I took the knife and raised it to my hand. Kiera's hand snapped out, slapping me before I could cut.
"Never blood," the children's librarian said. "This place has too much and always wants more. A bit of your shirt will do."
Obeying, I untucked my shirt and cut a small strip from the bottom. I put it down next to the strip of Keira's dress and handed her the knife. She clicked it shut and stored it in her boot.
"Okay, bossman. Let's go back."
I said okay but felt off. My head began to swim. The edges of my vision turned grey and dark. "I don't feel so good," I said. I felt myself drop and the soft wet earth met my knees.
"It's okay. Just keep walking," Kiera said.
Inside I felt a tugging. Not a stomach spasm. A tug and push, as if something were trying to make room. I gripped the slimy grass with my hands and felt pressure behind my eyes. My ears popped and everything swam. Now my vision went sideways, my stomach following. I dry heaved.
Kiera stood over me. Her shadow felt cold in this chilly place. From far away, I heard her say, "No, he's not ready."
Her hands came under my arms. I tried to rise. I tried to go with her. My stomach wretched and a green yellow bile of breakfast came up. How long had it been since I sat down with Amy and Brenda?
"Not now. Not now. We have to prepare," Kiera's voice came from the darkness as it took me over.
When the light came back, I stood on the second floor of the library. I was in the stacks, right around the books on baking. I reached out to steady myself and found no support.
A small giggling child rounded the corner and ran through me.
To Be Continued...