The town has not changed.
That’s a new store on the corner. Used to be a restaurant.
Wonder if anyone remembers.
School is out. The kids walk through the square, some of them running.
Then they see me. Don’t know who I am. The face is familiar. But…
He sits there on the bench like he owns the place. But…
Careful now. Don’t let them know you can read them thinking.
“Are you from around here?”
“Yes. But I have been gone for a long time.”
Five hundred years. Don’t tell her that.
She looks right at you. No. Do not touch her mind.
She looks like my niece. She…
The girl looks away. Ten? Eleven? Her face glances toward the town hall, two doors down from the restaurant on… no, the store on the corner, now.
“Yes? But… how do you know my name?”
“It’s on your book bag, child.”
“Oh, yes, of course.” The note of disappointment hangs in the air. Did she actually think you might have read her mind? She might be the one. Maybe.
You hold out your hand – your right hand – with a single copper coin between your thumb and index finger.
“Would you do me a favor? Take this penny to the prefect in the town hall. Please. Tell him I am waiting in the square, here.”
She accepts the coin, nods. “Yes, sir.” Slowly turns away, then runs off quickly.
You reflect on something you did not notice at first. She was alone.
Yes. She might be the one.
Careful now. They might be watching.