The queen of the universe, trapped behind a cracked and dusty glass, so close and yet just out of reach. Trapped, but by what? By whom?
Fragmented pieces of Lamont’s dream were coming back to him as if rubble and shards of multicolored glass were lifting themselves from the dust and returning themselves to the places from which they had fallen; a video reel run backward. The final piece to settle into place was her eye, so small and so far away from where he stood among the ruins of the pews, and yet so deep in its speckled purple darkness that he felt as if it was drawing him in. She seemed to look directly at him, her softly glowing features a chalice of infinite things. Infinite grace, infinite patience, infinite sadness. She was trapped there, Lamont realized. The queen of the universe, trapped behind a cracked and dusty glass, so close and yet just out of reach. Trapped, but by what? By whom?
By me! he realized. It was as if the answer had been whispered in his ear by the floating dust. I’m keeping her there.
“Hail Mary, full of grace, blessed art thou…”
“Blessed art thou…”
He began to babble, his vision blurring with tears. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry, I can’t remember.”
And then the ground began to shake. As if the tape had been reset, debris shook loose from the vaulted skeleton of the ceiling, its bony columns creaking ominously.
“Oy! Monty! Snap out of it, man!”
The journalist was being shaken forcefully. Rosemary’s small hands had a vice-like grip on his shoulders. He was suddenly looking into her round, green eyes, The depths of longing that had been drawing him in were replaced by an expression of concern and consternation.
“Wh-what?” He asked, confused. “What happened?”
“That’s what I’d like to know,” Rosemary countered, loosening her grip, but not letting go. “What were you seeing just now?”
“Yeah,” Constance chimed in, peering over Rosemary’s head and folding her arms. “And who’s Mary?”