Temple

She found Lewis in the shed, dissecting a lizard. The shed was messier than ever—tools sat in disorganized heaps, meters of wrinkled caution tape were strung all over the sooty floor.

“Happy Near Year, Lewis.”

“Come again?” he said, turning around. He was wearing thick goggles that made his eyes bulge out like those of a dazed fish. Iris suppressed a grin.

“It’s the New Year. New calendar, new dreams, that sort of thing.”

“Oh, that’s all nonsense. To mark a beginning by a cycle of three hundred and sixty-five days! Bah! What an excuse. I mark my lives by happenings, not calendars.

Iris shrugged. “The illusion’s there, nonetheless. Anyway, I wanted to ask you. You talked to Mira?”

“Mira?”

“Yeah. You went to talk to her at the barn.”

“Ah, yes. Amaya.

“Who?”

“That’s her real name. Amaya Safan. Lovely, isn’t it?”

“She never told me.”

“I think she would have, given the right moment.”

Iris paused and hovered around, unsure of what to say. Then, hurriedly, she mumbled, “I didn’t know if you would talk with her. But I guess you did. She was acting funny yesterday. She seemed… calm.”

“A little magic with words,” Theo replied, an electric expression on his grimy face. “Why do you ask?”

Iris shook her head. “I just thought… I thought it was all in my mind. That I could somehow ‘fix’ her. Now I know, I had it all wrong. She doesn’t need fixing. She needs someone willing to listen and care. A friend, maybe.”

Lewis slid the goggles off and smiled. “There,” he murmured. “You’ve found it.”

“Found what?”

“The heart of your temple.”

Iris stared, stared and spoke in a faraway voice. “I have?”

“Do you feel it? Trembling at the core of your life. You feel it, yes?”


Writing month, day twenty-three, word count: 22,124

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