This is #18 of The Autumn Queen. To start at the beginning, go here.
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The rift in the clouds looked like a tear in the world itself, opening the roiling purple-grey and revealing the silver-studded sky behind. As I looked up at it, I could not remember a time in which I had not felt wonder at its hugeness.
When the storm had passed and the world was open unto the wildness of the heavens that lay beyond it, we stared up, lying on our backs in the manicured gardens, and held hands, the three of us, while the wet of the swan pond dried on our naked skin. We were children, once, and it was nothing more complicated than exhausted love, friendly devotion, and wondrous hope.
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