Character Interview: James Struck’s Tim

(Kelly was written by Kelly Blanchard, and Tim (and other characters) was written by James Struck.)

This, thought Kelly Blanchard, does not look much like a portal to a magical world.

She was standing in the parking lot of an old, abandoned picnic area in the forest preserves just off I-294 in the suburbs of Chicago.  Grass and weeds poked up out of every crack in the crumbling  blacktop, weather-faded picnic tables hid half-obscured by knee-high grass, and public grills stood rusting and adorned with spiderwebs.  Had it not fit the description in the letter that had appeared in the Muse Shop yesterday perfectly, Kelly would have considered leaving.  But she could sense a faint but pervasive glamour on this place, and knew that was the real source of her unease.  This was a place that was supposed to be ignored, and someone who knew magick had worked very hard to make it remain so.  She pulled the letter out of her pocket and read the second part of it again.

“Go at dusk, and wear the medallion I gave you, it will grant you access.  A path will appear at the far end of the clearing, follow it.  The journey will be… disorienting, but your own protections should lessen that, just be sure to keep moving forward no matter what.  When you reach the end (you’ll know) a friend will be there to meet you.  His name is Kieran, and if you want to know anything about my world, he is the one to ask.  He will bring you to meet Tim.  Tim is very shy, so a few other friends will be there to offer him support and encouragement.  Feel free to ask them questions as well.  And don’t let Vee sass you too much. Have fun!”

Kelly reached back into her pocket and brought out the medallion Jim Struck gave her during his author interview.  About the size of a quarter, it looked a little like a map compass: a center square of black, four triangles surrounding it, each a different color, all bound in a circle of silver.  As she looked at it, a sudden gust of wind came up from behind her, staggering her forward a few steps.  It hit the tall grass, parting it, revealing a pathway of flat white stones.  When the wind met the trees at the far end of the clearing they creaked aside, creating an archway.  Kelly smiled, slipped the medallion’s chain around her neck, and started confidently towards the path.  A few steps down the stone path, Kelly heard a faint whispering sound behind her.  She glanced back and saw that the grass was closing up behind her, obscuring the stones again.  She wondered briefly about the world she was going to visit, if it obviously had so many layers of protections and camouflage, but she knew she was simply a visitor, perfectly safe.

As Kelly passed the treeline, the path opened up, broad and straight, yet slightly eerie in the fading light.  A groan behind her made her turn her head, and she found that not only was the opening gone, but so was the entire rest area.  All that stood behind her was rank upon rank of mature trees and the path vanishing into the distance.

More protections, she thought to herself.

She continued forward.  As she did, the strangest sensation came over her.  With each step a feeling of resistance built, as though something were trying to dissuade her, turn her back.  She knew that, were she fully here and not just a visitor, she would be swamped by a sense of vertigo and disorientation.  She pressed on, knowing this must be what Jim had warned her about.  Suddenly, the resistance broke, as though she’d passed through some sort of barrier.  Everything around her became a whirl of soft colors, and she stumbled slightly.  As she regained her footing, she realized that the path beneath her feet was now soft grass.  She looked up and her breath caught.

It was the scene Jim had shown Kelly in the Muse Shop, when he’d first placed the medallion in her hand.  She was standing in the center of a Stonehenge-like circle at the top of a large hill.  Surrounding the hill was a forest unlike anything she’d ever seen in her life.  The trees were vast, gnarled things with trunks so large four people holding hands could not have reached around them.  Their leaves were a deep, dark green, spearhead-shaped, and their bark was silver-gray, smooth and almost luminescent.  But it was the house tucked away at the bottom of the hill that truly took Kelly’s breath away.  It looked neither constructed nor carved, but grown.  Made from the same silvery wood as the surrounding trees, it was impossible to tell where living wood ended and building began.  Trunks formed the uprights of it, branches the floor, leaves the roof.  She’d never seen a man-made structure that so perfectly belonged where it was.

