The Shape of Purity
There is a long hall, somewhere.
It stretches into the distance, echoing across a landscape unknown to most.
She remembers when she first saw the Eye in the ruins of the Museum.
That was the first time she saw the Hall of Neverwhens. She’d been following Grandfather the Gull over a broken section of wall near the sea, picking her way over stones and pieces of great marble faces and arms, using bits of column as a bridge, here and there. Then she’d lost sight of him in the bright of falling fire, and when she’d found him again, his wing was burnt off, and his one remaining eye was white as a pearl.
Like a child, -well, she’d been a child, really- she’d reached for the Eye as it stuck there among the rocks and boulders and broken marbles, and of course, she’d been slapped away by a bloody-faced man in a green velvet coat. Then he’d taken another look. He’d grimaced at her, and then stepped away. Soon the footfalls had turned to running.
He’d left her alone with it.
Alone, with it.
That had been the beginning of the end.
The beginning of the End.
The Beginning of…
Why hadn’t he saved her? Why hadn’t he explained what was to come?
She’d been so afraid when it called to her that first time, after the fighting and the burning had ended.
But now, she dangled its beautiful, thick silver chain in her fingers, idly watching the bauble which held the Eye toss and flounce on its finding.
The Eye itself was quiet to-day; it often was, when Grandfather wasn’t with her; still, she had closeted her Type 103 TT Capsule as just another white tree in the glass-sand desert called the Sea of Transparent Ponderings some time ago, and even though her ship slept, Grandfather would know where it was.
Yes, he would come eventually.
He always did.
He had, after all, been the first to find the Eye, the first to reveal their shared Destiny.
He had been the first to look into its depths and see the truth.
His scream, in fact, had been her call to awakening. It had been what led her to him, across the ashy remains of the pale Museum terrace with its fluted columns and raised steps. It had been then that she’d decided what to call him. The Eye had whispered his name in her ear.
Since that day, she’d always known that she would meet the man in the velvet coat again… if only to get revenge for making Grandfather cry.