[This post is from Hecate’s point of view.]
Hecate drew her hoodie a little tighter around her as she walked away from the fire, a sudden chill creeping down her spine. It had nothing to do with the weather or the day, she knew that much for certain. At least not entirely—there was a strange bite to the breeze that was starting to blow up, and there was an almost unpleasant dampness settling in.
But no, it was something else. This was more than damp and wind.
She had a sense of the past repeating itself, but it was a past that she couldn’t rightfully remember—not did she entirely want to remember.
Down that pathway lies only pain and madness.
She glanced back over her shoulder toward the fire. Maybe she should have let Matt come with her.
No. No, I need to be able to handle things on my own, to feel and deal with things on my own. I know he’ll always be there when I need him. That should be enough to help me stay even-keel, even when things start spinning out of control.
That was what she kept telling herself, anyway. Maybe if she said it often enough, it would become true.
She hoped it would.
Her steps carried her beyond the tents, out onto the pathway beyond the forge to the edge of the wards, the ravine, the bridge. She paused there at the terminus of the warding lines, feeling their power dancing at the edge of her senses, watching the trees, still laden with summer greenery swaying in the wind that was picking up slowly but surely.
A storm would come. A storm always came.
She shivered again and bit her lip.
After a few moments, she walked on, toward the bridge, then began to cross. Her footsteps echoed hollow against the concrete and steel, but beyond that it felt oddly quiet despite the wind and the still-audible sounds of the village behind her.
She didn’t know why the barrow was calling, or when it had begun, only that it was.
So she was going, not knowing—not wanting to know—what she would find when she got there.