I didn’t really know what I was doing, but that didn’t seem like a good reason not to try. –Rapunzel, Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale
The first time she tried to follow the broken thread she ended up lost somewhere in the Salt Flats. Alex had not been impressed.
“What in heaven’s name were you doing?!”
She hadn’t said anything, just continued to stare off into the distance where the thread continued to flap in the wind.
She didn’t even blink.
The thread was still as golden as it had been when her sister had first noticed it. Star had always been the first to notice that kind of thing and then try and do something about it. When Mary was Comet, she had been more intrigued about the people then about the strings that had always floated from their fingers off into the distance.
She continued to ignore Alex and stared at the one thread that had always been on her finger, the end clearly visible.
“Mary, what is wrong with you?!”
“Maybe,” she whispered to herself, “If I keep double checking old areas I’ll be able to find the other half.”
“Mary,” Alex sounded like he was barely holding on to his temper, “Would you please explain to me why you vanished three days ago and I found you in the middle of the Salt Flats?”
The anger and worry in his voice made it sharp and cruel sounding. (Alex had never been very good at vocalizing his worry for someone; it always came out like he was mocking them in some way.)
Mary didn’t even look at him as she finally answered, “I’m trying to find my purpose, Alex, that’s all.”
Alex opened his mouth to snarl something, but at the last moment paused and looked more closely at her eyes. They were glazed over and slightly feverish looking; her brow was damp as well. Alex lifted a hand and placed it on her forehead.
Mary didn’t even flinch at the sudden coolness, just closed her eyes and leaned into it.
Alex didn’t bother trying to find out just how high her temperature was; all he needed to know was that it was high enough to cause serious worry and that he needed to get her into an ice bath yesterday.
“I have to keep trying,” Mary murmured as Alex gathered her into his arms. She didn’t resist as he pushed her head down against his neck, frowning when he felt the intensity of her fever through his dress shirt. “Just because I can already see the cut ends of my thread doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t keep trying to find my purpose at the end of it.”