Overhead hung three moons, one smooth and blue-white, one the color of sandstone arches, and a third small and gray and pocked with craters.  They cast a soft, ethereal light over the land like a permanent twilight.  A few hundred yards beyond the house, the trees ended abruptly, cut off by what looked like a fog bank.  As Kelly watched, the fog roiled and shifted, but never came any closer, as though some invisible force or barrier kept it at bay.   Both the trees and the fog encircled the hill completely, closer behind than in front.  If she had to guess, the house, not the hilltop, was the center of the ring.

“Hello, Kelly Blanchard,” came a voice from behind her.

She whirled around.  Standing just outside the ring of stones was what looked like an Irish caveman.  Short and broad-shouldered, with a mop of long, bright orange hair and a chest-length beard, he leaned on a staff of silvery wood and regarded her with no small amount of amusement in his pale blue eyes.  He was dressed in a long, belted tunic either made from the leaves of the surrounding trees or crafted to look that way, leggings, and soft gray leather boots.

“Kieran ko Turian Aergead, at your service,” he said with a dramatic bow.  “First Seeker, Watcher of the Silver Way,” he gave a vague wave of his hand, “ and a couple of other useless titles that nobody cares about except people I try really hard not to be around.  Welcome to the Duskrealms.”This, thought Kelly Blanchard, does not look much like a portal to a magickal world.

She was standing in the parking lot of an old, abandoned picnic area in the forest preserves just off I-294 in the suburbs of Chicago.  Grass and weeds poked up out of every crack in the crumbling  blacktop, weather-faded picnic tables hid half-obscured by knee-high grass, and public grills stood rusting and adorned with spiderwebs.  Had it not fit the description in the letter that had appeared in the Muse Shop yesterday perfectly, Kelly would have considered leaving.  But she could sense a faint but pervasive glamour on this place, and knew that was the real source of her unease.  This was a place that was supposed to be ignored, and someone who knew magick had worked very hard to make it remain so.  She pulled the letter out of her pocket and read the second part of it again.

“Go at dusk, and wear the medallion I gave you, it will grant you access.  A path will appear at the far end of the clearing, follow it.  The journey will be… disorienting, but your own protections should lessen that, just be sure to keep moving forward no matter what.  When you reach the end (you’ll know) a friend will be there to meet you.  His name is Kieran, and if you want to know anything about my world, he is the one to ask.  He will bring you to meet Tim.  Tim is very shy, so a few other friends will be there to offer him support and encouragement.  Feel free to ask them questions as well.  And don’t let Vee sass you too much.

smile emoticon

  Have fun!”

Kelly reached back into her pocket and brought out the medallion Jim Struck gave her during his author interview.  About the size of a quarter, it looked a little like a map compass: a center square of black, four triangles surrounding it, each a different color, all bound in a circle of silver.  As she looked at it, a sudden gust of wind came up from behind her, staggering her forward a few steps.  It hit the tall grass, parting it, revealing a pathway of flat white stones.  When the wind met the trees at the far end of the clearing they creaked aside, creating an archway.  Kelly smiled, slipped the medallion’s chain around her neck, and started confidently towards the path.  A few steps down the stone path, Kelly heard a faint whispering sound behind her.  She glanced back and saw that the grass was closing up behind her, obscuring the stones again.  She wondered briefly about the world she was going to visit, if it obviously had so many layers of protections and camouflage, but she knew she was simply a visitor, perfectly safe.

As Kelly passed the treeline, the path opened up, broad and straight, yet slightly eerie in the fading light.  A groan behind her made her turn her head, and she found that not only was the opening gone, but so was the entire rest area.  All that stood behind her was rank upon rank of mature trees and the path vanishing into the distance.

More protections, she thought to herself.

She continued forward.  As she did, the strangest sensation came over her.  With each step a feeling of resistance built, as though something were trying to dissuade her, turn her back.  She knew that, were she fully here and not just a visitor, she would be swamped by a sense of vertigo and disorientation.  She pressed on, knowing this must be what Jim had warned her about.  Suddenly, the resistance broke, as though she’d passed through some sort of barrier.  Everything around her became a whirl of soft colors, and she stumbled slightly.  As she regained her footing, she realized that the path beneath her feet was now soft grass.  She looked up and her breath caught.

