Riordan exhaled sharply. It was the cusp of dawn on the cusp of autumn, a hallowed interval when summer and autumn poised motionless on the point of a knife, when the future hung suspended and irresolute. Through the ebb and flow of tension rose a light, excited feeling of anticipation, like the heartbeat of stilled breath before an arrow is released. In that moment, time always slowed, as though pondering a new course.
And today, of all days—the day for remembering his birth and celebrating his marriage—he wondered where the arrow would fall, and what it would change.