The tombstones popped up overnight like mushrooms after rain. Thomas had ignored them at first, dismissing them as another quirk of the strange place he'd found himself. He'd been busy anyway, rearming himself with a rough, rust-pitted kukri he salvaged and an old cavalry saber. It didn't fit quite as well in his hand as his own did, but that would change. In time.
So it wasn't until the second or third day that he took the time to look at the tombstones themselves. He wouldn't have then, even, if a glint of gold hadn't caught his eye. A pentacle of gold set in white marble. Directly above it, the words HERE LIES HARRY DRESDEN,
. Below, HE DIED DOING THE RIGHT THING
. Once Thomas saw those words, his eye never stopped seeking them out even as he forced himself to look away. Which was how he noticed the other tombstone.
It wasn't as well cared for, simple grey stone instead of polished marble, worn and covered in a thick coat of moss and ivy. Only two words could be read amid the ivy and crumbling stone, but they were more than enough to convince Thomas he didn't want to see the rest. JUSTINE
. And no matter how quickly he walked away from the pair of tombstones, the twin monuments to his greatest failures, he would find them again in the fog, appearing ahead the moment he thought they had been left behind.
It was fitting, somehow.( Collapse )