“She’s here,” Mikelo announced, sounding surprised. He made a three-quarter turn and swirled his cloak around himself. “I can feel her.” He held up his hand as if to demonstrate it. How often had he conjured up characters? Why shouldn’t one of them finally become real?

No one seemed to notice his excitement. They shuffled nearer and nearer to the priestesses, anxious to offer their responses to today’s question. They each could only imagine their own beginnings and endings. The poor limited beings, Mikelo thought. Nevertheless, he could feel her here, his girl-now-woman, new to this world, fresh from death. His story had given her new life, he knew it. Now he would find her, he alone could be her companion.

“Look for her,” he called, striding through the gradually shrinking mass of creatures. “A young woman alone and searching. She’s new here.” He got nods and murmurs in response but no shouts of recognition. “I need to help her,” he said.

Mikelo was much older than he looked; he was nearly 300 years old the last time he had consulted. Time had trained him to be patient. Yet here he found himself, his heart suddenly racing as he hunted for little more than a phantasm, dead certain that he and she had work to do together.

My contribution to Trifecta this week, including the third definition of the word companion: one that is closely connected to something similar. Like this? Read the rest of the story!

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