I found their respective stories on Chan’s laptop, and as time has allowed, I have been posting them here, to general disinterest. But they were owed a lasting memorial, whether they are dead or living happily on another planet and raising Apsara Suloch so that one day the first human-badezoid will fly across the quartz fields of a planet on which she was not born. And perhaps one day she or Chan will return to tell her story. Their story.
It is only now, on writing this, that I’ve become aware of the legend of Dawn’s men – Dans Meyn, the Stone Dance – of the two pipers who played for nineteen merry maidens one Saturday night in a field near Lamorna Cove. When the bell of the nearby church struck midnight, too late the pipers realised that they had dared play on into the Sabbath. They dropped their instruments and ran, but only got so far before each was petrified. The nineteen maidens danced on, without music, hearing its echo in their heads, and in doing so their fate was also sealed, for they too were turned to stone, as they formed a perfect, merry circle, and now they stand that way for all time.
But it’s a cautionary tale, told by the Christian church to scare the pagan leanings out of its flock. I like to think the Badezons chose the place for the wild slim alien’s and Chan’s merry, celestial maiden, Apsara Suloch.
One day, not so long ago, a photo appeared on my laptop, as an email attachment. There was no clear sender, just a string of hieroglyphs which had somehow resolved themselves into something which made sense to the paths of the internet down which this image was obliged to pass to reach me. Possibly unwisely, I clicked in lazy haste on what was obviously the icon, and there it was.
The selfsame quill pen I had given Chan on her twenty-third birthday, a ticklish joke of a present from long ago, now returned to me as a three-dimensional hologram, its barbs and barbules rendered in astonishing detail, detail projected across the universe to our planet from one far, far away.