[This post is from Marin’s point of view.]
The rain ebbed, though the sky remained gray, the clouds heavy. There was a faint chill in the air, the promise of autumn and winter nearer than the calendar implied—or would imply, if they were more diligent about keeping it.
A few watched the days on the calendar as they passed. A few marked them, because—as they had once quietly whispered to each other—they would want to know the days their children were born, the days that they married. There were other reasons to mark the days, too, though those reasons were the ones that no one wanted to talk about, ones they hoped they wouldn’t need for a long time.
No one wanted to think about marking the dates when people died.
It was as if the weather knew something that they’d half forgotten, whether by chance or by design.
Tomorrow was the day.
It would have been a year since the end of everything they’d ever known. One year to the day.
As Marin paced along the edge of the tents, humming softly to Lin, it struck her that none of them could have ever predicted what had happened to them, her visions of the future notwithstanding. Even she hadn’t known what it all meant when she’d had the first vision of the end years ago, hadn’t understood what would come after. She knew Thom hadn’t. Even Phelan—and likely Teague, too—hadn’t quite known what would be, only that something would be.
A whole year. It was about to be a whole year since that day of chaos and fire and death and fear and grief and wanting and hoping. As she gazed down at her son, finally starting to quiet after a fit of fussing, she hoped against hope that he’d never face a trial like that, like what they’d faced.
She hoped his world, in the end, would be brighter than what they’d known.
But then, that was the reason they’d been fighting so hard, and would continue to fight.
It wasn’t for themselves. It was for him and the other children—Tala’s, Neve and Cameron’s, and all the children yet to be.
It was for them.