It was the scene Jim had shown Kelly in the Muse Shop, when he’d first placed the medallion in her hand.  She was standing in the center of a Stonehenge-like circle at the top of a large hill.  Surrounding the hill was a forest unlike anything she’d ever seen in her life.  The trees were vast, gnarled things with trunks so large four people holding hands could not have reached around them.  Their leaves were a deep, dark green, spearhead-shaped, and their bark was silver-gray, smooth and almost luminescent.  But it was the house tucked away at the bottom of the hill that truly took Kelly’s breath away.  It looked neither constructed nor carved, but grown.  Made from the same silvery wood as the surrounding trees, it was impossible to tell where living wood ended and building began.  Trunks formed the uprights of it, branches the floor, leaves the roof.  She’d never seen a man-made structure that so perfectly belonged where it was.

Overhead hung three moons, one smooth and blue-white, one the color of sandstone arches, and a third small and gray and pocked with craters.  They cast a soft, ethereal light over the land like a permanent twilight.  A few hundred yards beyond the house, the trees ended abruptly, cut off by what looked like a fog bank.  As Kelly watched, the fog roiled and shifted, but never came any closer, as though some invisible force or barrier kept it at bay.   Both the trees and the fog encircled the hill completely, closer behind than in front.  If she had to guess, the house, not the hilltop, was the center of the ring.

“Hello, Kelly Blanchard,” came a voice from behind her.

She whirled around.  Standing just outside the ring of stones was what looked like an Irish caveman.  Short and broad-shouldered, with a mop of long, bright orange hair and a chest-length beard, he leaned on a staff of silvery wood and regarded her with no small amount of amusement in his pale blue eyes.  He was dressed in a long, belted tunic either made from the leaves of the surrounding trees or crafted to look that way, leggings, and soft gray leather boots.

“Kieran ko Turian Aergead, at your service,” he said with a dramatic bow.  “First Seeker, Watcher of the Silver Way,” he gave a vague wave of his hand, “ and a couple of other useless titles that nobody cares about except people I try really hard not to be around.  Welcome to the Duskrealms.”

“Thank you.” Kelly nodded as she completely settled into this world. Each one was different than the last. “I was informed I could ask you anything of this world, but apparently I am to speak with one named Tim.” She raised her brows. “And I hear he is rather shy. Anything I should know of him further before speaking with him?”

“Those are the important things.”  Kieran smiled fondly.  “He’s a good kid, and way stronger than he thinks he is, in a lot of ways.  You’ll ask about his scars, I’m sure.  Be gentle with that subject.  He’ll talk about it, but at his own pace.”

Kelly shook her head. “While I’m curious of his scars, he may actually be interested in hearing a tale I could tell him of another young man I know with a much, much worse condition but still he fights bravely.” So she looked at him and smiled. “Thank you for the warning though. I will keep it in mind. Will you take me to him? And as you do, can you tell me what exactly this place is?” She inquired as she cast her gaze about.

“Of course, come on.”  They turned and made their way down the winding stone path that led to the house

“Just as dusk is the time between light and dark, the Duskrealms are the places inbetween the normal world and the various other realms that exist.  They’re like pockets or bubbles floating in the ether.  Some, like my little home here, are quite small.  Others are entire cities.  Once, legends tell us, they were all one vast world, as big as any.  But as magick has bled out of the normal world, the Duskrealms have shrunk.  We, the Children of Dusk, make our homes here, where magick still works the way it did in the ancient days.”

“This place is called the Ring of Silver, and that,” he pointed to the house at the bottom of the hill, “is Argent House.  It is sort of a waypoint and halfway house between the normal world and the rest of the Duskrealms.  A combination training facility and place to rest, really.”

All this reminded Kelly of her own story with multiple dimensions, but this had the magical element. “Very interesting. Can someone from here travel to the normal world? And if so, is their magic affected?”

