Title: Lead the Dance
Chapter: 8 of 8
Summmary: Last part of the sequel to A Change of Grace
Title: Lead the Dance
Taylor chewed his lip, the seed of an idea forming, and he looked up at George, his mental question carrying clearly across to the old man.
George’s head swung around, startling Taylor back tight against the wall. The old man’s eyes glowed as red as flame, his voice arrowing laserlike into Taylor’s mind.
“I take care of Zac, you take care of Nick. Whatever you see fit to do.”
Then gone, tenuous permission.
Glancing with a sigh at the wreck of the traveler beside him, his mind made itself up.
I knew someone could die, but my brain kept skipping away from who. I knew I’d screwed up big time, and that it was even more likely that I would keep on screwing up, my head in no state to do anything.
I had to find him.
Seems easy, huh? I dropped him off, I knew who he was, and I knew where he was staying. Shouldn’t have been a problem.
Ever try to just go visit a celebrity in their hotel? When they don’t know you’re coming?
He sighed, heard the sigh, heard an answering sigh across the room, and jumped to his feet with a gasp of shocked fright.
Ben crossed the dusty room.
Fastidiously flicking his fingers at cobwebs dangling from the light fixture, his nose wrinkled in distaste as he breathed the air of a time he detested. Only for this boy would he make this trip. Only to stop him from foolishness did he stay.
Walker spun at the snick of the door, overstressed nerves jumping, anger and relief in competition as his eyes finally rested on his missing son.
“Where have you been?!”
Zac’s face registered almost nothing, tearstained and parchment pale as he shook his head.
Keepers have eyes that glow. Did you know that? They glow. It’s probably one of the most unnerving things about them, other than that infuriating sense that they’re little Gods, that they give off. Spend enough time with them and you begin to ooze your own inferiority. You start reaching for that mood enhancer cocktail, you know a Keeper is bugging the piss outta you.
Zac wasn’t sure where he was going, he was just going. The sound of his footfalls echoed the lunatic circular mantra in his head.
“Gotta go, gotta go, going insane, going crazy,” cycling through, in mad rhythm, filling him with the urge to rip his hair, tear at his eyes, anything to stop it. Almost pain, this manic spinning restless urge to go, to run, and to somehow FIND. Unstoppable, not going was not an option.
“Find what, find what?!”
The thing about time, the thing that gets into peoples heads and makes them twitch, the thing that boggles the mind and defies imagination, is that it’s not really there.
Oh time as a concept is a great idea, but that’s really all it is. A concept.
A human concept, brought into existence by a species with a limited capacity for comprehension.
Oh I suppose they needed something, something to help them explain away the disappearance of things, the passage of their own selves through the universe. Aging. Aging is the thing that really gets them.
So, they created an concept, a concept of flowing, linear time.
The city really never sleeps. Even in the smallest hours, when human biorhythm is at its slowest, heartbeats sluggish, breathing deep and low, when the mind pulses in unmatchable pattern, the city is awake. Lights flash into tired aching eyes, horns blare into exhausted ears, and the night people, denying it all, pursue their relentless battle for fun, never knowing they fight. The city never rests, at most there is a lull, that space between moments, between heartbeats, missed in an instant.