Chapter IV: Shiloh
Jack stared at the dorm’s wooden panel walls. Thoughts overflowed his head and strained him into a painful headache. The lockdown he was under, from his little escape shenanigan, was the least of his worries. In fact, he had simply let such a grave fate roll off his shoulders. No, his thoughts lie in Shiloh and what he was going to do next. He could feel the scene under the willow tree stain itself into his memory, permanently.
Jack remembered how he stumbled away from Shiloh, mouth locked in shock. Words couldn’t escape him as he tried to comprehend where they had landed. Panic took over his breath and he began to feel his wind leave him as his head grew lighter and lighter. It was as if she had broken every law there is known to man. Impossibility wove into the air itself.
“Oh, Jack. Please calm down,” Shiloh said evenly while trying to approach him. But with every step she took, Jack took three more back.
“Stay away from me!” He finally managed to yell. “What did you do?! Where is London?! Where is my home?!” All of a sudden, the world about Jack spun and his vision began to go. He had pushed himself into a state of hyperventilation.
“Jack, stop!” she reached forward in time to clumsily catch his lanky body. Jack felt warm arms wrap around his shoulders causing an unusual calmness to fill him. He closed his eyes and slipped for a moment into unconsciousness.
When he woke again, he found himself lying on Shiloh’s lap under the willow tree.
The sky was slightly different here (wherever here was) with vivid shades of aqua blue and vapors of silver twinkling against it. Jack lifted a hand, feeling like he was still in the stupor of a dream, and traced the now pink branches of the willow tree.
“Impossible.” He slurred to himself.
Shiloh looked down at him with curious eyes. “Nothing’s impossible.” She stated as if it were inarguable.
“You know, I bet this is all one big dream.” Jack whispered his voice cracking.
“Oh, Jack,” Shiloh sighed, “this isn’t a dream.” She carefully pressed her hands underneath him and helped him sit up.
“Why can’t I feel it, anymore?” He muttered while staring at his hands.
“It will hit again, I’m sure. The shock has passed and now it’s just…adjusting, I suppose.” Shiloh tried to reach out to touch him lightly on the shoulder but Jack quickly drew away.
© E.M. Peterson