“Absolutely, but yes there is very much a change to how Weaving, as we call it, works.  We call it Weaving because that is what it is like.  We take the threads of the seven elements, Earth, Fire, Air, Earth, Light, Darkness, and Spirit, and we weave them together to create certain effects.  The reason magick doesn’t work as well in the normal world is because magick itself is a matter of belief.  Scientists have proven this, actually, that physical reality reacts to human thought and intention.  Well, what do you think happens when a Dusker tries to Weave and there are a bunch of people around who don’t believe it can work?  You get a failed Weave and a Dusker with a killer migraine.  So the only way we can Weave in the normal world is by creating coincidental effects, unless we are alone or only around other people or beings with magickal abilities.”

Kelly had to laugh when she heard about the killer migraine. “Well, THAT would explain a lot about me!” She gave him a rueful smile but then shook her head as she mused over his words. “Very interest indeed though. I’m sure I don’t fully comprehend it yet, but I understand a little of it. So where exactly are you taking me?”

“Argent House is my home, and that is where Tim is, along with a couple of friends, Vee and Gideon.  They’re Seekers, young people that we send out to the normal world to look for people like Tim, who have the gift to Weave.  They’re… protective of him, though give that boy a month of training and nobody will need to protect him.  That lad is the finest natural talent I’ve met in 20 years.”  He shook his head ruefully.  “They insisted on being here.  Silly, really, but there it is.”

“What talent exactly?” Kelly asked as she followed him. “I’m sure there are different skills of magic, and some are more talented than others in certain areas. Or am I wrong?”

“Oh yes.  Some can handle more raw power than others, some are better at the more complicated Weaves.  Some have greater strength in certain elements than others, and some elements, Light and Darkness specifically, are rare to have any talent in them at all.  But Tim?”  He whistled softly.  “Skill, power, ability to learn, he has it all.  Which is why he has an interesting theory about his family.  But,”  Kieran smiled and chuckled, “that’s part of the story you should ask him, not me.”

As they approached Argent House, Kelly saw her original observations were correct.  The building was indeed formed from living trees, pruned or magicked into shape.  It was larger than she’d first thought, a full three stories with shorter wings coming off each side.  Kieran gestured vaguely and wove Earth as he walked up the steps and the front doors pulled aside, retracting organically into the frame.

She had expected the inside of Argent House to be like the outside, a place of silver and shadow, but she was wrong.  The first impression he had when he walked through the double doors was warm.  Every surface, every wall, every inch glowed with the deep, soft light of old wood lovingly maintained.  Palest cream, deep gold, ruddy cherry, soft umber, every tone and shade possible, all polished, oiled, and worn by countless generations of Dusker inhabitants.  There were no sharp edges anywhere, no beveling or chisel marks, only the sinuous curves, arcs, and rounded surfaces of living trees.  Some objects, tables and chairs, had the look of human creation, but most of the larger fixtures seemed to have grown just like the rest of the house.  But unlike the outside, where the silver armor of the argos trees dominated, in here was their golden heart.

The entranceway opened onto a broad, high-ceilinged hall with a massive sandstone fireplace ahead, flanked by a pair of curving staircases that led to a balcony lost in shadow.  Thick wooden pillars, or perhaps trunks, supported the ceiling.  To the right was a series of long plank tables, enough to seat several dozen people, to the left was what looked like a library, floor-to-ceiling shelves crammed to overflowing with tomes of every size, color, and thickness, interspaced with cases and racks of strange instruments.  Vine-motif sconces jutted from the pillar-trunks, each cupping flame that had neither source nor fuel.  Kelly wandered closer and found that they were not flames, but spheres of light hanging unsupported in each sconce.

Three figures stood by the fireplace.  One was tall, broad shouldered, and heavy, another was a tiny bird of a girl, no more than 5 feet tall, but the third drew Kelly’s eye, because here was the boy Jim had shown her before, tall and painfully thin, with loose black hair that hung in his eyes.  This had to be Tim, the person she was here to see.

