Wren had never believed in miracles. There wasn’t much mysticism in her world view. She believed herself firmly agnostic. She figured if any deities wanted humans to know they existed they’d just do it.
But what she was going through at the moment was attacking the foundation of her comfort zone. Something inexplicable was happening to her and she didn’t like inexplicable things in her life. She preferred to understand everything, explore the reasons behind why people behaved as they did even if she had to do some nosy research. It had always helped that her mother liked to tell a good story. She’d been able to tease out all kinds of details from her life that way.
Her brother, on the other hand, was as closed to her as anyone had ever been. She’d long given up trying to crack his vault of privacy and so there was a strained truce between them as adults. He spent all of his time playing fantasy games and reading fantasy novels, bouncing from low-paying job to low-paying job. He’d dropped out of college after a year and half and though she wasn’t entirely sure of it she thought he’d probably spent a stint in the psych ward at the time based on some things their mom had let drop. He’d mentioned to her a few times that he sometimes attended a local Universal Unitarian church and she’d been nonplussed, not knowing how to relate to his need for something more. He always seemed to be searching for a world beyond the one they lived in while she was trying to map and define its interior.
He’d be handling her current situation far better than she was, she mused. A healing factor, a Lazarus-style resurrection, a sudden ability to win any eating contest going; he’d be all over it. She, in the meantime, just wanted to go back to a week earlier when her biggest concern was whether or not she’d get to spend a few hours with Wil.
She gritted her teeth. She didn’t want to think about Wil now. The physical problems she was experiencing were confusing and frightening but at least they distracted her from her emotional angst somewhat. She tried to focus on them instead.
What would happen if she cut off a finger? Would a new one grow in its place or would she have to hold it against the stump so that it could reattach? Did she really want to find that out by experimenting on herself? She didn’t think she did; at least not yet. But what about temperatures? She knew that cold wasn’t affecting her: it was time to see about heat. She stood up and turned on the hot water tap and let it run until steam rose out of the sink then stuck her right pinky in the stream up to the first joint.
It felt only mildly warm. She slowly moved her entire hand under the stream and stood there. After a minute or so she turned off the water and looked at her hand. It should have been bright red and painful but the skin appeared normal and just felt pleasantly warm. Warmer now than normal, but in seconds that sensation faded and it was like nothing at all had happened. She dried her hand off on a towel. It seemed wrong that she could feel every thread, stitch and loop she touched on the towel in exquisite detail but not heat or cold.
A sudden rapping on her apartment door just a few feet from where she stood startled her so badly that she dropped the towel. She was supposed to be at work. Apart from her co-workers no one should have known she was home.
Tags: Chapter Two