A summons came from his hometown.

" A letter for Sir Henry Merrow," a page said, bowing and presenting it to him.

It felt awkward to have someone treat him like that, but he accepted the letter anyway.

He opened it, and read.

It was from his mother, asking him to return for the town's annual snowmelt festival.

... He hadn't seen her all winter, and he was worried about her health. Worried that any moment, this iteration of the world would remember she was already supposed to be dead. That the demon army would sweep through.

... It wouldn't be fair to leave Ornstein in the harshness of his illness, but his mother was sick too. She was his mother.

He remembered holding her hand, singed and bloodied, as she passed away, and his stomach lurched.

He couldn't leave her alone.