She could tell he was nervous, and she offered him a smile but then conjured a plate of cookies out of nothing.  “Homemade chocolate chip cookies, anyone?” She smiled. “I made them fresh right before I came here.”

“Neat trick, that,” said Kieran.  “I’ll go put on some tea.  Make yourself comfortable, and if the little one gives you any lip, throw something at her.”  The girl, Vee, stuck her tongue out at Kieran’s retreating back.

Tim approached nervously, a small, crooked smile on his face.  As he came closer Kelly finally understood about his scars.  They covered the left side of his face, just missing his eye, and continued down below the collar of his t-shirt.  He reached out and took a cookie.

“Thanks, umm, Kelly, right?  I’m surprised you’d come all this way just to talk to me.”

“And why wouldn’t I?” Kelly raised her brows as she smiled at him. “I hear you’re quite interesting. Now though, before we begin, may I tell you a brief tale that might make you more at ease?”

“Sure.  We can go sit down.”  He led her over to the fireplace, which was surrounded by a mismatched collection of couches, armchairs, and low tables.  Tim picked one a bit further back from the fire and sat.

Kelly sat across from him and watched as the others sat as well–each one eating her cookies. “Once, a time or so ago, there was a young king, but he had a disfigurement because he had leprosy. Although it affected his entire body, his face was greatly disfigure.” She lifted her hand to her face. “The skin was hollow and pulled back on his cheekbones, but it blistered and deep scars ran throughout the landscape of his features. His brows,” she motioned to her brows, “could not sweat, so the skin broke, tried to heal, but only grew over the broken, old skin, so it gave him the appearance of a wrinkled old man. His nose,” she touched her nose then shook her head, “He lose his nose when he was sixteen because most of it had fallen off already. His entire face was riddled with scars so that no one could look upon him, but do you know what he did? As a sixteen-year-old king with this great affliction, he went out with the only army he had of 375 knights against an army of 30,000 men, and he returned victorious.” She then smiled as she sat back in her chair. “He went on to become one of the greatest king history almost forgot, but throughout it all, his condition worsened, and he died at age 24.”

She finally locked eyes with Tim and gave him a reassuring smile. “So your scar–they don’t bother me at all because I know there is a beautiful soul beneath them, but I won’t focus on them if that makes you uncomfortable. Rather, I am just curious who you are, what you are doing, and where you will go from here.” She shrugged. “If you’ll tell me, of course.”

“They don’t make me uncomfortable.  They’ve been there for half my life.  It’s that they make other people uncomfortable.  They don’t…”  He paused and looked down at his left hand, which was even more scarred than his face.  “They don’t see me.  They see the scars.  I hate that.”

“Well, I’m not looking at them.” She gave him a reassuring smile then sat back in her seat and looked around. “Now I’m supposed to be interviewing Tim, cut I understand you all want to hang around.” She nodded at his friends, “Do my questions will be hope to anyone to answer, but be *nice*.” She gave them a firm look before finally glancing back at Tim. “So, have you been in this world all your life or did you come from a normal world?”

“No, this is as new for me as it is for you.  I was just a normal suburban kid.  Well,” he shrugged ruefully, “as normal as I could be.  It was just a few weeks ago that I found out anything about this.”  He smiled at his friends.  “It started when I overheard a conversation, one I shouldn’t have understood.”

“My brother and I were speaking to each other in Housetongue,” said Vee.  She then rattled off a sentence in something that sounded vaguely Middle Eastern to Kelly’s ears.  “It’s kind of a birthright for Duskers, we are born being able to speak and understand it.  It’s one of the best ways we Seekers have of finding people with the gift to Weave.”

“Just a couple of days ago,” said Tim, “they found out for sure.  I…. kinda accidentally used Weaving on someone.  Bunch of crazy stuff happened after that, and they brought me here to meet Kieran and get trained.”

Kelly paused as she considered a thought then looked at everyone. “And just how often do you all purposely use Weaving to prank people in the normal world?” She smiled as she asked this because she could imagine many responses.

