It was still raining. The wooden decking had a thin film of water across it, each raindrop splashing on impact, fracturing its reflection of the grey sky. The water soaked into his flannel shirt, sticking it to his skin. It dripped down the side of his face, running sideways across his cheek to drip off the edge of his nose.
He lay there for a moment, limp, all energy expended, nothing left. But Virgil Tracy had been here before, been at the end of everything, but still needing to do more.
So he did.
“Eos?” His voice was little more than a whisper.
She lay crumpled in the rain. Her simple white dress laced with scorch marks and sodden in the downpour. Forcing himself to move, he dragged his body across the boards inch by painstaking inch until his fingers could touch her, until he could see her face, until he could wrap his arms around her.
At first, she didn’t respond and he felt the very last of himself slipping away, but then her eyelids fluttered and she looked up at him.
“I have to go. N-need to repair…”Her eyes closed again and she frowned. “Uncle, come with me?” Her eyes opened as his widened.
“I-I can’t leave you here. Come with me?” And her voice grew stronger. She reached up a hand and touched his face. “Let me save you?”
His heart clenched. “You already have.”
“Then trust me, Virgil. Please come with me.”
He took her hand in his and held her close. “Okay.”
She smiled sadly. “I’m so sorry.”
And his world dissolved into chaos.
-o-o-o- Sotto Voce