Meanwhile back in the year one, Gavin lay resolutely on the altar, surrounded by the runes and offerings. He would go back. He would return.
Narsa urged him, “Won’t you turn your head once more, and make your peace with everyone?”
“No,” he said, eyes closed, “I must sleep. One day I’ll wake up in the present day, a million generations removed from…”
“Being who you really want to be?” Narsa cut in. The tribe murmured outside the tent, the discarded crown of their erstwhile king shining in the setting sun. No answer came, and the old shaman knew her cause was lost.
She brought her foot across the etchings on the floor and intoned, “As you cross the circle line, the ice-wall creaks behind. The silver splinters fly in the corner of your eye…” The tent began to hum, and the offerings were consumed by brilliant fire. Narsa’s voice faded, and Gavin felt as though he were spinning in his emptiness.
Something shattered, and in the darkness he felt different, too damn real and in the present tense.