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Our Little Talks

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Hey!

Kronii walked through the old and empty halls. Luscious carpeting and rich mahogany wood panelled the walls. A grandfather clock ticked gently somewhere else in the labyrinth of hallways. Beautifully framed pictures, posters and paintings hugged the walls. Kronii spared only brief glances at them.

It was much too painful to dwell on subject matter.

If she closed her eyes, she could almost feel her friends walking beside her, they’d walked this way so many times together. She felt like Mumei was holding her hand, like she had for thousands of years.

The old wooden stairs creaked, and the walls settled. The Warden seemed to notice these sounds a lot more now that the place was a lot quieter and lonelier. They had been keeping Kronii up at night, not by the noise. No. But they reminded Kronii of the times when all she could hear was snoring and deep rhythmic breathing from her best friends.

In the mornings, Kronii struggled to get dressed. Her routine forcing her to remember the countless times Bae had brought breakfast to bed, or when she and Sana brushed their teeth together. Or the good morning kisses she shared with the loveable owl. Her one and only Mumei. Her wife.

Hey!

Sometimes she heard voices in the back of her head, telling her that they missed their little talks.

Maybe they were waiting for her. Or she was waiting for them. She didn’t know what was what anymore. They told her to let go, they would meet again soon.

She dreamt of a dreary beach, dull, muted waves crashed on the sand before her, dead trees and withering grass behind. Her friends were always standing beyond the shoreline, floating out to sea and yelling at her.

“HEY!” They’d shout.

One by one, they disappeared beyond the horizon, in the same order they had gone from her in the waking world. She would wake crying to the ghosts of their touches, their words.


Day by day, Kronii carried on with her duties to guarding time, although since the Humans had indirectly killed her friends and then themselves, there wasn’t really anything for her to protect time from anymore.

Sometimes her job was just spending time flicking pens and drowning in grief and loneliness.

Some days she dusted the empty rooms and made her bed which was one size too big for just herself.

Her gloved fingers fingered an unframed polaroid of her hugging Mumei around the shoulder, Fauna, Sana and Bae crowded around them. Their first group photo after she started dating Mumei.

Kronii smiled a small, sad smile as her eyes welled up again.

Somewhere, the hall’s timber architecture creaked, and a gong of the grandfather clock sounded.

Kronii wiped her eyes and went back to work.

Hey!


She watched as the Earth slowly recovered from what the Humans had done to it. She watched as the ugly structures that floated around the solar system got ground up by asteroids and the atmospheres of planets.

Then one night, her recurring dream changed. There were only three people standing in the tide that drifted them slowly beyond the horizon.

“HEY!”

Kronii awoke to incessant ringing of bells from the council halls. She tossed off the blankets and thundered out the bedroom. She dashed through creaking halls without paying mind to caution.

She choked up as soon as she busted open the grand polished doors to the main hall. Before the high tables at the front of the room stood a short, red-headed, rat-eared Bae.

“Hey,” Bae said delicately

Kronii barely hesitated before crashing her body into the rat. A rare display of physical affection made even rarer in the aeon since she had been alone in the old, empty halls.

She cried tears of joy and relief as she felt Bae hug her back. The Warden of Time babbled inherent nonsense as Bae patted her head.

“Hey,” she mumbled into the shorter girl’s chest.


Over time Sana also returned as the vestiges of corruption broke down and disappeared. Kronii also cried big tears then, reuniting with another of her best friends.

The planet healed and life began flourishing again. They all hugged and cried as a group when Fauna was reborn from the literal ashes of Earth.

Little by little, the creaking of the halls and the voices at the back of Kronii’s head diminished to the sound of the others living in the halls once more. The Council was almost complete again.

Kronii grieved a lot less and smiled much more.

The single voice in the back of her head was telling her to let go.

Kronii still had regular dreams where Mumei appeared on the beach, yelling at her.

“HEY!”


Many million years had passed. And Kronii was still holding on. She would never let go. She was the Warden of Time. She would wait forever if she had to because she had all the time in the world.

 

One day, Kronii, Sana, Fauna and Bae gathered in the council room to watch as the first human tribe settled around a campfire for the first time in almost a hundred million years.

A small ruffle of fabric prompted everyone to turn around.

Kronii sighed a sigh of a thousand emotions as she saw her favourite golden-brown eyes and owl feathers adorning perfect chocolate hair.

“Oh, hi!” Mumei said, with a shy smile on her face.

As Kronii took the first step towards the owl, the creaking stopped. The halls fell silent, except for the ticking of the clock. The faces on the pictures seemed to smile brighter.

Kronii’s eyes overflowed with tears as she clasped her wife’s face between her shaking hands.

“Do you know how long you made me wait?”

 

This ship will carry our bodies safe to shore.