“…what she wanted was something money couldn’t buy.”
“Happiness?” Ruby asked.
Olivia shook her head. “No, she wanted satisfaction.”
“Aren’t they the same thing?” Ruby asked.
“Not necessarily,” Olivia answered.
[Author’s Note: This is an excerpt from the Year of the Numen]
Synopsis: On the threshold of old age, Avery and Olivia renewed their friendship after thirty years. Due to scheduling conflicts, they find themselves calling each other during Olivia’s morning excursion by shuttle to her new job. Over time, the regulars on the shuttle become involved in their daily conversation.
Avery, a writer, now working as a TV news editor in New York, admits he is bored with his work. Olivia, his cousin, encourages him to return to writing. He says he’s out of ideas. She reminds him how they used to create stories together when they were children. Avery asks her to begin a new story. Olivia obliges him with the tale of The Year of the Numen.
The Memory Palace and Clotho’s Song
Monday morning on the shuttle –
“Should we make it a garden or a cave?” Avery asked soon after Olivia answered her phone.
“I think it should be a temple,” she said.
“Because they’re goddesses, Avery.”
“Oh, yeah, right. But how should we mark it out? We can’t go back to the field…” Avery’s voice trailed off.
“No, we can’t do that,” Olivia agreed. “We need to make something else. I don’t know. It’s been so long since I used a memory palace that I’m out of practice. I’m sorry to tell you that I became convinced for a time that it was an evil thing.”
“What? How did that happen?” Avery asked.
“Well, you have to admit it’s a common practice in the occult,” she replied, lowering her voice so that Ruby did not hear her.