Mara spent an hour trying on Genevieve’s shoes.  She had to look at every pair twice, and strut around in them, up and down the hallway.  She borrowed my mother’s floor length mirror to admire them.

            “I’ve never worn them before,” was the only explanation she offered.  “I’m making up for a few thousand years of deprivation.”

            “In one afternoon?” I said.

            She laughed.  “Why not?”

            “You used to be an immortal angel.  There aren’t more important things than shoes?  I mean how girly is that?”

            Genevieve smiled.  “It’s her first chance to be a girl.  Who else would have taught her?  I say she deserves some pampering.  Want to try makeup?”

            “Yes!  I really do.  It’s not like watching Ethan’s life gave much opportunity to understand girl things.  And I never knew my mother.”

            “Ethan’s on a quest to save the world, and you’re trying on shoes.”

            “Oh, that!” Mara giggled.  “Me trying on shoes today won’t affect that in the slightest.  I told you, the pattern is pretty obvious.  If you think about it, you know when he’s coming back.”

            “We do?”

            “You should.  Think about it.  When did he disappear?”

            “You mean, the first time?  On the plane?” Genevieve asked for clarification.

            “Yes, the plane.  When was that?”

            “I was six, I don’t remember.”

            “Well it was Reading Week in my freshman year, so the beginning of February?”

            “Was there anything happening at that time?  Anything significant?”

            “Besides our vacation?  I don’t know what you mean.”

            “Okay, maybe you need bigger hints than I thought…” Mara smiled ruefully.  “Um, did you go to church?”

            “That was more Ethan’s thing than mine.  But I remember him talking about pancakes at church, and how he wasn’t able to go because he was finishing a paper at school.  I can’t believe I even remember that.”

            “Pancake Tuesday?  They still do that, before Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent.”  I finally found something I could comment on in their conversation.  “So the plane disappeared around the start of Lent…”

            “Is that important?” Evie asked.

            “Well, maybe.  I mean, Lent is a reminder of Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness.  When Ethan disappeared, I’m assuming he went to the wilderness Mara mentioned.  That’s a bit more than coincidence…”

            “And when was the first time he came back?”  Mara asked, interrupting my thought process.

            “The spring, like seven years later.  That had nothing to do with Lent, though, it was long after Easter.”  I shrugged.

            “How much longer?”  Mara was trying on a new pair of heels, adjusting the strap.  Her question was a little too casual.  I looked at her.

            “You know exactly how long, don’t you?”

            “Well, of course I do.  But you’re the one who’s supposed to figure this out.”  She smiled winningly.  I sighed.

            “Like almost two months later.  That was seven years ago!”

            “Well, what happens in church two months after Easter?” Genevieve asked.  “The first clue was Lent, so what else is there?”

            “You should have gone to church more.  I was just a kid.”  I ran my fingers through my hair, trying to think.  “There’s nothing two months later.  All summer is ‘Ordinary Time,’ where there are no major celebrations.  Oddly enough, the Christian calendar is basically packed from November to May, from Advent to Pentecost, and then nothing happens for half the year.”

            “When’s Pentecost?”  Mara stared at her shoes in the mirror.

            “It means ‘Fifty days after,’ and it’s when the Holy Spirit came to the disciples fifty days after the Resurrection.”  I wracked my memory.  “It’s usually in like May.”

            “Which is when I came back to the house and heard that you’d seen Ethan.”  Genevieve stared at me.

            “He left for the wilderness at Lent, and came back during Pentecost?”  I asked Mara.  “Is that it?  Why Pentecost?  The disciples were given the Holy Spirit, but so what?  We certainly didn’t’ get that.”

            “You didn’t?  The disciples were given their mission, and the means to fulfill it.  Isn’t that the time when Genevieve started planning her revolt against the Citadel?”  Mara stared at me, her expression serious.

            “Oh, crispy crap.  Ethan came back in the winter this year, again, and it was probably February.  Ash Wednesday.  I bet anything, it was the start of Lent again.”  I turned to Eve.  “Ash Wednesday is a day of remembering the dead and mourning, and being penitent for our sins.  Ethan was worried about all the men being killed, and was after Reza to stop the killing.”

            “Are you seriously telling me our brother’s life is following the Christian calendar?  And King Arthur stories?  What’s next?  He comes back at Christmas bearing gifts?”

            I sat down on her bed, staring out the window and trying to think.

            “It won’t be Pentecost again…  We already tried to follow in his footsteps.  Order isn’t important, but what they mean is.  If it was in order, he wouldn’t have skipped Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday.  Lent was the beginning of the wilderness, Pentecost was anointing followers, Ash Wednesday was mourning the dead.  His mission…”

            Mara smiled, as if she knew where my thoughts were heading.  Which, she probably did.  I tousled my hair with my hands, trying to get the racing thoughts in my mind to reach some sort of finish line.

            “His mission changed!” I practically shouted, turning at Genevieve and shaking her shoulders.  This made her shriek.  “He was out in the wilderness and came back with the sword.  How much do you want to bet it was a quest to find it?  Arthur had to find his sword, and Bilbo had to find the ring, but those just led to other quests.  It was the first stage!”

            Genevieve had her hand on her heart, trying to calm down from her scream.  “What?”  She managed to breathe out.

            “He needed the sword first, to become a champion or whatever.  Now he’s got it, he has to face his enemy.  Reza.  The Dark One, you called him.  He’s Death.  When did Death get defeated?”

            “I have no idea what you’re talking about!” Genevieve wheezed, exasperated.

            “On the cross!  Jesus defeats Death with the cross, He died and was resurrected.  Ethan’s going to show up sometime between the start of Holy Week and Resurrection Sunday to fight Reza.  If we can get to Reza by then, we’ll find him too!”

            “Easter was like a few weeks ago,” Evie said.  “We missed it.”

            “Not this year.”  I shook my hands with excitement, figuring out the problem.  “He disappeared in 2001.  He came back in 2008.  He came back again this year, which would be 2015 on the old calendars.  Seven years, the year of the Sabbath.  So we just have to be there…”

            “In 2022?” Genevieve asked.

            I groaned in frustration and collapsed on the bed.

            “See?  I have six years and eleven months to try on shoes.  How about that makeup?” Mara giggled.

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