He turned and Hal followed him not understanding a word he said. But Hal felt something in his breath, and something changed within him and partially outside his being. He felt something shift, as if a layer stretched through his mind and outside Hal’s body. Hal could touch this “layer” somehow, he just knew he could, but how Hal didn’t know. Hal reached out mentally with it while Sean kept talking about how he was useless and would never understand.
That was when the dream from the River slipped into Hal. An image of Sean’s death came to him, and Hal cradled it lovingly as if it were an infant needing protecting from the cold. It was right and it was pure, and Hal brought it out of the stream of clear consciousness he had somehow connected to. Hal saw Sean clutching his chest and falling to the frozen earth dead, and he unleashed the dream to whatever current it had come from.
Sean turned around and gazed at Hal intently in the eye. “You killed me,” he muttered.
“Die!” Hal replied with detached interest.
With that spoken Sean clutched his heart and fell to the ground. Hal didn’t know how he did it, but he knew he did it and could do it again, like suddenly controlling the muscles needed to move the ears without moving the facial features… like having some forgotten name on the tip of his tongue when suddenly full remembrance comes crashing through.
Hal knelt beside Sean and placed his hand upon Sean’s shoulder. “You killed… me… you, bastard!” Sean gasped when he spoke, and Hal sadly shook his head at him.
“You killed yourself,” Hal informed him knowingly with the sudden knowledge of being a shaman. “For nothing happens to any of us unless we dream it.”
Sean smiled and grimaced through his pain while clutching his heart, and his final words began to tumble out: “I taught you well!”
“How could you teach something that cannot be taught?” Hal replied with a smile.
“You killed me, you bastard!” He choked.
“The dream came from the River,” Hal replied. “It was already there; I merely plucked it out.”
“And in the p-process… became a shaman!”
Sean died with a smile upon his face. Hal rose and left his body there. He had no intention of burying it.
“The wolves will feed well tonight,” Hal said with a smile.
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