Author : e b major

Alissandra lay sideways on her balcony bed in a camisole and skirt, wings folded to the side. Twin tracks of pointless tears traced through the freckles dotting her face. Her eyes were closed now; she, engulfed in a final, hopeless dream.

All she could have done was done. The city, twinkling far below like a condemned diamond- black gold, stolen time- danced before her unseeing, shuttered eyes.

Ren watched from the doorway, scowling from the pain of seeing her like this. He’d tried to tell her again and again that a city condemned is lifeless- nothing she could do would help it or sustain it through it’s final years. Now the city fell about their lofty flat and he could only grimace and watch the one he loved suffer.

He kneaded his forehead with his knuckles and stared at Alissandra. He was only grateful she wouldn’t have to watch the city die.

Hours passed, and stars rose above the decimation below. A single spire contained all the living creatures left: Alissandra and Ren yet lived. Ren moved gingerly to her side and knelt there, watching her face. As morning sent fingers above the rubble, Ren shifted her head tenderly off the pillow and laid it in his lap.

Alissandra’s eyes flickered open, for one blissful moment still and calm, reflecting the dawn. She shivered: out of pain or cold Ren didn’t know, but just in case he stripped off his flannel shirt and eased it around her shoulders.

Alissandra looked up: at him, at the sky- so clear blue today, with a few shreds of cloud scudding across it, that it was impossible to conceive that last night it had ripped the landscape in parts jagged as mirror shards and as fragmentedly beautiful.

After a while, he took a steadying hand to her hair, smoothing it just once in an intimate gesture. He moved to put the hand back, but her hand caught it, keeping it in hers, and pulled herself up, leaning into Ren. Her wings, so long inactive, fluttered for a moment in the breeze, and they sat looking out at the morning.

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