[This post is from Thomas Merlin Ambrose’s point of view.]
I tugged on my boots. Kailey crossed her arms, watching me, her expression suddenly suspicious.
“What are you not telling me?” she asked.
I shook my head quickly and regretted it as the world spun around me, then slowly righted itself. Oof. Don’t do that again, Lin. I rubbed at my temple. “Don’t worry about it.”
“Those are words out of your mouth that I am too damn smart to believe,” she said, snagging a spare blanket from my bed and the last book she’d seen me reading—one I was admittedly still reading. “Come on. The family wants you safe.”
Unfortunately, the family didn’t always get what it wanted, but for the moment, I’d play along. I let her usher me outside and found myself mumbling a heartfelt curse against the glaring sunshine. The pain was almost enough to make me double over.
So that’s why Dad always wore the sunglasses after a big fight. I’d never known exactly why, but back then I’d chalked it up to just looking cool and concealing anything like dark circles or black eyes. I’d never considered another practical purpose for the act. Now, the reason he’d worn them was becoming abundantly clear, especially if I’d inherited at least part of my heightened sensitivity from him.
“What’s wrong?” Kailey asked me as she turned me toward one of the entrances to the tunnels.
I almost shook my head but barely managed to stop myself. “Just the light. Making the headache worse.”
“I thought Aunt Jac gave you something for the pain.”
“She did. Clearly, not enough.” Probably because she—rightfully—expected me to stay in bed and sleep it off. Which I would be doing if the world wasn’t suddenly exploding.
Was this really what it had been like for our parents all those years ago?
Something told me we were about to get a stronger dose of their experience than either of us had ever bargained for.