They met at the empty café, where gravity gave in to the occasional glitch. As he waited, his tea parted briefly in two. He gathered the sugar granules with a fingertip. The coffee maker gurgled. Outside, snow kept piling on red sand.
She slid into the opposite seat.
“You broke the world,” she said. “And failed to fix it.”
The table hovered for a moment, and the tea froze into a golden orb. He peered through it. “I thought I could make things right.”
Her upside-down reflection shook its head. A feather flattened itself against the window, its vane slick and blue. She touched the glass.
“Perhaps this was someone we knew.”
Hot currents carried the feather off. Snowflakes swirled, mingled with clumps of ash. The neon signs cast their last words across the desert.
She gestured at the sky, and a star followed her hand like a moth. “I thought the end would be grime and gloom. But it’s splendid. Like when it all began.”
“Like when we put it all together.”
“When it seemed this Time would be the one to stick.”
They exchanged a smile. Above them Aurora Borealis sighed, billowed and sang. The eager star blinked in sudden surprise, as if recalling something important. It wavered and fell, and crashed into its mates.
*Andreas Kalvos, from Fifth Ode; To The Muses
Image: via Pxhere