Celta Thursday, final cut from Enata in the Vault, Lost Heart
When her brother had left and she didn’t remember, had that been when her marrow deep loneliness began? Her dissatisfaction with her life? And if it affected her, it would have affected all of her Family!
She looked at the picture. Her father’s light brown hair had silvered significantly since that viz. And she hadn’t noticed. Her mother seemed harsher . . . herself more plaintive — and she must work on that! — Glyssa more restless. Though perhaps Glyssa weathered the unknowable tragedy better than the rest of them. She had two very close friends, closer in some ways than Enata herself. Her parents had each other, as HeartMates, but they’d both suffered a loss, not only of a significant portion of the memories or lives, but of their son. How could that possibly happen?
Enata’s head hurt with the thinking of it, her whole body ached with the feeling of the devastating bereavements. She curled over the book, snuffling in the honeysuckle smell and didn’t care when her tears fell onto the papyrus. The lines of print blurred before her eyes and she trembled with sobs for several moments before she used a softleaf in her sleeve pocket to clean herself up.
She read her brother’s biography. Twice. Knew that she and he had been closer than she and Glyssa, a pity. Let her own awareness of Reg gush through her. How his hand felt when it held hers, all the way from a child to when he helped her from a glider while wearing formal clothes the last full twinmoons ritual they spent together. And . . . yes! That was the last time she’d seen him. Full twinmoons.
Yesterday, last night, the moons were new.
It had to mean something. Or did it?
She had too few puzzle pieces.
Determined, she tried to turn the next page. And couldn’t. If not forward, then backwards, with long experience she riffled the pages . . . but beyond her brother’s biography they stuck firmly together.
Slipping a thumbnail — a golden with silver sparkles thumbnail — under the edge of the former page, she pried, to no avail.
Gritting her teeth, she positioned her hands on the bottom and the of the book, ready to rip the damn pages up, uncaring if she might harm it. She needed to know what was going on! Her fingernails dug into the deckled edges and she—
The book flew up, away, snapped shut and slid onto its shelf.
Glyssa stared. A distant chiming came to her ears that she couldn’t place for a moment. The belltower near CityCenter. Which she shouldn’t be able to hear. Had never heard here.
Stranger and stranger and now so weird she began to shiver, her body reacting to nerves once again. A headache slammed into her and terrible darkness began to devour her vision. Fumbling, she reached into her sleeve and came up with a thick nibbed writestick, scrawled drunken lettered words on her arm. Take recordsphere to Secure Vault Prime.
Darkness swallowed her.