With thoughts of Horin, Siri and the others churning in my thoughts, I almost miss it. As sunset nears and cloud cover rolls in, I do not bother looking up. Mostly I attempt to set aside images of my mother’s body.
Damin is silent; it is as if he is no longer present either. His hands on the reins before me are slack; the horse is making his own steady way along the road.
A knot of folk on the verge ahead causes us to focus. Four men and two women are in hurried discussion and most gesticulate wildly … heavenward.
My head snaps back to bounce against Damin’s chest. Releasing a breath, he looks up as well.
The light from a bright silver orb pierces the thin cover overhead. To the west is an amber glow, and thus can this presence in the sky not be mistaken for the sun.
“It is bigger,” I whisper, my heart thumping without rhythm.
“And still on direct approach,” Damin says.
The strange heat inside me erupts then in full fury. I gasp as sweat breaks out in great drops upon my skin and a burning sensation flashes from my toes to the top of my head. I lurch forward, gasping desperately. My hands are glowing, yellow, then red, in pulses.
“By the …” Damin whispers, and brings the horse to a stop. Sliding off, he reaches up for me, but I am already falling. He catches me before I hit the hard earth, lays me down and snatches his hands away. “You are burning! Lyra!”
I am convulsing. I am outside of my body, I think, seeing more than feeling what is happening to me.
Then darkness descends and I am as ice.
I open my eyes. “Damin, there is a way to turn it … from the Arc.”