When the rain got worse, the two of them returned within the walls. Aziraphale had to report back and he was certain Crawly had somewhere else to be as well, but neither of them wanted to make the trip in such weather, so they waited it out in the garden.
Aziraphale was slightly aware that he should have gone anyway. To tell people about Crawly being here and being the tempting one and all, but the rest of him decided that the truth of the matter wouldn’t change no matter how far out the report was, so he might as well make sure he looked the part for when he did tell the others exactly what it was that went down.
Continue reading “The First Day Of” →
How War’s presence called for battle! And that was even before Shu-fang turned to look at her. She stood at seven feet, with blazing red hair falling down from her open faced helmet, contrasted against pale skin littered with scars. Mementos of her labours. Shu-fang knew that most of them War had seen coming and had allowed them anyway.
Shu-fang remained calm and let War advance upon her. War stopped many lengths in front of her, looking down upon the much shorter woman. “What is going on?”
Shu-fang sighed. “What do you mean? That is a very open question.”
War scowled. “With you! I might not have gone searching for you just yet except for your message.”
Of course War would not understand the concept of retirement. War was constant. There was no pause in her eyes. Even when one confrontation ended for mortals, she was already in another one. Even now, standing in front of Shu-fang without any show of violence toward the immortal, she was a part of something greater.
Their toast was interrupted by a man. Though that might have been too polite, in Azzah’s opinion. It was Hasani, coming up from Reem’s side.
“Look, it’s the doubled spears.”
There was nothing inherently wrong with what the young man said, but the tone of his voice made Azzah know that it wasn’t meant as fact or compliment. She fixed him with a sharp look.
Reem whispered into her ear. “He’s had a little too much. Not everyone can handle their nights well, eh?”
Azzah nodded and said nothing.
“I don’t understand what you both do.” The boy sounded legitimately confused, his words trying to figure it out. Azzah didn’t know whether to look at him or not, but as Reem sipped from her bowl without looking, Azzah followed her example. “As spears, shouldn’t you be fighting? If you are good spears, that’s what you’d be doing. Driving away those Unclean.”
Azzah’s temper rose up. She felt her spear against her back, crying out to defend against such insult. A year ago she would have blamed his youth, but it was too late. He should have known better. His muscles were that of an adult now, not of a child, defined by sweat from having lingered close by a fire on a warm night. All to remind her, in her rising fury, there was no excuse.
But Reem did nothing, so neither did Azzah. She stared down into her bowl, watching the liquid shake slowly from side to side. Eventually she noted that came from her hands, clasping the side of the bowl too tight.
She sniffed. “Question?”
“Answer,” he replied, closing the back gate.
Pointing at his car, she eventually got his attention. “Your secret number is 024, isn’t it?”
“Do you have to say it out loud?” He wasn’t particularly bothered.
“Why is it your license plate?”
They both stared at it. “Company car.”
She scoffed. “Less sense. Why would they out you?”
“Hey. Your car has the numbers 007 on it. You’re not James Bond.”
“I’m also not a spy at all,” she reminded him.
But their time was up, so they got in the car and moved on.
Two days later and Lori realized that she had become a little more than obsessed with trying to find the girl.
Perhaps she was just worried for no reason. It had nothing to do with her, after all. The girl could have found another place to be, after all. She might have just been sick, staying home. Many reasons.
No one seemed to know the girl’s name. Lori felt rather badly about that. She had stopped by so often, listened, maybe even once or twice put in some spare bills into that open case. Yet she had never talked to her, not even once. Not to say anything about the music or anything.
What was her name?
“Excuse me? Miss?”
Donald gave his best customer service smile. “What can I do for you?”
“I’m sorry.” The woman hesitated. “I actually just wanted to ask you if you remember the girl that was always on the corner.”
Donald looked out through the window of the restaurant to the corner the woman suggested. He knew exactly who she was talking about. He didn’t know her name, of course, but she had been there almost every single time that he had been working. When the door would open and someone would come in, he could hear the guitar from across the street, barely from over the sound of the traffic.
Now that he thought about it, it had been a couple days since he had seen her there. That was odd.
He nodded. “I remember her. What is it? What about her?”
She didn’t look like she knew what to say at this point. “I was just wondering if you knew where she went?”
It was then that Donald considered that something might have been wrong.
Queen of the Universe, may I ask you something?
Unless I missed an important answer while we all fought,
everything is made of sand and we cling
simultaneously to every grain without conscious thought.
This is what I wish to ask:
is it true that time occurs in all states? Synchronously
open in a sense we can’t yet reach, in a phase with a mask
no one has yet seen through. Like time, everyone is ineffably
singular, so how can such a term encompass all?