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Sunday, 16 September 2012

Blog 98: Bound Together

She stood waiting impatiently, arms crossed. He was late. The grey dust beneath her stirred into a small cloud by her ankles as she paced, grinding her teeth as she walked in circles. A shooting star crossed the sky, accelerating. She watched it draw closer, the fiery ball of death glowing through sheer velocity. She stepped back to avoid its collision path.

The shooting star hit the surface like a bomb, sending dust and debris flying in every direction and creating a cloud that rose before her, obscuring the sky above as well as the earth below like mist. A shadow emerged from the cloud, humanoid, brushing off the dust as it walked towards her, smiling.
“You're late.” She said coldly, arms still folded.
“And you're beautiful.” He countered, reaching out to take her hand. She pulled away and turned her back to him.
“I've waited long enough for you.” She said, eyes closed, walking away.
“Then don't waste more time being mad over a few moments.” He followed her but didn't try to stop her walking. He wasn't going to play that game.
“Why are you here?” She asked, baiting him as she continued walking.
“For you, am I wasting my time? Should I go?” He kept pace with her and kept his distance.
“That depends on what you want doesn't it.” He sighed, long bored of the game.
“If you're going to play this game you'll be playing it here alone. I'll go.” She stopped.
“Did you have to cover me in dust?” He looked at the pale grey flesh of her back, like the stone of the moon beneath their feet. He knew every freckle and pour of that skin better than his own. Hair like flowing silver hung down over her shoulders.
“I wanted to make a big entrance; it's been so long since we've seen each other. I was just showing off. Sorry.”
“An apology, that's more like it.” She turned, poker-faced some silver hair almost hiding her dark eyes. Those eyes told the story of her life, all you had to do was look. The hard part for him was looking away.
“You look as magnificent as ever.” The smallest smile showed briefly until she suppressed it.
“Magnificent is an odd complement but I thank you.” He stifled a smirk that she'd not taken the opportunity to complement him, typical.
“Glorious, divine, exquisite? Like any of those?” She let him approach and rest his hands on her shoulders.
“You look well enough yourself.” She smiled. He faked a gasp of insult and turned his back to her.
“Is that all? I think I should go.” She frowned.
“Maybe you should.” She said deadpan before jumping on his shoulders.
“How long has it been?” He asked, wondering if she'd counted as precisely as he had.
“Two hundred and fifty thousand of that planet years.” She pointed to the watery planet below.
“A day would have been too long.” He said, sombrely. As they touched however the dull, stony sheen of their skin was lost to the glow of their joy. He ran, leaving footprints on the surface of the dusty rock that would remain for millennia. They became gaseous forms, almost translucent and glowing violet and green and blue magenta and white.

“I've heard there's life down there.” He said during a brief moment of inactivity. “Brand new.”
“I don't care.” She said, dismissing the miracle and kissing him. He soon forgot about it as well.

Time passed while the two of them concentrated only on each other. The stars spun within their galaxies, worlds spun around their central star, the moons around their planet and they were oblivious to it all. When they thought of time they wished for it to stop while they were there in each other's arms, together again.
“You'll wait again wont you? I'll see you again?” She squeezed his arm to reassure him.
“Of course Cepheus, don't fear the distance. Just sleep through your sentry and wake promptly.”
“It's too long without you each time, sometimes I think we should just leave and never return.”
“We have duties, I hate it as much as you but this universe is a complex and fragile system, each cog has to spin the right way in the right place.”
“We should have been a binary cluster.” He said miserably. “At least then I'd be closer to you.”
“Don't waste the time we have over a few moments.” He turned to look at her, still glowing but grieving.
“Some day you'll die and I'll have to watch, I can't watch you burn out.”
“That's a long way from now.” She said staring into his eyes. She saw the neutron star he would become, a magnetic corpse. It was too cruel to hold the systems in place watching friends, family and loved ones disappearing from the dark, distant recesses of the endless void.

They lay, curled up together in the crater of his creation, crying and wishing for a reprieve from their duties. It didn't help them, nothing could and they were bound by larger systems that had no thought for love or desire. They could live for their moments together or waste them thinking of the inevitable end that comes to all things.

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