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|Series:||Hearts of Hallowan|
|Release date:||December 31, 2011|
|Next chapter:||Series is cancelled|
Marci shook her head, "I told you, it was just a hallucination."
"No." Blake said firmly. "It cannot be your imagination. Go ahead, tell us what you saw."
Marci took a deep breath, and began.
"I was Jeremiah."
"You mean, you saw the world from his perspective?" Blake asked.
"No- I was him. I looked and sounded like him, only... only I was different. I was younger, I was in better shape than he is now. But, I know I was him. It was strange, though... he was still married to Sara."
"Aunt Sara?" Korey asked. "But, that would be a memory, then?"
"I told you, it was just a dream!" Marci's voice raised a bit out of desperation - her interrogators seemed almost convinced that there was something significant in what Marci was saying. It was just a dream, she thought to herself... right?
"Just go on," Korey said calmly. Blake looked ever more intently at Marci, as she began her story...
RIIIIIING! RIIIIIIING! The hand of Jeremiah Kemne flew into the air, towards a blaring loud alarm clock, ringing on a bedside table. After a moment of recovery from his shock, he rose gracefully from bed and ambled sleepily towards the master bathroom, stopping to peer into an oak-framed full-length mirror, standing beside a matching dresser. His pajamas were hanging comfortably loose, but one could tell they were worn by a man of average build. He scratched idly at his neatly-trimmed beard, and a slight frown crossed his face as he leaned into the mirror and picked at a couple gray hairs poking up amongst the field of dark brown hair covering his chin. Jeremiah's eyes met their reflection in the mirror, and shined brightly back, despite the early hour and the rude awakening the alarm clock caused just moments ago.
Jeremiah hummed a tune as he went through the morning's hygienic routines, and smiled ever so slightly as he shaved the stubble from the remainder of his face, leaving his beard fully intact. He exited the bathroom and the bedroom and entered a large second-floor landing, furnished with two older but still comfortable-looking living chairs and a small bookshelf, littered with many odds-and-ends, including a couple books. Jeremiah walked towards the stairs while adjusting his tie, when his feet suddenly slipped out from under him, and he landed with a loud THUD on the carpet.
"WELSHA! PICK UP YOUR TOYS!" Jeremiah yelled down the stairs, and soon a black-haired girl, rosy-faced out of embarrassment - ran up the stairs and moved the offending toy to its spot on the shelves. Jeremiah gave a forgiving smile to the girl, and the two descended the stairs into the family kitchen.
Jeremiah paused near the foot of the stairs for a moment to straighten a photo on the wall. It showed a family of five, leaning against the low stone wall at the park beside Lake Hallowan - it was taken at the family's recent picnic to the park. It showed Jeremiah in the middle, with his arm holding onto a tall and slender blonde-haired woman, who was smiling while herself holding a distracted young girl, not even old enough to walk on her own, who had a head of long brown hair. Beside Jeremiah stood the oldest child, a teenaged boy standing as tall as Jeremiah's shoulder, and sporting a head of shaggy and sandy brown, almost blonde, hair. In the middle of the group was Welsha, the middle child, with her short, dark brown locks.
"Brayden, why aren't you dressed!?" Jeremiah asked his son, who was wearing only a pair of sweatpants while eating a bowl of cereal at the table. "You'll be late for school!"
"School was canceled today... look outside!" Brayden said as he pointed to the patio sliding door, leading out onto a deck covered in deep snow.
"Oh no!" Jeremiah said, running towards the door to throw on his shoes and jacket. "My car's going to be buried.... I'm going to be late for work!" Before he was able to dress and head outside, though, a woman stepped into the house.
"Jeri, your car's all brushed off. I turned it on for you too."
"Oh Sara... you think of everything!" Jeremiah smiled widely as he leaned in toward his wife, giving her a quick kiss as he grabbed his things and headed out the door.
As he was driving, Jeremiah nearly lost control multiple times, but he was finally convinced to drop his speed when he very nearly lost control before a stop sign. "Whew...," he said to himself as his car stopped just shy of the intersection, "I'd better ease off the gas - I almost ran that stop sign."
Jeremiah arrived at work late, and he ran with his briefcase toward the building. For the second time that morning, his feet slipped out from under him and his body plummeted to the ground. He landed heavily on the sidewalk, his legs resting on a large patch of ice hidden by a dusting of snow that had accumulated since the walk was last shoveled, and his head and shoulders resting in the parking lot, his back bent over the curb. A loud SNAP was heard, and Jeremiah blacked out...
"And that's what I saw." Marci stopped.
"So... you saw Jeremiah's accident?" Korey asked, a curious look in his eyes. "You were not too old when that happened, do you remember it?"
"Not really... I remember when Jeremiah and Sara broke up, but..." Blake interrupted.
"Let's stay on task, here." Blake said, choosing not to marvel at Marci's vision. "So, you saw Jeremiah's pre-vision."
"Pre-vision?" Marci said quizzically. "What do you mean?"
"Sorry," Blake said, "That's neither relevant or important. What is important is what you saw in that vision."
"What I saw? I saw a lot of things."
"Right. You saw Jeremiah - a younger, fitter, married Jeremiah. You saw the past."
"You mean, I thought I saw an event?" Marci asked.
"No... you saw the event as it happened to him."
"But, that's not possible." Marci spoke with force, but her expression was one of confusion, concern and doubt.
"Well..." Blake said, moving toward the low stone wall, "let's not get into what's possible or impossible. Come here." Marci and Korey stepped toward the wall looking out over the lake. "Do you know what lies across Lake Hallowan?" he asked. Marci seemed confused.
"Well... the other shore. Other towns, other places, other cities."
"Look out there." Blake said, as the three looked out across the water. "What do you see? What lies across Lake Hallowan?" The water seemed to stretch out forever towards the horizon.
"It's a pretty big lake," Marci said, looking out into it.
"Are you so sure there's something out there?" Blake asked.
"What are you getting at?" Marci asked. Despite her confusion and her anxiety, her impatience for answers was starting to get the better of her, and she did not care for Blake's stalling.
"You mentioned something interesting," Blake said, moving on in the conversation as if sensing Marci's attitude. "You mentioned a family photo."
"Well, it's what Jeremiah must have looked at that morning." Marci said, trying to deduce what Blake was after. Blake continued.
"The picture - it was Jeremiah's family, correct? They were standing beside this very wall," Blake said as he rested his hand on the stone wall. "And they stood, with their backs turned to the water, but the lake was visible behind them, right? And I don't suppose you remember what you saw... I don't suppose you remember that you saw what lies across Lake Hallowan, do you?"
Marci thought long and hard, her mind drifting to the dream...
Jeremiah paused near the foot of the stairs to straighten the family photo. Behind the smiling faces of the Kemne children was the shimmering clear blue waters of Lake Hallowan, behind which stood clearly a patch of trees on the opposite shore, a shore which was very close by.
Marci looked out again at the water, and saw no shore.
"Now, you're beginning to understand." Blake said. "Now, we can explain the rest."