Saturday, November 27, 2004


the child, twenty

'What do you think?'

Yes, that same question. And once again asked of her as she was watching Stone out of sight. She turned to the Master, feeling a bit guilty to see that he had been watching her watching Stone.

She could not look him in the eye. Till his hand reached out to her and gently lifted her chin.

'Starr,' he said. 'Do not be afraid. Be at peace.' And she felt the sweetness of his breath flow over her.

'You aren't angry with me?' she whispered.

A smile. 'Tell me, Starr,' he said. 'How did you meet him?'

'How?' The question stunned her. 'But... you were right here. You know how I met him.'

'Yes, I know. But I ask you questions because I want to hear your answers. And,' he added, his eyes so deep, so deep. 'Because I want you to hear your answers.'

'Oh,' she said, not completely understanding. 'Well, you - you were becoming larger than everything.' Which was still overawing, even just to speak of it. 'And I started to fall over. And he... he caught me.'

'Yes. He was right there, at just the right moment.'

'Yes. He was, wasn't he?'

'Because I orchestrated it so. I directed his steps this way. He does not realize I did so. Anymore than you had realized it.'

'He didn't see you, either,' she recalled.

'No. That truth about me he was not given to see.'

'And he thinks you're just the sword master?'

The Master smiled. 'What Stone needs to see, when he needs to see it, I myself will show him. It is enough for you right now, my Starr, to know that I have brought Stone into your life. At this time. For a reason.'

'A-a reason?' Her heart came nigh to stopping, and her face - oh, this was quite the opposite of a blush!

'Yes, Starr. And again I ask it: what do you think? Of him.'

Her voice failed her for a moment. She swallowed. Yes, and swallowed hard. 'What,' she managed to say, 'what do you want me to think of him?'

He chuckled. 'Starr, my love, you please me. That was exactly the right answer! And my answer to you is this.' And again he tilted her face up to his, meeting her eye-to-eye.

'I want you to fall in love with him.'

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