Silfons sat at her desk barely able to think. Her hands flowed over the writing filament in an angry blur. Outside the sky was grey with a dreary black rain that intensified her emotional state. She was so upset she was nearly opaque.
Dear Moms and Dads,
Fleidle died yesterday. He was so young. He had our whole lives ahead of us. It all sounds so cliché, but it isn’t is it? As you can imagine the initial shock is very disturbing. We’re embarrassed to admit we almost shed a tear; as if that were possible. Does this letter sound incoherent? We admit, we’re not ourselves today. Fleidle’s death changes everything. The three of us were going to be so happy. We hate to sound selfish, but what good is he now? Really. We’ll be just like the four of you; no flesh or blood, no sensations, no trips back to the living. Sure, we can share our beings, our thoughts, and our lives; but nothing substantial. Nothing tangible. And don’t try to tell me different. You’ve admitted on more than one occasion how much of a loss it is. Oh how we wish we never died. Here we are blaming him when we’re the one who died first; and that decades before we ever met him. We’re so selfish.
What now? What are our chances of finding another fleshling to join with? We’re sure you’ll write back with your traditional beliefs of honor and fidelity even after death. We’ll save you the trouble and write your letter for you:
Dear Sweet Silfons,
Give it time. You’ll see. After all, time is the one thing you have an abundance of. There is love beyond death in Hermoiy the Nether. We promise. Sure it’s different. But it’s fulfilling nonetheless. You’ll see.
Mothers and Fathers
What if we don’t want to see? What if we don’t want to be honorable and traditional? What if we want the sensations of the flesh? As it is, we have to wait half a cycle before we can even see Fleidle again. Anyway, we’re not writing for permission. We’re not even sure why we’re writing. We guess we just wanted you to know what’s happening in our lives.
Silfons rolled up the letter and passed through the living room wall. “Falco. Deliver this to Moms and Dads.”
She watched the large rock lizard turn orange and saunter in her direction.
The brute leaped at her and hovered inches from her tear streaked faces. Falco opened its mouth and delicately took the letter between its fangs, then made a cooing sound. He nudged Silfons’ faces with its nose as the color dissipated from his body. When he was rendered nearly transparent he streaked away.
Silfons’ heads slumped down one after the other, not quite in unison. This is too much for us, she thought. We did love Fleidle, but how much of that was because of his flesh? He knew it was his flesh that brought us together in the first place. We suppose we can try it with the four of us and see how we like it. But we hate to drag him along only to dump him for a fleshling sometime in the future. That wouldn’t be right. But he knew… “Gods! We can’t even think straight!”
Silfons looked out over the petrified undergrowth and sighed. She thought, but to leave him now when he’s alone and frightened. We remember the transition to death almost killed us. Silfons laughed.
“Our death almost killed us. We are in a state Sinfons,” she said to herselves. “It just wouldn’t be right to do that to him. Fleidle deserves better than that. But…”
The upper tendrils of a blossoming sour wood tree rustled ever so slightly in the distance drawing Silfons’ attention. When she looked up, her pet was already returning, smudging the landscape with his swift advance. She smiled despite herselves. That lizard is one in a million, she thought.
It flew toward Sifons and made its abrupt stop when they were face to faces. As he turned opaque Silfons rubbed Falco’s massive head and said, “Thank you boy. We’re sorry we barked at you earlier.”
He dropped a letter into Silfons’ hands and licked her faces emitting a harsh scent of Roses that lasted a fraction of an instant.
Silfons drifted through the window and sat at her desk. She unrolled the letter and lowered her gazes to read her parent’s response.
She gasped, “It’s from Fleidles. How can this be? They can’t communicate so soon.”
She panted for breath as both pairs of her hands shakily reached for the transparent filament. Holding it aloft she read:
By the time you receive this letter I will be dead. I hope you’re already aware of it and that I’m not the one informing you. I am sorry I ruined your chance to marry a fleshling. I know it was your greatest desire. I love you very much and it is my hope you will wait for me on the other side. I realize it will no longer be the three of us, but four can be happy as well. It is said there can be love beyond death. I will come for you as soon as I am able. Please wait for me.
All my love,
“What now?” Silfons screamed. Her voices echoed from room to room; any louder and the resident fleshlings would have heard it. “Who does he think he is pressuring us like this? It’s not fair!”
Silfon’s flew up the ornate stairway and into the attic. After whizzing around the room numerous times she settled into a spindle rocking chair. Her trembling made the chair creak as it moved imperceptibly. The sound of the dark drizzle hitting the roof slowly eased her worry and she was soon able to come to a rational decision. “We’ll wait my love. You do deserve a chance.”
Dear Moms and Dads,
Time has flown by. We guess it always does for the dead. Fleidles arrives tomorrow. We must admit we’re looking forward to seeing them. We’re still concerned there won’t be enough love to make up for their lack of flesh. Even so, we’re glad we waited. It will be fun showing them the baked plateau of Marstop, the ancient chemical fields, and especially the death spiral of Jerome. We’re even a little excited to share our chamber with them. We’ve never been intimate with the dead before. Will we even feel pleasure?
Seven cycles later:
The chaotic sound of stringed and wind instruments bled into the lobby of the auditorium as the orchestra warmed up. Silfons and Fleidles were among hundreds of anxious patrons as they drifted through the crowd; their four incandescent smiles radiating with excitement.
A nicely scarred woman at the kiosk asked, “May we have your tickets please?” After accepting them she chimed, “My, how nice. These are the best seats in the house, acoustically speaking. Enjoy.”
“Thank you,” Silfons exclaimed. “It’s our anniversary and we’re so excited to be a part of this.”
The orchestra was in place and would soon perform the premier of Mahrolls’ Ninth Symphony with full Choir and Orchestra. Wafting into the theater, Silfons gasped when she noticed how the audience glowed with anticipation.
Silfons and Fleidles floated to their seats hands in hands. As soon as they were seated the conductors slid to the podium accepting thunderous applause from the audiences. They turned their backs to the audiences and lifted their right hands calling for silence. In the lull before the first note sounded Silfons turned affectionately to Fleidles. She laid her right hands on his chests and brought her faces close to his ears.
She whispered, “Fleidles darling. There is love beyond death. We’re so glad we waited!”