Eternity's Wheel

Eternity's Wheel by Neil Gaiman Read Free Book Online

Book: Eternity's Wheel by Neil Gaiman Read Free Book Online
Authors: Neil Gaiman
still sounded crazy. My plan was to pick up as many untrained recruits as I could and go head-to-head with the worst baddies in the universe— both of them—with no backup or plan B. No matter which way you looked at it, it was both insane and suicidal.
    But it was also my only option.
    â€œOkay,” she said abruptly. “Let’s do it.”
    I just looked at her.
    â€œWhat?” she said finally, her tone and posture ratcheting up a notch. “Isn’t that the answer you wanted to hear?”
    No , I thought unwillingly. To tell the truth, I’d never really thought about whether she’d agree or not. There was never an option in my mind. The plan had been to find Josephine,convince her to help me, take her back to base, then go find all the others and do the same. The fact that she’d agreed to fight in a war she hadn’t even known about until five minutes ago made me feel sick, like I was knowingly sending her into a minefield without a map.
    In a way, that’s exactly what I was doing.
    â€œYeah,” I said, but I don’t think she believed me. I know I didn’t.

    G ETTING J OSEPHINE TO AGREE to let Hue take us into the future was easier than I thought it would it be. Getting her to actually do it, however, was harder.
    â€œNo way,” she said adamantly, watching the way Hue rippled over my body like a suit of Silly Putty.
    â€œIt just feels a little weird,” I insisted. “It doesn’t hurt.”
    â€œI don’t care if it feels weird, I don’t want that thing that close to me.”
    â€œHis name is Hue,” I said, pushing down my temper. “And he’s a friend of mine, and he’s helping us. You don’t have to do anything except trust me, okay?”
    She fell silent, a muscle twitching in her jaw. She was only willing to trust me so far.
    â€œLook,” I said, taking a step closer. Josephine drew back but didn’t step away. I held out my hand. After a hesitationthat started to grind on my nerves—we didn’t have time for this—she took it.
    Go to her, Hue , I said silently. Slowly. She’s scared . With Hue wrapped around me like a second skin, I’d found we could communicate without speaking. At least, inasmuch as I could ever communicate with Hue; he seemed to understand basic language (several different ones, in fact), but sometimes there were concepts or nuances that confused him. Or he just ignored me; it was hard to tell.
    The Hue putty began to flow down over my arm, toward our hands. I felt her fingers tighten in mine and a resistance like she wanted to pull away, but I held her firmly. Hue moved over our fingers, slowly covering her hand to the wrist. There he stopped, waiting.
    â€œIt does feel weird,” she said, though she didn’t seem as spooked.
    â€œYeah,” I agreed. “Like Silly Putty, right?”
    â€œLike what?”
    â€œNever mind.” I sighed. This was a common cultural difference with para-incarnations of myself. Even though both our worlds had McDonald’s, there was nothing saying that whoever had invented something like Silly Putty in my world had also done it in hers.
    â€œIt’s kind of like Putty Dough, I guess,” she said.
    Close enough. “Sure,” I agreed, still holding her hand.“Now, trust me , okay? We’re going to do exactly what I said. You have to get closer to me so that Hue can cover us both; he’s not that big. Then I’m going to Walk. You’ll understand it when you feel it.”
    â€œFine,” she said shortly, like she was agreeing before she could change her mind. I stepped forward, putting my arms around her shoulders, while hers settled somewhat hesitantly around my waist.
    Honestly, I wasn’t really sure how this was going to work. I didn’t know if Hue needed to be covering Josephine as well, or if I just needed to be touching her. All I knew was that the

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