I knew before I looked that I shouldn’t. And I knew as soon as I had that I would wish I hadn’t. But I thought that if one was determined enough, if one possessed enough strength of will, one could somehow force the stone to show the truth, the future that would be. I was so certain. But as soon as I looked I knew how impossible such an idea was.
The stone is cool to the touch at first, surprisingly so. I am expecting heat, thinking of everything I’ve been told and all I’ve read. There is always the fire. And then in a moment I feel the heat, a tingling in my fingertips. I am looking at the stone and it’s bright, its surface glossy, like colored glass with dark striations. It’s heavy, too, but not so heavy I cannot pick it up. It is the loveliest thing I ever seen.
And then I see.
I see a deep dark cave lit by what light filters in, warm and sunny in the morning when the sun shines straight on, and eerie blue when the moon is full. There are markings on the walls, scratches and lines that mean nothing to me. Yet I know they mean something.
And deeper still the cavern, illuminated by fire, and I can see the flames wavering like tiny thin dancers. The flames form a circle and within it I can the see the stone; the Amber Stone. And I know it is as it was. Before.
I remember the tale, the tale of the five brothers and the one who went into the fire after the stone. Had he looked at it when he clutched it to him? Surely he must have. But what had he seen? Had he seen the truth? Or had he only seen maybes?
The tingling in my fingers becomes more intense and the image of the fire and the cave and the stone is suddenly replaced with multiple images, like memories, except that none of these things have happened yet and I know these are all just possibilities, future maybes. All I am seeing is this-is-where-you’ll-be, maybe. Anything I do or don’t do from that moment on will determine my future.