With time stuck between one clock-tick and the next, the few remaining citizens of Tenebris had needed to find a new way of keeping track of time. Fortunately, the human city locked to theirs in the adjacent realm had only been nudged off course in the Breaking. Time might have been a touch out of step in Befort, but its people still rose and fell with the sun.
Which was how Korova knew it was nearing lunchtime before he neared the source of the strange energy signature that had penetrated the fog. He picked his way through the shattered streets of Tenebris, hand outstretched as though he could feel the wayward energy of the school children between the thin fabric of the realm. He traced Celeste’s steps, occasionally stopping to breathe in an errant feeling.
As he reached an intersection, a jagged spike of sorrow knifed through Tenebris followed by an outpouring of emotion from Celeste Knight so intense it pierced the realm like a beacon.
Korova drew near it like a moth to a flame.
He peered through the fog and spotted the distraught girl. “What a lovely snack,” he murmured, hand extending as if he could reach through and caress her face. The Grieve gave a furtive glance around and, satisfied the girl had not been noticed by his brethren, dropped a shield around the tree she rested against.
She dropped out of sight to those in both realms.
Quick as a thought, he shifted into Befort, growing impossibly large in the lurking shadow of the trees.
“Sleep,” he whispered, clawed hands stroking her pink hair. “I will take your troubles away.”
The girl fell into an instant slumber.