So here we are, Charlotte. Back at the beginning. Anything different you notice?

“Shhh,” Charlotte requested. “Someone’s fading in.”

Hey, where’d *he* come from, thinks observing Orilia from the bar, always aware of the comings and goings of customers. But this was no ordinary man. Instead: cartoonist, or so they assumed.

He then produced one of the latest from his pocket, unfolding it before their eyes.

“Jem,” Charlotte uttered, recognizing the inspiration.

“Yes?” Jim answered, not knowing if she was referring to one or the other. He then produced another from the other pocket, likewise unfolding.

“Jem,” stated Charlotte more firmly, pointing this time.

Jim understood. Jim L. Brown, with the L standing for nothing. At least that’s always what his parents told him. Actually we know it stands for the number 12, as in 4+4+4. “You… knew her?”

“Know,” says Edward Daigle, chipping in. “We know her.” She’s not dead… yet, he thinks with malice. His stern stare matches Charlotte’s. This was *wrong*. “Nice trick, by the way,” he said of Jim L. Brown’s manifesting act. Magician as well, they assumed. Cartoonist and magician: hand in hand. A combination bourne in the depths of hell itself, they also quickly decided.

Seeing the loathing, he scrambles to explain himself. “You don’t understand, people. I’m here to *help*. I don’t like this either. *John* is to blame, not me.”

Edward’s stare turns toward Charlotte and visa versa. “Twins?” they utter simultaneously to each other.

(to be continued)

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