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Stories from the Verse
Re Verse All
Chapter 81: Takano 39
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Tommy continued shivering and trudging through the shallow snow and undergrowth. She thought she should move faster, but the cold sapped her strength, and even at this pace she was frequently stumbling. Still, she kept her bearings on that sense of her possessions which should be wherever the Billings’ home would have been in this world.
The moon set. Everything darkened, but the sky was a bright expanse of stars. Something in the back of her mind said that for her to see so many stars she must be well away from civilization, as the presence of a modern city would light the atmosphere sufficiently to obliterate the brilliantly distinct pinpricks of light coming from the galaxy. However, at the moment none of that mattered. She kept pushing forward in the now dimmer starlight, stumbling a bit more, shivering as much, struggling to reach her destination.
The light began to change again. Dawn, she realized, was approaching. Stars were fading, their dim light being replaced by the background rays of the not yet risen sun. Still she pressed forward.
Ahead she saw a lump on the ground, exactly where her feeling was pointed. She knew before her eyes adjusted that this must be her backpack and sleeping bag, all packed and ready to go but for those personal items that were loose in the room. A wind broke through the wood, and she fell to her knees and continued, crawling toward the goal.
She threw herself awkwardly on top of the pack, knees and legs still in the snow, and as light flooded the wood around her she fell asleep from exhaustion, her body’s energy spent.
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with five other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #383: Character Departures. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter. It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.
As to the old stories that have long been here: