Part Twenty of You Will Find Your Way
The power goes out.
Some weeks later, Dallas and Giselle’s semblance of a routine—wake up, attempt to teach, research, drink, sleep, repeat, even on weekends and you better appreciate the sacrifices I make for you, Giselle—is interrupted by a freak fall storm that rips through town, flooding the streets and forcing most of campus to shut down.
“At least we finally get to take a break,” Dallas grumbles as she wrings her hair out on the towel they spread out in the entryway.
She lost the Rock-Paper-Scissors battle to decide who has to go out into the deluge to pick up dinner, and it’s so bad out there that her ever-trusty boots started to squish on the way back.
From her post on the couch, Giselle glares overtop her copy of Science Monthly, the shiny cover warped from the moisture that had seeped into their mailbox between its delivery and campus security booting them from her research suite in the astrophysics department, “If the flooding reaches my office and destroys that box of notes we left under my desk, I’m-“
“Oh like all your files aren’t backed up into sixteen different cloud accounts,” Dallas snorts, kicks off her boots and toes them so they’re upside down on the towel to drain out. “I should know, since I manage them for you.”
She brings the steaming bag of Chinese food with her into the living room, ignores how Giselle’s glare goes darker as she reaches over and plunges her hand into the bag to rescue her carton of chicken fried rice before Dallas has the chance to put it down.
Dallas smirks and watches Giselle stab at her food with her chopsticks. She moves safely out of range and curls up on the armchair, pulls an afghan over her legs before settling in with her orange chicken, “It’s going to be fine. Plus, you enjoy the break. When’s the last time you bathed?”
“Says the woman doing the drowned rat impression.”
“Wow, you are sort of with it today.”
Giselle wrinkles her nose, but instead of replying, she expertly digs a mountain of rice onto her chopsticks with a skill Dallas knows she can never achieve, no matter how many years she spends trying to master the technique.
Especially not with her right hand.
While they eat, the storm worsens, lighting cracking in a semi-consistent pattern.
And the power goes out.
Dallas sighs as a blanket of darkness settles over the room, the glow of the last couple light bulbs fading out, “Well, shit.”
“At least you can still sort of see,” Giselle shoots back.
She’s got a point, because after she blinks a couple times and takes a couple more seconds to adjust, Dallas sees pretty much as well as she did before the lights cut out, “Trust me,” she says as she gets up, shoves another bite in her mouth before dropping the carton off on the table. “It’s not worth the trade off. Don’t move, I’ll go find the flashlights.”
“Good luck with that.”
Dallas frowns, because yeah, they haven’t really taken the time to unpack much outside the library since they moved in, so they can be pretty much everywhere.
For the one Dallas knows is in her bedroom.
More lightning flashes through the windows as Dallas pads upstairs, thunder booms and it feels like the center of the storm is churning right above their house. It rattles through her bones in a way that makes her wince, makes her reach for her right arm. She pauses on the landing, squeezes her right hand into a fist and takes a deep breath before turning the corner toward the attic staircase.
Something flickers, and Dallas thinks it’s more lightning, but when another cracks it lights up the house, and Dallas rushes up the last few steps, spies a glow of something orange under her bed.
Biting back on a curse, she dives across the room, lands halfway under and scrambles for the handles on the trunk where she keeps that damn book.
And more importantly, her blade.
Her shaking fingers fumble against the lashes until they release and she finally pushes the lid, catches it with her forearm when it hits the side of the bed and falls back down.
She ignores the way pain flashes through her arm, rips the cloth away from the blade, but—
It’s not glowing anymore.
Dallas glares, reaches in and gently touches her fingers to the side, but all she feels is cold, smooth metal. There’s a vague sense that it had been glowing, but it’s not possible because it hasn’t done that in years but—
There’s no way she imagined things.
There’s also no way this blade should be able to glow on Earth. Not anymore.
You Will Find Your Way continues with Part Twenty One
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