Nihlus may think he was the most distant of the ghost children, but Kellyn is pretty sure she has the title of came-closest-to-going-insane in the bag. But finally she has settled back into herself, back into reality, and back into society is coming.
For the most part, her ghost-uncle has kept them away from her. The spirits that tugged her through time, in and out of her own mind; Sorenson had chased them off, protected her from them when they threatened to overwhelm her. But he had passed on one message, despite the frown that had tugged on his face and the glance he shot over his shoulder. The strawberry girl asked him why he was frowning. He said he wasn’t sure she was ready to immerse herself back into the ghost world, and what else would come of meeting them?
Kellyn laughed at that. The mad laugh, the one that made Cagney smile and think of Elite, and made Brennen look at his granddaughter out of the corner of his vision and wonder if someday she would snap like her mother. Sorenson’s face looked more like Brennen’s, concerned and wary, but he told her where and when they were meeting.
It’s dark, but the full moon offers plenty of light. She picks her way across the meadow, head low, wary. Of course, if the two of them were each less reclusive, they could have traveled together. Nihlus had been hiding in the snow, while Kellyn had been hiding in the caves she’d grown up in. But they have been hiding too well, even from each other. Still, the strawberry girl knows him on sight. The other youngsters – children, even – who had been in the underworld with her feature prominently in her nightmares. Their names and faces are permanently engraved in her memories.
A quick glance confirms that she is the first to join him, and she picks a place to stand though she doesn’t quite settle. Despite what she told Sorenson, she isn’t sure her hold on reality is as strong as it once was. It’s not like time, which comes naturally to her. This is a thing that has a life of its own, a will that she must work to overcome. “You’re the one who called us?” Kellyn flicks her hazel eyes up and down the man who was so recently a boy. “Why?”
Few words. But then, she has never used many.