Saturday 3rd April 2027: Jac

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Keep them in heaven, where they belong. Please look after them and love them. Tell them I'll see them again one day and I'm doing OK now. I'm going to be fine. And please help Chance to not be sad. He doesn't seem like he's had much goodness in his life so far and I know the world is a mess, but he should get to have some happiness for real. And God, please help me to be brave. Please make us not have to fight anyone. Please make us not have to kill anyone. Please...

Jac took a deep, calming breath of clean, fresh air and smiled. If they tried hard enough, they could almost forget why they were here, what they were doing, where they were going. If they tried hard enough, they could almost imagine they were just out for a walk, going to Mama and Papa's for dinner, then going to the studio to paint into the small hours. Almost.

Whatever came next was unknown, but at least they weren't alone. It could be worse. It had been worse. And it could get better. It would, they were sure of it. They projected forward a few hours when they would have found a boat, brought it to the shore and started making their way across the Forth. It was going to be fine. It was. It really was.

Chance was flipping his coin and catching it as he walked, lost in silence, lost in wherever he went inside his own mind. Jac looked up at the sky, a vibrant blue that still held the brightness of possibility, then at the forest and fields brimming with life, then at the water.

The last time Jac had been here, a year ago maybe, it had been a sunny day with a chill breeze, just like today. They remembered people walking, riding bikes, talking, laughing, no idea of the fragility of the structure of their existence. They remembered being in this exact spot that day, watching someone clambering out along the rocks towards the water, just like—

Before they even realised what they were doing, Jac's hand shot out and grabbed Chance by the arm.


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