It rained in both worlds on the night Scott Dyson became the Interloper.
The clouds above the city seemed to writhe and strike at each other like duelling serpents. Then came a thunderclap, borne from the impact of colliding worlds and Scott Dyson—not yet the Interloper—was awake.
Lightning flashed, letting light through the arched bedroom windows and burning the shapes of the garden onto the back of his eyes with hideous intensity. He touched the bed, but his hand found only the gentle indentations that she had left; lingering warmth, already fading.
Something shattered. Scott lurched out of bed and dressed quickly; automatically. He squashed his feet into his sneakers but didn’t tie the laces. He called her name into the darkness and pulled a jacket across his shoulders.
Scott moved into the corridor. At that moment it felt like nothing existed beyond it, except for the storm. Rain struck the roof like hoof beats: pounding, pounding, thundering. He saw a glass vase smashed on the floor, darkness pooled around it.
Lightning flashed again, illuminating the front door. It was open and swinging. Rain sluiced in, wetting the carpet.
Scott went to the door and looked out onto the street. The storm howled back at him. He lingered there, as though some invisible membrane prevented him from stepping through. Or perhaps he simply needed more time to summon the courage that one small step required.
The door slammed closed behind him and there was no going back. Between the hedges the iron gate was open and screeching in the wind. Beyond the garden, the street had been dismantled and rearranged so that he could only follow in one direction.
Rubbish bins had been overturned and cars had been tipped onto their sides. Trees were upended from the earth, their branches hopelessly tangled and bound again by electrical cables that thrashed and crackled.
Fragments of paper whipped around Scott’s ankles; detrius of memory.
It was as though Jocelyn had exerted some magnetic force on these objects as she’d passed, dragging and pushing them aside. And now Scott too was drawn along in her wake. He treaded through puddles and noticed that the wind carried an unlikely mixture of scents—dirt and sulphur and extravagant flowers, half-rotted. The storm pushed back at him and his clothes grew heavy as he was drenched with rain.
Scott “Billy” Dyson—still not yet the Interloper—kept walking.