“Yeah. Need a hand?”
The star-shadow touches him- he can feel strong fingers grip his shoulder through his crisp white shirt. Another hand loosens his tie.
“Yeah, I remember that shade of green. Peckish, with a dash of pimento. Happened a lot when I was pregnant. And I never caught your name at my stag do, handsome boy,” says the shadow, rubbing circles into his back.
“I never gave it. Hello, Captain. My Captain. My wife will enjoy the story I think, but now is not the time. She’s here, somewhere, getting us some tasty fish. The bass from Pnyy is delectable, this time of year.”
His touch skirts across the Rose Ring on his finger, giving the golden metal an absent polish. He clicks the Rose, and things begin to feel better. He still can’t quite remember stealing it, all those years ago. From the Museum.
The shadow is flesh now. His Jack. His Jack. He sighs and sits up slowly, his celery peridots taking their time in focusing on a group of Pyrovillaean kids playing on the water slide. They’re cute, the way they keep betting each other who can get themselves wet first and put out the flame on their litte root-vegetable heads.