She's at work, cutting potatoes to accompany someone's beef: little cubes with sharp edges that will be softened by cooking. Her hand moves smoothly and regularly holding the knife. She's done it a million times. She knows the blade. She knows the moves. She knows her hands.
Only suddenly they are not her hands anymore. They have slender, longer fingers closing around something bigger and much more accurate, much more lethal than her knife.
The weight is different too. She sees it, in the way the hands are holding it. But she can't feel it, can't feel how those hands feel, because she has never done that, never held anything like that. She watches them grow tenser, a finger closing, slowly. But just before it reaches the end of its trip, that finger changes once more, everything changes once more.
These hands are even slimmer, younger. Long fingers holding a bow and pressing strings to create something that reverberates through the body. Clark's body, not hers. She has only caught a peek at what he feels while listening to him. She has never been part of the creation itself. She's so proud of her son.
But the trip hasn't reached its end yet and so the vision changes once more, forces years on those delicate hands, creating new calluses, marking them with experience.
It changes what he's holding too, but in an unexpected move that part of the vision doesn't go forward, it goes back, back to that terrible black thing that required so much strength to be held , to be mastered, strength of the body, but mostly strength of the soul, and in a second the finger complete its ark and the trigger is pressed and she's trembling, while her soul chants no, no, no over and over again, shaking like a tree in the middle of a terrible storm. Percentages, numbers run through her mind: how many officers' offspring take up the uniform themselves? Does the percentage change when the father or mother dies on the job? Numbers she doesn't know. Figures she knows by heart. Lists-"
She has cut another line of little cubes. Her hands soft, cooked by the contact with the vegetable. The knife still firm in her grip. She looks up, her stare sliding from the potatoes to the table surface, down the floor, up to the wall, and then turning slightly to the left to bring Roger into focus.
The tempest is still going on, the wind howling over any answer her brain might be trying to yell at her.
"Let's hurry up with those potatoes. You need to start on the first courses."
She nods. He turns. She wonders if he knows how grateful she is.
A final line of cubes and the potatoes are done. With a swift swipe they all fall into the pan. First courses today are Italian style. That's good. She likes cooking Italian. She likes the smell of basil.
She locks the window and draws the curtains. Maybe the storm will be over by the time she's prepared a few Carbonaras.