From the Gods’ Hollow journal of Duncan Blood.
April 23, 1930.
I came upon them in the early morning, only an hour or so after I had crossed the border into the Hollow. The mother and child stood in the remains of their home without any sense of shock or surprise.
When they heard my approach, they turned and nodded to me. In beautiful French, the mother said, “Yes, we will have breakfast with you.”
Feeding them had been my intention, but I had not voiced it to them. I did not hide my surprise, yet neither did I comment upon it as I sat down and took out my provisions. Soon, the three of us were eating the slim repast I had prepared.
When we finished, the woman, without introducing herself, stated, “We have done this before.”
“How many times?” I asked.
She sighed, smiling bitterly. “For eight years now.”
“Always with me?” I asked.
“Always with a version of you,” the woman answered. “There are times when you know French, and others you don’t. Times when you kill us both, and times when you pass us by.”
“How did you know I wouldn’t kill you today?” I asked, handing her a slice of bread for the child.
“You knew French,” she said, smiling, and spoke no more about it.
I left the mother and child as I found them, standing in the ruins of their home, and waiting for me to arrive in the morning.
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