, Mina couldn't reach the cherry pit in her head. She closed her eyes in concentration, and she gritted her teeth and clenched her fists, and yet—nothing. Silence rung hollow.
It was her mother who gave her the imagery back when she was a child: when you pop a cherry in your mouth your teeth chomp on fruit flesh while effortlessly avoiding the hard pit, then your tongue rolls it around as you swallow the pulp, before you finally spit the cherry pit out. In much the same way, her mother had gone on to explain, she would learn to isolate the pea-sized implant she carried in her, to roll it around in her thoughts and wake it and speak to it. Speak to herself, at a different age.