Beach pier reflected in sunglassesThe “frame a dramatic scene as the reflection in somebody’s dark glasses” trick is one I’ll bring back later in Leif & Thorn, with Kale. It’s a good one. Both those characters have a lot to reflect on. (*rimshot*)

This is the beginning of Walker oh-so-slowly piecing together a narrative about what the heck is going on with Cohen, Patrick, and friends. Her assumptions will be logical and plausible, her conclusions will explain all the evidence — and yet she’ll be totally off-base. Possibly not even in the right field.

Jany: — with — with that guy we had a battle with. Yeah.

Jany (thinking): Close one!

Walker (thinking): Oh dear.

Was she about to say “Patrick”? As in, Cohen’s Being, Patrick? Not seen by anyone for months now, Patrick? What makes this girl different, that Cohen would have put his Being in contact with her and no one else? And how much more does she know that she isn’t supposed to share? It’s going to take some time to work it out of her . . .

Walker: Tell me about yourself, young lady. Are you still in school?

Jany: Um . . . yes! That is — technically, I’m not enrolled for next term right now.

I can’t afford to go back to my fancy old school, since my parents, um, they sort of cut me off. There’s a good local one near where my brother lives, but I’ve not filled out the paperwork yet . . . But I will! I absolutely will. Soon. Ish.