Here and Gone (bridge series #22)

Here and Gone” Coral says to herself for perhaps the thousandth time.

Time Itself holds no meaning for her, if the truth be told, but then, there is no one to tell. 

When the last surviving alligator died in 2030 and the bridge that spanned all timelines imploded infront of her very eyes, she believed it was the End of Times. 

Her self mutilation left her blind, but the television in the bar continued it’s broadcasts, whatever had not died in her that day died another day,  with another broadcast that was more devestating than even she could have imagined.

Why she did not pierce her eardrums she knows not, something about sound, sound would be important someday.  Coral remembers a poet friend rambling the lines “this is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper” over and over again before he crossed the bridge back to his time, she thinks maybe his words keep her listening.

 

Her isolation has removed the veil of her past lives, she sees and remembers them all, a life behind bars that spans eons, no matter her name, she has always been the keeper of secrets in the timeless bar where everyone knew her name, no matter how many forms that name took.

The television went to white noise days or years ago, she remembers not, it was just a sound afterall, one of the last to go.  Now the faint buzz of the neon sign that hangs outside of the bar declaring “HERE” has ceased to be, as if all of man’s infallible gods finally put up the sign  “gone fishing”.

 

Coral understands, for a brief moment, that Time did not stop on that horrible day, but somehow folded in on itself, much as the bridge to Nowhere and Everywhere did so many years gone by.

She understands because for the hundredth time she says to herself

“I am both Here and Gone at the same Time”, or maybe it is the thousandth time.

Time has no meaning for her anymore, if the truth be told,  all she hears is the sound of her sighs as she wipes down the vacant counter in a little bar called Here, which has every chance of being Gone for the next weary traveller.

“Here and Gone” she says, again and again.

The wind carries her epithet across the desert to distant lands and distant times, and to times that may be, and the last God hears her words and agrees, as he flips over a sign that says “Gone Fishing”.

 

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