The radiation fog enveloped us, moist to the touch as it caressed our faces. I ignored it; Violet pulled out a lacy handkerchief, one the color of her name, to cover her nose and mouth.
“Victor, does your-” She cut herself of, mindful of her singularity. “Do your eyes see it?” I ignored the slight and concentrated on her voice, muffled though it was. In the vast, silent grayness of the morning she sounded as clear as the church bell had tolled, back when the priest had still made his way here.
“Yes, they do, sister mine.” I nodded, tipping the brim of my cap a little. If I was lucky, it would keep the fog from settling on my right eye too much. For my left, which was already beyond help, I pulled a shiner out of my breast pocket and wiped until I could see details I hadn’t noticed before.
“That’s what we’ve been looking for. What we’ve been waiting for.”
I would have added that our dream stood majestically before us, but Violet would call me on my lie. Lies. The sailing vessel swayed in the cloud lit waves, anchored to a rotting, barnacle and moss covered pier. She might have been colored white under the sun’s eye, but right next to the dock shone a frosted slate, with darker patches of gray marring right above the Plimsol Line, showing that she was still a wayfarer.
“It is not the Crown Jewel, nor is it Seas’ Splendor, but it’s what we need.” She took a deep breath, and I steeled myself as I heard the telltale catch.
She turned to me, close enough that I could see the specks of silver that bloomed in her eyes.
“Is it alright? I can stop it now, if I need to.”There was a pause, a quivering in her words. “I think.”
I shook my head. Off in the distance, I heard something plop into the water.
“Just try to name it something that will get us out safely out of here.”
“You know it doesn’t work that way Victor.”
I knew. She knew that I knew. It was hard to forget the name that she’d given our older brother.
“It already has a name,” I pointed out. I had to. There was faint lettering on the back of the boat. I had to. “Elusive Destiny.”
“That was the name given to it,” Violet dismissed with a wave of her hand. The arrogance that accompanied it was why people thought she was the elder twin. “Her true name is Path of Mist.”
I didn’t move. Gentle lapping of waves against the rocks of our hiding place was the only thing that I could hear as I turned the phrase over and over in my mind.
“Path of Mist,” I repeated. “Does that mean we’re going to need to act quickly, as if our feet are on an insubstantial path? Or that the path we take is going to disappear when we need it the most?”
“I don’t know,” she replied, a touch acerbic. “I can control this about as well as I can control the thrumming of blood in my body.”
I sighed. She sighed. At our feet, the sea sighed with us.