It had been so long. Now, though, it was time for Will to come home.

Silence crept stealthily around Will; his footsteps seemed to echo precariously with every footfall, darkness seizing everything around him - morphing it into the worst possible of things. Several times, Will found himself mistaking his eerie shadow as it slid around his side as a Scepter, but every time he was relieved to realize that it was no such thing. Really, Will was frightened. He had been told not to do this, never to commit to finding his way back to Lyra, but every day he knew that he was closer and closer to snapping, and finally, he had.

He had mindlessly been cleaning the Trophies in the schools' "lobby" when he mistook the reflection of a fellow student as his very own daemon, with Lyra and her own waving in the distance. Whirling around, he cried out to her - but alas, neither heard the other. Instead, he heard the other children mocking him relentlessly. It had been that way since, and Will did not intend to tolerate it. Will could not help but find himself musing constantly over every instant he thought of Lyra - which indeed was nearly every moment.

He was grown now, a sturdy fifteen-year old. Still, he could not direct his attention away from his lover of the past, Lyra. Every thought that came through his mind included her in one way, and right now, he was thinking of going back to her. Concealed within his small backpack was the Knife that had changed his life forever - the Subtle Knife - and he was prepared to use it this day.

Will did not care if he was breaking every promise he had made to the Witches - they themselves must understand that he could not survive without Lyra - even if death claimed him prematurely in his life. Tears slid down his cheeks as he hid in the Botanical Gardens, waiting for them to close down for the night. Checking his watch, he knew that they would close their doors soon; no more tourists flooded the area as they had earlier that afternoon. It was well past dusk, and only darkness loomed as the birds fluttered overhead, snoozing & playing in constant intervals. Surely soon the last worker would step out of the large dome - surely!

Still, there was yet a small light protruding from one of the doors that led to a separate room. Will was beginning to wonder if it was just an experimental lab or whatnot, where the lives were constantly kept on, when the door creaked open, and a frail women peered out restlessly.

"Good, good, they hath all departed. 'Tis time, 'tis time my dear Toseamarie. We hath waited long for this moment, and now it is staring us in the face, aye, aye Toseamarie."

Her voice was raspy, heavy, and somehow intriguing. Will found himself immediately at risk, and wondered if he should make the cut at once. Who was she speaking to, and for what reason? Still, her silhouette loomed in the doorway, constantly weary of something - somewhere. Will held his breath somewhat, closing his eyes. Something about her disgusted him, and reminded him of something. Suddenly, it struck him. In that very instant, she spoke again, somewhat startled herself.

"Toseamarie, someone is here."

Will's eyes opened wide.