He looked up as she walked out of the room. Her hair was a little messed up. She was steady on her feet, and she took measured steps, and she crossed the room to where he knelt and looked into his eyes and hugged him tight.
At the same moment, at the back of his eye, Sunday felt a kind of burning warmth. And his leg ached. His bad leg, with the big sharp scar that ran all the way down it, deep into his muscles. The lapel of his coat was wet, and he was sure one of the two of them was crying, but he didn’t know which.
He didn’t know what to do.
“Shh,” he heard Izzy say from his shoulder. “Shh. I’ve got you.”
Sunday let the warmth out, and he shuddered and spluttered as the tears fell down.
Beyond the warmth at the back of his eye and extending right down to the big sharp scar was an imposition of will that he recognized dimly as his own. He told himself to do something, and he responded to himself.
Sunday had a rule to never look inside a lost idea, but to just give it a place to be. He broke his rule, but just a little. He looked inside the mind of the girl and found she was dreaming of snow. Endless, boundless, voidless snow, but snow that was discrete and countable. On every patch of night sky were forty-four flakes, exactly. The patches of sky had words that went with them. He couldn’t read the words, but he let them flare up for a minute in her mind.
“In the great, green room,” she said, “there was a telephone, and a red balloon, and a picture of the cow jumping over the moon.”
He listened very closely, and she did too. They listened to her read from what she remembered the best.
Neither of them noticed Kyle Marshal, the night that Clement Hurd had drawn on every page of Izzy’s favorite story, step out of the hallway and out of the hotel, and into the arms of his wife.
“What should we do?” Sunday asked. The sun was starting to break into the dark.
Izzy shrugged. For a very long while, they thought about it together, and then they made a decision.
Close the door and we’ll disappear
Close the book and we’ll disappear