Home. It was a word he had often heard, but had never felt. For the word Home, is just as much an emotion, as it is a place. It is just as much spiritual and emotional, as it is physical. And as much physical pain as he had experienced in his lifetime, all of it and more, could never be the equivalent to the pain of never having, never feeling, home.
Yet, there he stood. On the bow of the ship that was sailing across the sky, taking him where he had never been; taking him home.
The rudder of the ship cut through clouds and daylight like they were barely there at all. The wind filled the sails and the ship sailed on at a lazy speed. Other passengers walked about. Many of them returning passengers who had ridden the Skye Boat many a time, others were frightened. They wore amusing expressions on their faces as the ship sailed over top continents, and stars, and galaxies.
Thaddeus, too, was afraid, but his many years of hardship and struggle under the curse had at least taught him the ability to hide his emotions behind a metal mask. As he stood, one foot on the floor, one foot against the wood of the mast, he realized all that he had really learned and experienced. He was experiencing what the Riverman had called, “The Epiphany”, the moment when you realize just exactly what you have suffered through, and why. Smiling then, letting one expression slip through his steel, trap-like lips.
Soon all the people on board, crew and passengers began scurrying about the deck. All the sails were being opened and every hand was needed up top to await their approach to the Truth. Truth was a shield, invisible until approached. Everyone knew about that the Truth was real, but no one was sure where it existed. Truth would surprise you when you least expected it, and it alone could reveal who you truly were on the inside, as well as making it present on the outside for all the world to see.
Truth was what Thaddeus had been waiting for. In the next moments to come, Truth would reveal who he really was. The Curse had led him to be many things: human, machine... Although he had been these things, facing the Truth and who he really was, was indeed the most frightening thing he had ever faced to this day. The Riverman was right, coming home was the most terrifying moment of his life, and there he stood, at the end of the boat, the first one to face the Truth.