Tim busted out laughing.  “No, no, nothing like that.  There was this jerk jock, I lost my temper, and without realizing what I was doing I Wove a stumbling block of Air right in front of him as we were running the mile in P.E.”  He sobered and looked grumpy.  “I still got in trouble for it, since he was their golden boy, one-day-varsity-quarterback.”

“Gave us a chance to finally really meet, though,” said Gideon, the other twin.  “Vee just made sure she ended up in detention with Tim, and we finally got confirmation that he had the Gift.”

Kelly had a lot of questions she wanted to ask, but she wanted to focus on Tim. “Okay, I’d love to hear more about how you all meant, but Tim, I want to focus on you. You said you were just a normal suburban boy before coming here, and you said you have a brother, and both of you were speaking with each other in the Housetongue? Where is he?”

“No,” said Vee, “Tim overheard Gideon and I talking in Housetongue.  We are twins”

“Oh, okay, sorry, misunderstood.” Kelly nodded, it was getting late in her own world, and even though she was here, time still affected her from there. “Okay, so Tim…” She hesitated, having a suspicion this question, though normal and innocent, might have a bad response, but she needed to ask. Who knows? She might be surprised. “Where is your family?”

Tim sighed.  “That is the important question, isn’t it?”  He looked up at Vee, who looked like she was ready to object.  “If she really wants to understand, she has to know.  It’s okay.  If I can tell you and Gideon and Kieran, I can tell her.  She’s…. she’s safe.  I can feel that.”  He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and began.

“I live with my mom, it’s just her and me.  My dad….he’s has paranoid schizophrenia, or at least that’s what I thought he had until now.”  He held up his scarred left hand.  “He voluntarily checked himself into an institution because of this.”

Tim leaned back into his chair and was quiet for a moment before he continued.

“It was an accident, that’s what you have to understand.  My dad is…. amazing.  He’s brilliant and funny and kind and he would never ever hurt me or my mom.  But he has a disease.  He once told me, not long before it happened, that it was like his imagination was out of control, that sometimes whatever he imagined seemed real.  One day, when I was 7, it got out of control.”

“You know those first real Fall days, when it’s blustery and overcast and nasty?  It was like that.  The power got knocked out by the wind and so we were using candles. My dad was having one of his bad days, and the wind was really freaking him out.   A branch on a tree broke and went through our front window.  He panicked.  He thought something had gotten in the house and he was trying to protect me.  Instead, he accidentally started a fire.  I got caught in it and almost died, and he checked himself in and has been there ever since.”

“Tell her the rest, Tim.”  Kieran came over, carrying a tray with mugs and a tea kettle.  “Tell her your theory.”

“What theory?” Kelly wondered if it had anything to do with their magic. Had it caused Tim’s father to go mad? Or something else? She furrowed her brows as she watched him.

“Weaving ability runs in families, and I’m strong.  Really strong from what these guys tell me.”  Tim leaned forward and took a mug of tea.  “It is possible for someone who Weaves to give it up and try to live as a Sleeper, but it’s hard.  The power, the ability, it’s addictive.  Stopping can cause all kinds of emotional problems,”  he looked pointedly at Kelly, “even mental problems.”

“Once someone is part of Dusker society, it’s forever or nothing,” said Kieran as he took his own mug and joined them.  “We are a dying breed, so marrying a Sleeper is punishable by exile.  So that is Tim’s theory, that his father is not mentally ill, he is a Dusker destabilized by trying to give up Weaving to be with the woman he loves.”

“Interesting.” Kelly mused. She had been right after all. “That makes a lot of sense. Is there a way to ever reverse it, so he would have access to this world or Weaving again?” She glimpsed from person to person, not sure who would answer the question.

“Perhaps,” said Kieran.  “It’s rare for someone to leave for any length of time and come back.  The mind of someone who gives up Weaving creates walls to block out the knowledge if they go too long without using it.  For someone like Tim’s father, who has gone perhaps 15 years or more without it?  I honestly don’t know, and that’s assuming his theory is correct.”

