Drift

He's slipping. He can feel it. His fragile tower of stability is crumbling, so recently rebuilt, yet rickety and brittle enough that the pieces are being swept up in a current of confusion and carried away.

Who he is…where, when, what, why… Everything's leaving him, as if draining away in the sweat dripping from his pores and the sharp bursts of breath escaping his lungs. It had all seemed so clear moments ago – was it seconds? Minutes? Hours? – yet whatever fire had been raging in his head had flared up again. The eye of the storm had passed over him, cooling the fever for a few precious days, but now he was emerging on the other side and the winds were buffeting him more violently than ever. Everything he'd thought he understood, thought he could see clearly, was receding behind a veil of fog. The connections between Garrett Jacob Hobbs and the copycat murders were unravelling, yet as he tried to piece them back together it felt like cutting himself on the edges of the puzzle, and the harder he tried to force them into place the more it hurt as they pulled away.

He knows there's some kind of clarity beyond the haze. There's the face of a murderer he's sure he could see, if only he could hold onto a sense of chronology and reality, yet the slippery, diaphanous fabric of time is slipping through his grasp. It evades him again, leaving behind an empty void that he can't fill with memory or sense. It's like trying to snatch a gulp of air while being tossed about on an endless ocean in a tropical storm, yet he can't distinguish between himself and the water as the waves wash over him.

When he surfaces, all he knows is that he's sat alone in the leather seat of an airplane, cold and sticky from his own sweat, and a stranger is asking him to leave although he doesn't remember how he got here in the first place. He can tell the plane is on the ground, yet he's so far from grounded it makes him dizzy. It takes him a moment to gather the scattered pieces of himself, and recall the last real thing he can remember. Abigail's face beneath a crown of antlers comes to him, and as the details of his most recent memories replay, tides of fear rise up around him.

The icy waters of panic begin to creep their way into his mind, and Will reaches out desperately for a rock or mooring, but there's no comforting words of calm assurance, delivered in a soft and familiar Danish accent, to keep him steady. He's alone on a sea of madness, and he's drifting.