Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

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Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow
Date of Cutscene: 12 March 2020
Location: Washington Square Park
Synopsis: The aftermath of reunions gives reason for pause.
Cast of Characters: Clea

Coalescing mist hangs in the air as the temperature drops, rendering the cityscape into chiaroscuro shades of dim silver and cold grey. The famous arch in Washington Square Park rears behind her, but Clea sets her hand on the damp marble shaped with laurel leaves and emblems of triumph. Its solidity comforts her where everything else recedes into hazy outlines.

Even the restless current of traffic barely leaves an audible mark, a low buzzing at the back of the skull and deep in the bones. She draws a cleansing breath as far as she can, finding the exotic melange of petrichor and wet concrete mixing with the stains of urban pollution a heady, dizzying brew.

The quicksilver lifeblood of the city ricochets down its electrified veins and seeps up from the sewer pipes. Asphalt broken and painted by graffiti and the washed-away vestiges of winter is just a thin skin over the living, vibrant energy infused by millions of residents. Slim fingers trace the marble down to the ground, feeling the pitted tar give way to a thin veneer of frost. All marvelous, wonders in their own right.

No one is there to watch her curious inspection nor question why she sinks down to sit. Pulling her knees up to her chest, the regent of the Dark Dimension tucks her chin on the rounded mount of her kneecap. The contour of her cheek lies hidden beneath a curtain of white hair exuding a pale glow, no more than moonlight glimpsed on a cold evening.

"Is this how the story resumes? Not the most auspicious of beginnings."

A question hangs in the air, heard by the uncaring figures promenading around the triumphal arch, indifferent to her cares. She smiles all the same, the poignant bow fading back into a soft curve.

Not exactly what she imagined on the long journey back. The look of uncertainty, the protective spells lifted against her. Those memories are raw and burn her to contemplate for any span of time. All the more reason to face them.

Perhaps it's been too long. Time flows differently in those other places holding her attention, demanding toil and struggle until tearing the victory from a jagged, spent vein of ore. She resolves herself with a swallow, loosing the breath in a cleansing, clarifying exhalation the way the Ancient One taught her. That oldest and simplest of lessons for finding her center is the remedy for so many cares and hurts. She misses him, the gentle twinkle of knowledge in those vast, deep eyes.

He would never tolerate such self-pity and navel-gazing. Doubt, surely, is part of the human condition. Even for beings who only look human. Clea tips her head back, looking for the stars in the clouded sky, instinctively turning to the southeast. Always pointing true.

Her boots scuff the ground as she stands, brushing off her legs with a swift pass of her hand. "Honoured friend, are you watching out for me still?" A low laugh bubbles up to her throat. No one is there, of course. Nothing but an empty park, a vast space usually swelling with students and buskers, tourists alongside the residents kicking around balls or taking their dogs for a walk. Their memories by day still permeate the deepest hour of night. She can almost feel the thrill of the crowds. "Nothing says I cannot write a new chapter altogether. Thank you, wherever you find your peace."

The path will be a longer one than ten blocks south and six east. She takes to the black ribbon, a path bisecting Washington Square Park, headed for home.