Nani swore when she realised what ailed her grandson. She should have seen it sooner.
"Where is your shadow?" she asked.
He had given it to a mysterious, beautiful girl he met at the Midsummer dance.
"Did she pay?" Nani asked.
"She kissed me."
"You fool," Nani shook her head. "Your shadow is your anchor in this world."
No wonder the lad was growing vague and wan.
He had missed one chance of reclaiming it, at the autumn equinox. And now he was too far gone.
She sighed. "I'll get it."
The gates never quite close, but at the four balance points of the year they open widest.
So. She had until dawn tomorrow.
Nani packed a satchel, put on skis, and set off. The only gate she knew of was a mile away. She hoped it was the right one.
The gate was at a waterfall, a step out from the edge. Nani leaned her skis against a tree and saw a black cat watching her.
She looked at the stepping stones along the edge, and the spray of icy water around them.
"Want a ride?" she asked the cat.
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