Kelly frowned as she say back in her chair and crossed her arms, sinking deep in thought. “And how would one go about reintroducing….Weaving to him?” She lifted her brows and looked back at Kieran.

Kieran stared into the fire and rolled his mug back and forth between his hands before answering.

“As I said, this is uncharted territory.  Every Dusker can sense when another Weaves, though it is different for everyone.  It’s innate, something a potential can do long before they ever learn to draw the elements.  That’s where I would start, I suppose.  Whatever we do, we would have to take it slow.  He’s already not in the best state.  Anything abrupt…” he trailed off and shrugged.

Kelly nodded, but her purpose here wasn’t to help them solve this mystery. Instead, she turned her attention to Tim. “I hope you the best if you all decide to venture down that road. I, for one, agree with you on your theory. Now though, before you can here, why sorts of things did you like to do? Sports? Martial arts? Anything like that?”

Tim raised his eyebrows at her.  “Do I look like much of a athlete to you?  No, I’m a geek through and through. Science and reading.  People aren’t really my strong point either.”  His gaze flickered up to Vee when he said it, and Kelly saw the ghost of a smile flicker across the young girl’s face.  That phrase obviously had some meaning for the two of them.

“My eldest brother was a geek. Awesome guy.” Kelly smiled as she thought of the brother who had since passed all too soon, but then she focused on Tim. “So what else would you like me to know?” To be honest, she was running out of things to ask him.

“I don’t know.”  Tim got up and walked over to the fireplace.  “Two weeks ago all I wanted was for the world to leave me alone and to, maybe, get my dad back someday.  Now I’m sucked into all this,” he gestured around at their surroundings, “and my first thought was that I was going down the same road as my dad.  Now that there’s a chance that it’s all connected: my abilities, my accident, my dad’s problems.”  He turned back towards Kelly.  “What would you do?  What would you do if you found all this out?  I can’t run from it, I can’t change it.  The Weaving, it’s part of me now.  I’m scared, but to finally do something important?”  He shrugged.  “I dunno, this is just what’s going on in my head right now.  Am I making any sense?”

It made more sense to him than she realized. “Tim, if anyone’s going insane in this room, it’s me. I mean, how am I even here? For real?” She spread her hands out. “But you asked a good question, and you shouldn’t worry about going mad or losing your mind. When you begin worrying about it, you’ll look for the signs, and you know what? You’ll find the signs, and those will make you worry even more, and then yes, you will go mad. However, focus on something else.” She shrugged. “On exploring this opportunity given to you.” She rose to her feet knowing that her time here was far overdue, but she had final words to say to him. “Stop being afraid, stop worrying about what others think of you, or that you’ll go mad, or that you’ll fail. Start thinking positively, start looking for opportunities to help others because in helping them, you help yourself and grow. Your abilities? It’s not about you. Your past? Not about you either. All of that happened to you and you have been given are pieces of a greater puzzle, lining up in a unique way that could be amazing, but if you remained focused on yourself and your insecurities, you won’t be able to see the bigger picture.”

But then Kelly shook her head, “I’m rambling, my apologies, and unfortunately I must take my leave now. It was wonderful to meet you all, and I do hope you the best.”

“Thank you,” said Tim with a small smile.  “I mean that.  It feels good to hear that kind of stuff from someone… unattached to me.”

“Do you need me to see you out?”  asked Kieran.  “You obviously have abilities of your own, but I can show you the way back if you’d like.”

“I am well, Kieran. Thank you.” Kelly nodded her thanks to him, but then locked eyes with Tim and then with each of the other children in the room. “And I meant every word I said. It may not make sense to you now, but it will…one day.” With that, she bowed her head to them then straightened and winked out of existence.

<~>~<~>~<~>

James Struck’s story ‘Curious Snowflake’ is due to be released December 1st. His other story, ‘Children of Dusk’ has no release date yet, but you can follow him on social media for more information:

FB Author page: https://www.facebook.com/curioussnowflake,

Twitter: @curioussnowflak

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/curioussnowflake

Website/blog: https://curioussnowflake.wordpress.com/

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s