The first time Jack sees it is on the night he wakes in the pond. He sits perched in the top of the tallest tree next to the water, his back pressed against the tree trunk, hands clutching the staff lying across his lap.
His gaze hasn't left the lights of the tiny town since he fled, torn between wanting to get far away from the people who looked right through him, yet feeling as though he could never leave. He tries not to think too much about anything and watches the steady lights in the distance for hours, their glow both comforting and condemning.
As the lights slowly flicker out, hiding the town from view, Jack decides that he doesn't much like the dark and the emptiness it brings. He sits a while longer and almost decides to leave when he sees it: a shimmering gold strand twisting through the sky straight towards the little village. It splits as it gets closer, spreading into thin tendrils that wind their way through the darkness.
He's on his feet in an instant, crouched precario