There are thin places where distance between realms collapses. –Celtic Folklore
This morning, I picked five hundred daffodils before coming inside to rest my back on the sofa. My eyes closed as I mentally reviewed my latest manuscript.
A rap on my sliding glass doors brought me upright. The man beyond the glass looked familiar. He smiled and dimples appeared in each cheek. My heart lurched as I stared. His bright blue eyes contrasted with his mocha skin and curly hair. Feeling dizzy and disoriented, I slid open the door and whispered, “Jake?”
He nodded. “Celia sent me.”
Excitement vibrated through me as I threw myself into his arms. “My sister, how is my twin?”
Jake kissed me on top of my head. His accent sounded just as I’d always imagined.
“She is well and eager to see you.”
“Why are you here? How?” I refrained from reminding him he was only a character in my stories and my sister had been dead since birth. Jake felt real enough to my arms.
Jake held up his hand to show me a collection of forks wrapped in a napkin. “Celia thought these might be yours. When we discovered how they came to us, we thought we must try to see you.”
I nodded, dumbly taking the forks. They matched my set, and I’d been missing some. I absently set the forks on a table and motioned for Jake to sit. As I moved my laptop off of the sofa, I felt my heart race. “Jake, where in your story are you? Are you still president?”
He nodded, “Celia thought you might know our future. I must flee the country if Papadakos is elected.”
“You must flee before the inauguration. Carter-Bowles is a traitor. He will try to arrest and kill you.”
Jake shook his head, “No. He is Mariah’s cousin. He will win then, you think?”
Knowing the events occurring in the rough draft of my next novel, I nodded. “What does Leroy say about him?”
Jake snorted, “Leroy says he became a prosecutor in order to send that cheating scum to prison someday.”
“Trust Leroy. He knows his cousin. Mariah is too trusting. Can you escape to Celia’s home?”
Jake drew his head back as he looked at me. “I think you do not quite understand. Celia’s home is still within the reach of my enemies.”
“Oh, of course, I forgot. You won’t be safe where you are known. I paused then added, “In time, Peter will become president then Ruben, but your country still needs you.”
Jake ran his hands through his hair. The lines at the corners of his eyes seemed to droop. “I’m old and tired.” He took a deep breath and looked toward the forest. “I will flee and let the young men have their turn at glory.” He snorted as his voice filled with sarcasm on his last word.
I felt disconnected as I watched the familiar face I’d seen only in my imagination.
Jake sighed and admitted, “Peter and Leroy agree with you that I must flee somewhere beyond the reach of the oligarchs. Celia longs to see you. It has been a lifetime since she was able to touch you.”
My eyes filled with tears at the thought of holding my sister.
“Can we come here? We are real in your world. When the troubles are over perhaps we can go home. I hope so. I long to watch the sun go down from my ridge.” Jake’s eyes focused on the wall behind me.
I suspected Jake was watching a sunset in another land. “Of course you can come.” I bit my lip. “I don’t know much about these things. Can Celia come through and be okay?”
“The two of you seem to have an extraordinary bond. As far as we know, she will be fine because she is alive at home and in your books.”
We made plans until Jake looked at his watch and pushed himself to his feet. “It’s time for me to go. We will leave before the inauguration.” His shoulders sagged as he moved like an old man toward the door.
“How do you get home from here?”
Jake’s forehead puckered. “Where you do your martial arts. I saw you there when I was exercising.”
I knew the place he meant. I’d exercised there because I liked the feel of the energy. I thought the trees made the energy. Maybe they do, or maybe the energy comes from something physics cannot yet explain. I walked Jake to the circle of trees at the edge of the woods.
Jake put out his hand to stop me. “I’ll go from here. Remember, we will come when we can.“ Jake flashed his dimples at me again, turned, and in a flash of red light disappeared around a corner into a quantum collapse.
Alone in my house, I collapsed on the sofa feeling drained. I rested my head on a pillow and closed my eyes.
I awoke, smiling. I felt peaceful and thought, “What a haunting dream.” I had dreamed about my twin before and even wrote a life for her in my books, but the dream about actually seeing her touched my soul.
Hubby came in before dinnertime, kissed me, and asked, “How was your day?”
“I got all my flowers picked then took a nap. I had the sweetest dream.”
He paused and frowned at the table. “What are all these forks doing here? They look like the ones we’re missing.”
I stared at the forks in my husband’s hand as he unwrapped them from their napkin. Clearly stitched in one corner of the napkin, I saw the state seal from Jake’s country.