Let's check in with Cloe in modern-day Athens - and also with one of her closest friends :) (the gif posted with this scene is of him!)

P.S. I hope you'll tune into the soundtrack, too! An instrumental of the lovely "How to Save a Life" - the title is totally perfect for this scene, as you will see... ;)


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Scene 9: Life and Death

A.D. 2015


Okay, so, that had been by far the least dignified night of her life.

Cloe cringed at the thought of what she must've looked like, sounded like, acted like while she'd been hammered. She just prayed that none of it was caught on camera. Waking up this morning in an unfamiliar hotel room, her first thought had been that she'd been checked into a temporary inn where the afterlife-managers retained dead souls who were too embarrassing to let into heaven. That notion had been her first clue that she was too hungover to function.

Well, that and the fact that, when Miss Primor had approached, Cloe had mistaken her silvery-haired head for a disco ball bizarrely filled with cooing pigeons.

She'd sworn in that moment that she was never doing shots again.

Charliese had been kind enough to walk Cloe back to her hostel, which would've been a perfect opportunity to get to know the mysterious lady a little better - as Cloe had been hoping to do for a while - if only her brain hadn't been in too much pain to carry on a conversation. Great. Once she'd gotten back to the Scholar & Journeyer's Inn and taken a cold shower, she'd been forced to face the day and get some work done.

She felt quite a lot better after a full day of research. A good thing, as she had a Skype call with her closest friend from college scheduled for this evening. So she was glad to be in a state to carry on a coherent conversation, at this point; it was always so nice chatting with Tom, and she couldn't wait to tell him all about her travel-writing escapades and everything.

But then again... then again, maybe she could wait, she thought to herself as she greeted his smiling face through the computer screen.

When she was trying to postpone thinking about the possibility that she could write the future - which she had been, for the past few days, because the mere thought of it scared the shit out of her - Tom's face was the one thing that she could not afford to see.

He was dying, damn it. He had been dying since soon after the day he was born. Such was the nature of his illness. Cloe knew that, with each passing day, the threat of death became more serious. His was the saddest, cruelest fate to ever fall upon a soul so pure, it'd always seemed to her, and she had always wished with all her heart that she could change it, that she could do something, anything, about it - and now...

She was barely brave enough to meet his gaze. Even across the world and in the form of little pixels on her monitor, the precious light inside his eyes shone clear and true, a heartbreakingly hopeful hue. At all seasons of Tom's life - though he lived ever in the shade of its winter - his eyes were the color of springtime, bright robin's egg blue.

Now what was she supposed to do? What the hell was she supposed to freaking do?? The answer should've been clear. She wished it were. But somehow it was not, to her. Whenever the thought or the sight of his smile filled her with the urge to put pen to paper, to decree that Ishmael Thomas Colbeck would never die, ever - or at least not till his death seemed fair to her - something would stay her hand. Surely part of it was Cloe's fear and hesitance at the notion of wielding such immense, unfathomable power. But was that all? What else was there...?

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