On June 11, I sat in the Cross train station, waiting for the morning train and passing the time with Daniel Starke. When she wandered in from the platform, the room went cold, and the woman stopped and looked at me with her single, blind eye.
She wore a sign labeling her as blind, and beggars permit for New York City. When she spoke, her breath was that of the grave, and her words were the only ones I have heard spoken with death in every syllable.
“Duncan Blood,” she said, “Death comes to Cross today, though it is not for you or yours. Go to your home and wait for Death’s passing.”
I knew her then for a Seer, and since I have never been one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I took my leave of the station, with Daniel Starke laughing at my foolishness.
The Seer followed me, moving faster and with a surer step than any seeing person could. From behind me, she called out to others, bidding them to hasten home. A few listened, though far more avoided her and refused to acknowledge her warnings.
She remained on Main Street as I went home. I made a strong pot of coffee and waited.
By mid-afternoon, there was a commotion at my door. When I answered it, I found Daniel Starke – bloodied and battered – standing on my porch. The noon train from Lowell had come in, jumped the tracks, and crashed through the Balcom Warehouse. Thirty-nine people were dead and a hundred and seventy missing.
The deathtoll rose by the end of the night.
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