For this is the great secret, which was known to all educated men in our day:

that by what men think, we create the world around us, daily new.

Marion Zimmer Bradley, The Mists of Avalon

Genevieve shivered in the chill night wind.  Her arms hugged each other across her chest, her hands were rubbing her skin to get warm.  The wind grabbed hold of her hair, tugging it in countless dark streams across her pale face, like streams of oil spilling over white snow.  She looked out from the balcony off the rooms she shared with Neal and thought for a moment about following the wind outwards, out over the fields below her.  At least then maybe she could rest.  At least then maybe there would be peace.

            Seven years had passed since the mountain, and everything had changed in the meantime.  Their new church had grown at an unbelievable pace, made popular by the band’s music and inspiring faith through Jay’s miracles.  When wars and disasters began occurring there had been new members joining in droves.  Then one day the stars began to fall:  meteor showers had destroyed satellites and disrupted communications, devastating cities and cutting the west coast off from the east.  As a result, they didn’t hear about the destruction of Ottawa and Washington until a year after it happened.  No one had heard from overseas in three years.  It was like something out of a bad movie.

            “Armageddon.”  Jason had said the day the first meteors hit Vancouver, obliterating downtown.  Genevieve thought he meant the Bruce Willis film at first, and then realized that nothing was ever so trivial with Jay.

            Without communications, without government, with the dead and dying all around them, the people needed a leader.  The new church became a beacon for them to gather around, and Neal was its head.  They had been married for the past two years, and for the past two years, Genevieve had begun to have trouble sleeping.  It was all too perfect:  they were helping people in a time of trouble, they were safe and wealthy, she was married to the most powerful man in their community, and yet it all seemed somehow wrong.  It was like someone had granted their childhood wishes, in the most unlikely of ways.  That idea caused a strange unease, which drove her out onto the balcony of their rooms at the top of their Citadel every night, to look out at the stars and the tiny fires of the villages below.

            It seemed perfect, but she knew that everywhere else there were people starving, dying, while she was safe in her tower, protected by perhaps the most powerful men in the world.  And all she knew for sure was that she didn’t want to be there.

            Inwardly, she looked forward to the coming morning.  She would begin her yearly journey to see her family in Ontario.  The first few years she flew, the next she drove when planes stopped flying, and now she would need to go by horse.  Every year the journey was a little longer, as roads wore down, as paths became unsafe because of rogues and bandits.  Yet home was the only safe place where she could sleep, Gwen the only person she could share her misgivings with. 

            She heard Neal moan in his sleep, and went back to the bed they shared, shivering even more.

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