Helen came up to me the next day wanting to discuss an urgent ‘matter’. I left Sheli to play in the yard with her doll. Helen pulled me to the side of the house where she’d been gardening and said something was wrong with Cole.
“It’s not him. It is his body, but he is not his own. His voice is distant, as if he’s still beneath the waves,” she said, pointing to the sea. Her eyes grew wild. “There’s something else in him or he’s missing a piece of himself.”
I saw Cole over at the barn. He waved to us. We both waved back, Helen awkwardly so. “He seems fine to me. Are you sure?”
She nodded. “Yes. I’m telling you, he says things that are different. Cold-minded things.”
The first time I’d seen Cole after his return, he helped carry Ezra’s bag of vegetables home, something he would’ve done before too. I remembered studying him then, amazed at how he’d returned and how lucky Helen was.
“He’s probably still getting used to being back. We don’t know where he was or what it was like when he was gone. It might’ve been too awful to speak of. That could be the darkness you see.”
“But he acts as though he never even died.”
“Maybe that’s how it should be.”
She chewed at her lip. “You don’t understand, Lyssa. But you will.”
This year, Triangulation was edited by the talented Jamie Lackey. Other authors include, Melissa Mead, Sean Jones, B.C. Matthews, Jennifer Crow, Alexandra Grunberg, Michael Nayak, and more.