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Peregrine could no longer ignore the gate. For years it had dogged her, in one place or another. Dark alleyways, the ends of long corridors—her own home—wherever she least expected. Once or twice the gate had materialized right in front of her and she’d tripped over herself to get away. It always vanished after a few moments, but she knew it would come back. It pursued her.
It was frustrating and humiliating, how that shabby little gate disturbed her. She’d first seen it at the age of 12 when her grandmother died. It had not seemed so frightening then, but later it had taken on a horrifying significance.
She would be doing the most ordinary things—washing dishes at the sink, having a drink with friends, walking to work—when she’d remember something. Maybe her grandmother’s words, something she’d read, or a question that niggled in the back of her mind…and then she’d see it. She’d see the gate and the path beyond it. For one wild moment, she'd panic in irrational fear, but she knew that if she walked away, the haunting image would fade and her uneasy peace return.