Notes from Paradise

From the Story Arc: Cold Front

Previous Story in the Arc: First Christmas--Day by Belladonna Aura (Monday, December 18, 2006)

(posted Monday, December 18, 2006)

"Bear!" The voice rang outn across the vast plains of the Worker's Paradise. "Bear!"

"It would seem there is a bear mauling the workers, Vladimir," Ilyana said, sitting upright. She shook Vladimir's shoulder, rousing him harshly from his sleep. "Dearest, there appears to be some sort of bear in the Paradise. Perhaps we should remove it?"

"That is odd," Vladimir yawned, arching his back and putting his right arm around Ilyana's waist. "Except for the birdsong, I haven't seen or heard an animal since we arrived."

"Bear!"

"It is an Amerikanski voice," Vladimir noted, "It is..."

Vladimir grew cold as the voice became clearer. Old Bear came back to the front of his mind. "Commissar Marlowe," he muttered.

"Who would that be, dearest?" Ilyana asked, running her hand through his hair.

Bear stared blankly at the ground in front of him. "There is a very blue lady in Paragon tonight."

He stood up and shouted back, "Over here, Comrade!"

His voice echoed through the hills. The Bear resumed his place on the hill. After a few minutes, a figure appeared on the horizon.

"He is a handsome man, Vladimir, except for his greenery," Ilyana said playfully as he came into focus, "But you have nothing to worry about."

The man came closer until Bear knew without a doubt that something terrible had happened.

"Bear! It is good to see you again," Bestial Boy said, grabbing Bear into an awkward embrace.

He must of hit his head, Bear thought.

"I've been walking for days. I ran into Lenin. He said you lived a distance over some ridges, so I came."

"What hapened, Comrade?" Bear said grimly.

"I don't know," Bestial Boy began, "One minute I was fighting a rogue meta, and the next thing I know I was having drinks with Abe Lincoln and Clarence Darrow. I never knew that lawyers had their own multi-planar bar."

"Commissar, this is my..." Bear struggled for the right word, "girlfriend, Ilyana."

"Greetings Commissar," Ilyana said, "If Vladimir here would have made an honest patriotic woman of me, it would not be nearly so awkward." She gave Bear a sly wink.

"I'm sorry, Commissar, for your passing."

"Don't be, Bear. I did what I had to do, what I was best at. I protected innocent lives and took a killer off the streets."

"But Bella..."

Bestial Boy quieted. "Did you know Grandmaster Te and Heavy Brother live two days away from here. HB made some quiche and we sang Earth, Wind, and Fire songs."

"Quiche?" Bear asked, raising an eyebrow.

Bestial Boy nodded. "Surprised me too."

"You'll stop wandering soon," Ilyana interjected, "it takes about a month to settle down."

Both men stopped and looked at her.

"You'll walk until your legs burn, and then one day, you'll know when to stop. You'll sit down and listen to the birds and the river, watch the sun rise and fall. It'll never rain, never get cold. You'll sit and wait, and think about how much you miss her. And when the time comes, she'll find you, wherever you are." Ilyana smiled at Bear and put her hand on his back.

Bestial Boy nodded. "I better keep moving," he said.

"You're not alone, Comrade," Bear said, slapping him on the back. "Come around anytime you like."

"It's worth the wait," Ilyana added.

"Do svedonia." Both parties waved at each other, and the green figure trudged over the hill on his way to somewhere.