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The warmly-lit room brought a smile to her face, as it never failed to do, even despite its current emptiness. The fireplace was empty, cold; there was no need for it anyway. It was a warm night, and there wouldn't be anyone to warm themselves at the fireside.

Wandering in, she drifted her pale hand fondly down the wooden counter, feeling the ages of loving care that had been taken, the smoothness of countless polishings, despite its current coating of dust.

Letting herself behind the counter, she found a lingering half-full bottle of vodka, an unopened bottle of coffee liquor and the last unspoiled carton of cream, and a tall glass. It would take her a while to invert all the chairs upon the tables, but she wasn't in a hurry. She wanted to linger here, as she always had caught herself wanting to. Even with the empty rooms, the cold fireplace, the silent piano, and the dust-covered bar, she felt surrounded by old friends.

For the memories, she drank in silence.

When she put the last chair on the last table, the one nearest the door, she moved to turn out the lights. Looking out at the empty room again, the tangle of upward-pointing chairlegs looked like the branches of dead trees in winter, strangely lit by the flickering light outside the large window.

In the empty room, she stood, quiet, remembering.

Were she anyone else, she would have jumped, feeling the faint pressure against her shins, the faint vibration.

"Hey you," she says, crouching down with a fond smile on her lips. Her hand moves over the air, fingers repeatedly curling and uncurling. A faint light glows under her extended hand, radiant heat shivering the air, the vibration growing slightly against her fingers. "Good to see you too."

She grins as the gentle light flows up her arm to lay about her shoulders, light as mist.

"I wanted to see the old place again," she explains, turning her head to gaze at the light. "Glad I ran into you."

The light vibrates, casting dim, shivery shadows around the empty room, a gentle halo about her head and shoulders, brushing against her wild, black hair.

"Yeah," she smiles sympathetically, reaching up to brush her hand over the light. "I missed you too."

"No, hon. I can't stay. Business to attend to."

"I know. I'm sorry."

The light stills on her shoulder, ghostly against her pale skin and black tank-top. Gingerly, she reaches up to lift the light down, cradling it in her arms. "I know, why don't you come with? I could use the company."

The light vibrates in her hands, glowing.

The girl chuckles as she moves to the door.

"Sure, you can provide the soundtrack. It'll be beautiful, I know."

The quiet noise of the door closing behind them, seeming to echo in the stillness, sounds like the passage of wings.
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Yrael, the Eighth Bright Shiner

June 2016

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