We be twin-fold, you and I. Our thoughts passing back and forth, one to the other, until each conviction has been thoroughly explored and mopped free of sweat. Only cubic crystals of salt remaining.
But that last reflection you sent, I failed to grasp it, failed to construe. Failed you.
And now, the darkness, known, understood but unspoken, has consumed your soul and decamped. I’m left alone, fragile and dried like a spent and forsaken spiderweb. Unraveling, untethered. And a sharp wind brewing.
Shara can feel the shadow behind her, skulking. She’s felt it since leaving Jackson. She’d hoped the pall would be confined within that city's limits, that she could escape it. Not so, for here it is—her binary, her doppelgänger, her traveling companion. This caliginous yoke is a dead weight upon her shoulders, bearing down on her soul, crushing it. The burden of others’ guilt. She shouldn’t have to wear it. But the mantle, crown and scepter are hers.
It is 2065. Evangeline peers through the broken window and sees herself, but—not quite herself. The battle was brutal. There is not much left of humanity or the planet. But she has survived. Or has she? Her bones ache to the marrow. It could be exhaustion from the combat. It could be exposure to the radiation. She’ll know tomorrow.