The ache in her solar plexus was the landmark Rose clung to for life and the threshold through which she re-emerged.
"I feel like I've been turned inside out," the audience members staying around to help are fussing all over Rose, trying to comfort the performer they love, as she speaks into the air.
Making sure Rose was out of danger, dealing with Alpha's body stretched out dead on the floor, and trying to piece together what happened took all their attention and most of the night.
"Who was he? Who does he work for? How did he attack me? Why did he attack me? Was anyone else hurt? Where is Roy?" More questions than answers.
As Rose gains strength the ache broadens and now feels like hundreds of little pushes and pulls all over her midsection. She drinks tea and feeds on the impromptu meditation circle offered by her closest followers. As a reward for their love and kindness Rose wants to treat them to individual readings.
She feels ready for it but when she reaches out toward the closest person, her usual visualization is fragmented. Rose discovers a new ability- reading many people at once. She tries it out on the whole circle and hears a collective moan. They all look over at her with big grins.
The next day W gets word from the police that the dead man worked on the same street as the theater and had no known political affiliations. There were so few leads or connections from him to Rose that the police joke, "it might as well have been some evil spirit randomly possessing his body just to get into the theater." W acknowledges the remark but his smile is flat.
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