What have I done? I asked myself. And the question sparked excitement. And the question sparked fear.
“There’s no need for this,” Morgan said, glancing over to his right shoulder, where a heavy hand lay on him, holding him in place. “I came willingly.”
He was in the living room of the woman who had introduced herself as A.J. The woman whom he suspected was responsible for the “resurrections.” Morgan hadn’t quite figured out what term he would use for it in his story.
I am only a student. That’s why she came to me, trusting that I would have a sufficient balance of knowledge and naiveté to serve her desperate need.
And I am woman. That’s why she came to me, trusting that I would not mark her concerns as mere hysterics.
What was this strange and destructive condition she bore? She spoke of hurting her husband and fleeing from her children so that she would never hurt them. She spoke of being pursued by authorities in dark garb.
Five people got on that elevator with me. A woman with a shy little kid hiding behind her coat. A business guy with a cool three-D holographic tie. A teenage girl with a portfolio and a couple of poster tubes strapped to her back. And the older man in the back with a bag of delicious-smelling takeout.
It was a time when dragonflies could flutter all the way up to the moon, when the flickering of a hummingbird’s wings was faster than lightning.
It was a time when the growl of thunder signified the coming of a catastrophe, a cracking of the earth, a roiling of the seas, a shuddering of the heavens.
It was a wild time.
And into this time was born a creature that her mother called Mora.
“Do you have any missing art supplies?”
The woman standing in the open doorway, still blocking my entrance, blinked at me and said, “What?”
“Art supplies. Especially high-end supplies. Maybe some fancy imported ink. That kind of thing.”
Her gaze dropped briefly—to take in my apparel, I’m guessing—and then she smiled at me, or at least, her mouth smiled at me.
“I’m sorry, Miss, uh—“
“Diamond.” My mouth also smiled at her.
The Cosmic Hourglass was not truly an hourglass. It measured time in eons, not hours.
Much was contained with the Cosmic Hourglass. Much sand was contained within the Cosmic Hourglass. The sands of time. And each grain of time was allotted to the elements of mortal life. And so, some said, there were many sands within the Cosmic Hourglass. The sands of sleep. The sands of destiny. The sands of joy. And the sands of sorrow. And a multitude more of sands.
All that could be perceived, known, and felt by mortals was contained within the Cosmic Hourglass.
It was a simple procedure.
A simple procedure.
I would be admitted to the hospital overnight. I had to be fasting. Except for some clear liquid that the nurse would have me drink every four hours. It contained some stuff that the doctor called “fixers.” She explained that they were meant to help boost the efficiency of the procedure and help my recovery go faster. Then she joked that they would “fix” me.
When my grandfather, the humble and ordinary wizard Caducus, first heard the whispers of the afterworld summoning him, he decided to heed the call, but only after achieving his last wish.
When the world was made, every person was given one and only one shadow, but one of the beings who were assigned to be caretakers of the world decided that he would give a gift to his people. Their lands were rich with life and their songs to him were sweet. So he decided that he would give each of them an extra shadow.