There she goes, they whisper. The wind whips in her hair. Shadows cling to her.
She fixes the villagers with a baleful stare. The few who meet her gaze cringe and look down quickly. They find that their unwashed feet are much more pleasant to look at than her eyes.
“You’re untested,” said the Master. “You’re untried. You’re the wild card in the deck.”
The apprentice nods, hoping that his face doesn’t look as blank as his mind feels. A part of him grasps what his Master is saying; the other part hopes that he does indeed grasp it.
He sits outside his house gate after his night jog, covered in a sheen of sweat. He gets lost in his musings and the starless sky, though his loss is occasionally interrupted by streaks of self-awareness. He wonders how he looks to the random passer-by. But no one passes by. So he continues to lose himself.
They slip past quietly through the cracks of reality.
She retires to her bed after a long day of work. She props herself up and makes the sign of the Cross. She prays herself to sleep.
They guard her dreams.