[This post is from David O’Credne Miller’s point of view.]
You have to find them before it’s too late.
But too late for what? Too late how?
And how the hell will I know what it is or how or when it’s too late?
No one had been able to tell him, to teach him how to handle what he saw and felt, the gut feelings and the glimpses of otherwhens. His father had tried, but Gray Miller only had so much expertise in that realm. Aunt Teca hadn’t been able to offer much additional insight, either, though she’d tried—they’d all tried. Every adult in his life had tried.
Except his mother, vanished when he was barely old enough to remember having a mother at all.
He’d only asked his father about her disappearance once, when he was ten years old, and then never again. Even at ten, he saw the pain that it caused his father and at the same time knew that he didn’t dare tell his son the whole truth of it.
That, he’d decided, was fine. If his father wanted to protect him from something—or protect himself, as the case might have been—that was perfectly all right with him. His father, after all, had never done anything to hurt him, had only ever tried to help. Most hard truths were ones that his father told him.
If whatever circumstances had precipitated his mother’s departure were harder than those truths, there must have been a damned good reason for it.
A fresh chill shot through him, the sensation nearer now. The tumbling images were starting to ebb like the tides drawing back from the water’s edge. In part it was a relief, but also a frustration.
Whatever had been just beyond his grasp was still out there, still beyond his reaching fingers.
Maybe it’s not time yet.
That realization didn’t make much of a dent in the pressing feeling that time was running out, though.
The chill he’d felt started to become more localized, closer and closer. He didn’t shiver, though he wanted to. Oddly, it felt good, as if cooling the summer heat.
It was summer, wasn’t it?
It would be great not to feel so far gone half the time. It must be summer. Right? Right. It has to be.
It was a hand—the chill was someone’s hand against his face.
In a rush, the images washed away and pain filled the gap where they’d been.
Consciousness flooded in with it.