The sequel to TOME. From author, Brian Lelas.
Read the Prologue below.
The face looking back at Edwin Merchant behind the mirror was the same. The soft skin of his newly bald head was not enough to hide who he was. He lifted the razor above his head without his hands, which were washing shaving foam from his chin. The floating blade spun slowly in the pocket of low gravity that he created around it, then drifted to its place in the cabinet to his side.
It’s still me. His reflection, it was too much of the wanted man. They’ll see me straight away.
Their trip into the Scar Vault had ensured that Edwin would forever be a fugitive, hunted by those who recognised him. The Gift that he had earned - no, the two Gifts that he had stolen - were absolutely worth it. As he glanced over his shoulder to the hulking mass of the Visor that engulfed the bathroom doorway, he said, “You might want to look away. This next part ain’t pretty.”
Edwin had taken the ability to see into the future. Nothing more than a few seconds, maybe a minute, so far. That was enough to know that what he was about to do would hurt like crazy. He felt his nose twitch at the thought of it.
They can’t identify me so easily. Not right away.
He took a deep breath, gathered his wits and bashed his face down hard against the edge of the sink. The polished ceramic was left undamaged, but an explosion of pain shot through his nose and right to the back of his head. Blood gushed out in little rivers that swirled into the drain. Edwin coughed and spat wordless noises from his mouth and he fell to the floor, writhing in agony. He looked into the future, a few seconds, maybe more, and was not surprised to see that he was still lying there, trying to come to terms with the pain.
When he finally did get to his knees, then feet, he looked at the broken mess he’d made of his nose, the red stains that ran down the front of his clothes and sighed. It was done, at least.
He cleaned up as best he could, strapped a sticky bandage over the bridge of his crushed nose and plugged his nostrils with cotton balls as big as strawberries. It would do its job better if it didn’t heal quickly, or perfectly, so he was happy to let the damage sit as it did as he went to his bedroom. Atop the bedside table was something small and metallic that caught the light from the solitary lamp. He sat on the edge of the bed and clutched the ring that was looped onto a thin silver chain. Clouded with age, the ring felt lighter that it had before.
“I will get back to you,” he promised as he stared down at the largest scratch on the metal surface. “I will make it right.”
Edwin lifted the chain over his head and let the ring hit his chest. As he peered into the future there was nothing but darkness, so he knew that he would be asleep. He flicked the switch on the lamp, hoisted his feet onto the bed and drifted off.