Dipak stood at the edge of Enaid and looked out at the small town. The imagined that he could see the small boy playing there. He could since him. He knew that Jacob had awakened. Why had it happened so young? Dipak lifted his hand and a few bright sparks shot from the tips of his fingers.
“He isn’t your responsibility.”
Looking up at the shift of light that suggested where Gytha was in the trees above him, Dipak said nothing. This was a debate that he was tired of having. She was never going to understand the importance of the loyalty to families. Human lives were just so short. He closed his hand around a spark that still floated in the air as felt its light snuff. Jacob, the boy’s father, had been snuffed just as easily.
The lines opened in his mind and he could follow Jacob’s family back. It wove in and out with hundreds of other families. Each family separate, yet interconnected. Then he hit the wall of his own birth and the lines pulled on him to go further back. Screaming, he clutched at his head and fell to his feet. Squeezing his eyes shut was a futile attempt to suppress the images, but it was instinctive.
Gytha’s arms were strong and lifted him against her. Her chest vibrated gently as she cooed to him softly and clucked intermittently. Softly, she combed his hair back from his sweaty brow with her sharp this claws. She separated the red a yellow locks carefully and began to braid them. As she was braiding, she slid bits of herbs and bark between the hair. The magic was subtle, but Dipak could feel its calming force reaching him.
Still he could feel the eons of time stretch and pull; calling at him past the wall from his previous selves. Breathing deeply he dug fingers into the braids. Gytha grasped his wrist and pulled his hand to her mouth. She bit him. The pain was sudden and intense; jerking fully into the present. He wished he could bite her back, but he was too tired. Easily hefting him onto her shoulder, she moved back into Enaid. It was time to go. The forest was already moving, he could feel it.
“I can walk,” he said.
Gytha dropped him. Bouncing off the first branch, he earned a new bruised on his right side but he was able to catch himself before any other mishaps. He fell into an trot behind her and slid from Enaid into the mundane forest. They looked the same. But the change in their Gaia was immense. How had the world forgotten what it was?