A Human-shaped Companion

Submitted into Contest #76 in response to: Write a story told exclusively through dialogue.... view prompt

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Holiday Fantasy Romance

“What would you like to do in the winter break?”

“Sleeping.”

“Just that?“

“Maybe some reading.“

“You’ve finished After Dark, haven’t you?“

“Yeah, rereading. Or throw a new one in the mix.“

“We can’t go around killing people in festivities.“

“Nope.“

“Then we’re stuck together.“

“Not my first time.“

“But our first together.“

The Dark Wings took the shape of a male human. The Golden Wings still a fuzzy white cloud of soft glow emanated from the centre of its core.

“Why must you take the form of a male Homo sapiens?“

“Because, apparently, my dear Golden, it’s only humans who grasp the concept of holidays and winter breaks and curling up in a cottage.“

“No, I get it. But why do you have to take a male? I want to be a man this year.“

“Then, so be it. Why is it a problem with you?“

“Because they have this idea of a male and a female bundled up in a cottage in winter, not a male and another male.“

“But. . .“

“That’s what I saw in their movies. And their books.“

“From which era?“

The Golden Wings’ cloud shook, obscuring its borders.

“See, if you’ve been following the updates. . .“

“What updates?“

“Of their civilisation, that’s a social construct.“

“I know that, I had once peeked into someone’s internship network.“

“What do you mean by internship? You became a human and worked for free?“

“No, it’s a massive library of information, but there is no physical building nor books. It’s powered by their electricity.“

“It's the internet, you moron.“

“Oh.“

“Yeah, oh.“

“So this internet indeed shows the history of social constructs, including this male and female thing.“

“Your point?“

“Male and female together.“

“That won’t stop you from transforming into a man.“

The human male fixed his stare to the shapeless now golden cloud. “Look, I know an empty cottage in the neighbourhood they call a ‘village’. Not the same villages we’ve fought in the 17th century because this one has electricity and cars. But it's decent and they have a fireplace inside. We can toast some marshmallows to eat with hot cocoa.“

The hot cocoa was apparently the keyword for the Golden Wings as the cloud moulded into a voluptuous feminine body. 

“I thought you were gonna take a male form.“

“I wanted, too, but hearing hot cocoa reminds me about the time I spent many years ago alone in. . . Edin– Edin–“

“Edinburgh?“

“Yep, that one. It’s ‘b’ followed by ‘r’ then the vocal, not ‘b’ followed by vocal then the ‘r’.“ 

“Okay, okay. Why Edinburgh and why a woman?“

“I had my winter vacation in a castle as an estranged noblewoman. It was so dreamy. My butler—“

“You had a butler back then? Can we have one for this winter break?“

“Why would anyone want to be a butler to a couple of weirdo stranded together in a remote cottage?“

“Because we pay them?“

“I can’t materialise money anymore. I’ve stopped understanding money since they have this electronic form and digital madness.“

“But you can make warm clothes and this,“ the Dark Wings flicked the scarf draping around his counterpart’s neck.

“Reused my 1980’s costume.“

“Okay. I wasn’t prancing around that decade.“

“Explains why your outfit now is more suitable for All Hallow’s Eve party and not a cosy day in the winter.“

“They still celebrate that?“

“They do. How many years of human civilisation are missing from your knowledge?“

“At least I can distinguish between the internet and internship. Ow, you don’t need to smack me. Time isn’t linear, you know. I jumped around timelines and barely kept track of whether I was progressing forward or backward in time.“

“That must be mindblowing.“

“Thank you.“

“It’s not a compliment. There’s another term, actually. Mind– mindf–“ the feminine voice of the Golden Wings stuttered.

“Whoa, I know. Yeah, it is. It screws up my brain. I’m unlike you, staying loyal to humans.

And yet I still do the Reaper’s job.“

“He’s old, ancient. Why can’t you have some compassion for the elders?“

“Alright. At least this winter I’ll be free.“ 

“Me, too.“

“Considering your job is a guardian angel for random characters, your being vacant does not help anything on my side.“

“We’re rarely on the same timeline anyway.“

“Okay.“

“Plus, it doesn’t look good.“

“Why?“

“You know this new spirit awakened last year? Killing people like a sandstorm sweeping through the dunes. Humans call it some virus, a transmitted disease.”

“Oh yeah, the airborne scythe. It’s unstoppable for now. Sometimes I feel pity for them. Humans.”

“And the kings. The kings that slaughter their people.”

“I heard they don’t call them kings and queens anymore.“

“Whatever. The head of the government.”

“They’ve achieved the death toll that’s also insurmountable, by civil wars.”

“Yeah, I don’t know why they do that in the same year when this airborne scythe is active.”

“Thoughts for another day. For now, let’s enjoy our winter break.”

“You just want cuddles, don’t you?”

“Can’t say no.”

“Look, it’s snowing.”

The white fuzzy materials dripping from the sky like powdered sugar on top of doughnuts.

“Relax, you’ve seen the hexagon water crystals for ages.”

“It’s not always hexagon, you silly. Also, this time in a cottage with a pretty woman.”

”This is sexist if you’re implying what I’m thinking.”

”How can it be sexist? Never mind, let’s have a snowball fight.”

”No, thanks. I can’t put down this chapter.”

”They think they’re the best species.”

”Because they invented nanotech?”

”And their poetry collection is staggering.”

”And songs.”

”Oh yeah, songs, too. Remembered I danced to this decade’s songs last year.”

”When you were about to ki—”

”The botched attempt of murder.”

”The Reaper sent the revised list, didn’t he?”

”Exactly.”

”Back to the species thing. Isn’t it weird we don’t go for other species?”

”Some others in the group do, you don’t know?”

”Huh? Maybe. I’m not aware. I never socialise with other groups.”

”Yeah, but in ours?”

”Neither. I’m more of a solo player.”

”Where did you learn that term? You play games?”

”Not quite.”

”Let’s play some games. Sit down, I’ll fetch some console.”

”You’re efficient in materialising.”

”Of course.”

”Why not money?”

”Like I said—”

”But you can still materialise the physical money.”

”Isn’t it backwards, though? We can manifest the goods we need, why bother with the money?”

”But the service? As if you never need a manicure. Oh, don’t look at me like that.”

”Oh, it’s. . .it’s nice.”

”What is?”

”Laying my head on your chest while your arm is put around my back.”

”This is called snuggling.”

”A cuddle.”

”Cuddling.”

”I never know that from a harsh blizzard outside the inside could still feel so nice.”

January 16, 2021 02:34

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