‘SURPRISE!!’ Light suddenly invaded the eighty foot square living-room where the group raised their hands in the air to greet the birthday boy. As they came closer to hug him and wish him the best for the his next year of life, the latter let slip a smile. The night went by as they were chatting, drinking and playing bored games around the coffee table at the center of the room while Chester Bennington’s voice floated in the background. John’s pocket went into motion, startling him. He checked his phone and read:
From: James A
Found him. He’s pretty wounded. We’re here.
John stood up and taped on Chris’ shoulder. The two men stepped away for privacy. As he told the news to his friend, John observed with attention the latter’s reaction, but only his usual poker face appeared. ‘They’re home, by…’. John didn’t finish his sentence that a wind blew his hair and particles of dirt in a circle around a shape of Chris, ‘…now.’ The rest of the crew turned to him with interrogating looks on their faces. ‘All good. Nothing to worry about.’ John reassured them.
A second later, Chris appeared behind a tree, next to a broken lamppost. He took a breath, waited few more seconds, his eyes locked on the ground shifting from left to right quickly then walked into the light of the moon. His pace accelerated as he got closer to the maroon door. He checked one more time his surroundings before disappearing behind it. Once inside, a noise of glass attracted his attention to his left. As he approached the kitchen, he saw his old man serving himself a bowl of cereal while dark coffee dripped in a pot. The latter looked up to his son, a smile on his face. He slid the bowl to him, inviting him to sit down. Chris obeyed in silence, then Turner, in turn, took a seat in front of him. ‘Happy birthday’, he sweetly said. Another shy smile formed on Chris’ lips, quickly followed by a worried look when he noticed a stain on his father’s shirt. Miles Turner looked down then up: ‘It’s nothing. It will be gone by tomorrow.’ A silence passed. Chris’ expression hasn’t changed. ‘You’re so much like your mother.’ In an instant, the young man went from surprised to sadness, by way of half a second of happiness. ‘I’m fine, stop being so worried.’ Turner supported his son’s gaze until the latter returned to his birthday treat. After a while, Turner stood up, opened a drawer behind him, took a small box then put it on the counter, before sitting down. Chris looked successively at the wooden box then his father, who nodded. He opened it then looked back at his father, while tilting slightly his head. ‘It belonged to your mother’s family. She wanted to give it to you on your eighteenth birthday, but things got complicated.’ Turner gave a gently smile to his son, hoping the wound in him healed enough for them to speak about her, even just a little. Chris took a necklace out of the coffer: it was cold on its edges but warm in its heart. The pendant was carved naturally by ridges, more or less wide, with a black dot at its bottom. While Chris analyzed the object in his hands, Miles Turner analyzed his son and the interaction displaying before his eyes.
‘In 1962, Edward C.T. Chao, a geologist, discovered this mineral in a sample of Meteor Crater. It’s called stishovite, after the physicist who synthesized a year earlier.’ Jean Turner explained to her husband. ‘One of his assistant touched this piece and striations started to move slowly.’ She handed it to Miles, who took it. As soon as he went in contact with it, the striations in the rock went in motion and a black dot grew slightly bigger. Miles Turner gave an interrogative look to his wife who childishly smile at him. ‘The assistant was my mom. She sort of stole it and showed it to my dad. The same thing happened but at a different pace and the dot was smaller.’ Miles returned the stone to her. ‘We passed it to others but it seems to only react to our kind. We don’t know what this means exactly.’
‘She kept it with her at all time because she found it funny.’ Miles stared at his son, amused by the similarities they share. ‘It doesn’t do much. Just ridges moving to a certain pace, according to one’s capabilities.’ Chris looked up to his father.
‘It moves fast.’ He said in his broken voice. Miles smiled.
‘That’s how powerful you are.’
Chris put it around his neck and beneath his shirt. When the rock made contact with his skin, a warmth covered him. A strange feeling invaded his being, as if a constant gentle tornado stood next to him. He looked around, squinted his eyes, but nothing appeared. When the young man reached for the necklace, the feeling swiftly vanished, while the stone kept a stagnant heat. Miles Turner watched his son with tender eyes, his mind appeased by the other particularity of this mineral.
You felt it, haven’t you, Chris? Your mother’s presence.