Pausing to Reflect

Here is the continuation of a story (Imaginary Journeys) that was inspired by a picture prompt from the WriYe DreamWidth.


Mirror Lake, Yosemite National Park

Marian had fully intended to leave Emily in town.  However, as they’d both feared, she hadn’t been home.  So, instead, Marian had agreed to bring Emily to her sister’s house.

They’d continued on the quiet country road.  Slowly, the dry brown had given way to lush green.  The trees that had been in the distance were closer now.

“Was this in your dream too?” he asked, frowning at the high peaks that were perfectly reflected in the lake.

He glanced towards his passenger.  He could tell from her expression that it was.  “Stop here,” Emily said.

There was something in her voice that made Marian listen, even if he might not have otherwise.  He pulled his car to a stop on the shoulder of the road and glanced out the window as she jumped out.

Emily stepped over to the edge of the lake and shook her head.  “It’s… uncanny,” she said.  She turned and looked over at him.  “Ain’t nothing like this has ever happened to me.”

Marian turned off the car and slipped out.  He moved to stand at her side, shaking his head.  “Me neither,” he said, his voice soft.  His brows furrowed and looked out at the perfect reflection of the mountains in the water.  “What do you want to do?”

“I ain’t never believed in destiny or fate,” Emily said.  She scowled and then grabbed a stone.  Flinging it at the water, she whirled to face Marian.  “I’ll be damned if I will now.”

Marian blinked at the shattered reflection and then smiled at Emily.  “So,” he said, “I take that to mean we aren’t going to your sister’s house?”

“No, sir,” Emily snapped.  She stalked back to his car and Marian followed.  “There’s a town just up this road a piece.  We’ll go there and I’ll try calling my sister again.  I ain’t going to her house until I know for positive that she’s there.”

“Works for me,” Marian said.  He got into his car and then turned the key.  As the engine roared to life, he turned to his passenger.  “Tell me about yourself, Emily.”

A smile touched Emily’s lips and she leaned back in the seat.  “Not much to tell,” she said, shrugging.  “I work for the government and I got… no real family, except for my sister.”

“I’ve got a niece,” Marian said, nodding.  He shook his head.  “My elder brother died last year and his wife… she’d died years ago, so… I’m raising my niece.”  He didn’t want to believe in destiny or fate either.  So, if Emily wanted to act counter to what they’d both dreamed, he was all for that.

“That accent… I’m guessing you’re from outa town?”

Marian nodded.  “I’m Zeimian – here on… business.”  He gave her a sunny smile and then shrugged.  “I work for the government too, actually.”

Emily got a curious look on her face then.  She turned in her seat to look directly at him.  “Are you… This is gonna be stupid if you ain’t, but now I gotta ask.  Are you with IIA?”

Blinking, Marian turned to Emily.  “Yes,” he said.  He could tell, just from her expression, that she was also with the Agency.  Somehow, that explained a few things.  “Are we still going to that town?” he asked.

“Hells yes,” Emily said.  She crossed her arms over her chest and shook her head.  “I need to check in with my superiors.  This can’t be no coincidence, us having that dream and what’s happened since.  No way, no how is that a coincidence.”

Marian nodded again.  “I would tend to agree,” he said, his voice soft.  That begged the question though: assuming it wasn’t a coincidence that they would both be agents and have the dream.  Where had the dream even come from?  So far as Marian knew, he wasn’t gifted that way.  He wasn’t about to ask Emily if the same was true of her.


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