thisfatefulhour: (Young'un)
[personal profile] thisfatefulhour
(and the winds with)

The branches of the apple orchard rattle in a sudden gust of wind; snow on the ground flurries up into miniature whirlwinds.

(their swiftness)

The wind blows yet harder for a moment, and

(along the path)

then Charles steps from nowhere to here and stumbles, gasping, as his feet hit the ground beside the star-watching rock. He reaches out automatically and steadies himself, fingers wrapping around the edge of the cold stone.

For a moment, he just stands there, oblivious to the cold biting through his clothes, into his fingers and toes.

It worked.

It worked.

(I've been here before,
he thinks, and the thought totters on the edge of sending him into hysterical laughter, or tears, or both. Sandy and Dennys and Meg and Beezie were here, and Gaudior. I've been here before.)

Thank Heaven. Thank Mercer.

He takes a deep breath, and then another, and then starts crunching through the snow towards the lights of the house. Of home.

He can hear Ananda barking wildly as he nears the house. (He heard her before he was out of the orchard, and he knows she heard him as well.) She gets louder as he approaches the lab door and raises a fist to knock.

Ananda yelps joyfully at the first tap, and then he hears claws clicking on the stone floor of the lab, and footsteps, a muffled voice saying All right, Ananda, all right!

The door opens. Charles squints into the light, and into his mother's face.

"Mother--"

"Charles--"

And then it's all a confusion of his mother grabbing him in a hug as if she'll never let go, and him holding her so tight that it probably huts; Ananda bounding in the snow around them and knocking against him; the smell of coffee wafting through the lab from the kitchen. Moments later his father is there, too, arms around both of them. Charles can feel his father's glasses digging into his temple.

They probably only stand there for a minute, but it feels like forever. (That's relativity.)

Finally, Charles pulls back and looks at his father.

"I'm sorry," he says, hoarse. "I was -- how long--? if I knew how to do time, you would never have known I was gone -- I'm sorry, I'm sorry, Mother--"

"Hush," his father says, equally hoarse. "I know. I know."

His mother touches his face. "Charles -- oh, you're freezing. Come inside, quickly."

And Ananda barks happily as they all move into the kitchen, he's back he's back he's back.

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thisfatefulhour: (Default)
Charles Wallace Murry

September 2009

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