Ohns woke up before the other two, and was startled to find the sun gone. Dark clouds, some grey and others fading to black, covered the sky, and the normal warm breeze of the lake had become a chill wind. Tiny hairs rose on Ohns’ arms, which were suddenly covered with goosebumps.

He thought of waking up Fer and Shua, asking them what was going on, but then he caught sight of a small figure at the lakeshore, dark hair whipping in the breeze.

Ohns ran up to him. “Hey, kid!” he said. “Who are you?”

The stranger–a year or so younger than Ohns, and shorter–turned around. He had a thin face, a sad face, and his large brown eyes seemed to brim with tears. He didn’t seem to see the boy next to him, the one pelting him with questions.

“Are you all right?” Ohns asked. “What’s happening?”

The strange child looked at Ohns, as if seeing him for the first time. “Where did you come from?” he asked.

“What?” Ohns said.

“Where did you come from?” The boy’s voice was distant, sad.

“I don’t understand.”

A fresh gust of wind tore down the beach. “Where did you come from?”

“I…I don’t remember!”

The strange child held out his hands. “Help me.”

“What do you mean?” Ohns cried, but his words were carried away by the gale.

There was no answer. The child turned back toward the lake and, as Ohns watched, simply faded away into nothingness. As he did so, the wind warmed and died, and the sun peeked through the clouds. Within a moment, the lake was back to its old self, and Ohns was left alone, water lapping at his toes, with no answers.

“What do you mean, ‘what do I mean?’” a voice behind him asked.

Ohns jumped, even though it was just Fer. “Huh?”

“You just yelled “what do you mean?’” Fer said. “I thought you were talking to me. I didn’t say anything, though.”

“Did you see him? Did you see the clouds, and the wind?”

“You can’t see the wind, silly,” Fer said. “Nobody out here but you. Shua’s still snoring in bed. “ She giggled. “No clouds, either. What are you talking about?”

“There was another kid here,” Ohns said. “In the wind and the dark. He had black hair, and he kept asking me questions.”

Fer gave him a funny look. “What kind of questions?”

“He asked me where I came from.”

“And you know the answer, right?” Fer asked. “You told him the answer?”

“No. What is it? Do you know? Where did I come from?”

“You’ve always been here, silly,” said Fer.

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