But the faces which against my sure and certain knowledge of what was safe
for me, these faces which in the past I had allowed despite myself to latch
onto my heart and move within it and mix inextricably with the fibers of
me, these faces appeared before me floating, fading. These disembodied
silent faces came before me and hovered in the gathering night. They floated
below the surface of the slow and potent river. These faces came to me.
I might think I had departed and severed all as I had been severed but
these faces had come with me. They were within me and of me because of
all the time and the sharing.
were silent and they called.
I had been their rider. We had lived together upon the vessel. We had worked;
we had ensured 1 another's lives. Jun, Proctor, Wikrahn, Pennbaston, her
young sister Gallett who had grown up and been trained upon the Rachella.
Others, many others.
I might have thought I had cut them away but I had not; that was not possible.
They returned. Unbidden.
I would not have it so but generally 1 could not have what 1 wanted for
the desires and the needs of a living being frequently did not match the
provisions of the milieu.
I thought, to be absolutely apart from all that had been.
that were true why had I come to the river to stand and look and seek and
reflect? Would I hold these pieces of the ruined past to me, call them
up to watch them try to live again?
I knew that they could not. And that it was better so.
I not changed? By changing had I resisted change?
from the river and from the faces and the voices, songs and endeavors they
elicited inevitably within my mind. Pennbaston, Jun, Vettra; Pennbaston.
away. I clamped my jaws and closed them out and walked stonily away from
blackening waters coiling thick as oil before the night of coming storm.