(Art by Alyssa Barry)


It had been a while since we had gone out on a date. Ray had been helping his father out with the new baby boom happening, and his father couldn’t keep up with the amount of hearts that had to be made. It was an amazing process to be able to craft the hearts that gave life to our species, but I suppose I got a bit selfish.


I ran into the workshop, grabbed Ray’s hand when he wasn’t doing anything, and dragged him outside. “What… Erri!! Where are you taking me?!”. Erri tilted her head, grinned, and kept running. “We’re going to the fair! It’s about time you see some sunlight!” Ray sighed, knowing how stubborn she could be, and joined in on the plan.


They went from one roller coaster to another, sitting down in a couple of kids attractions to relax in between. They had a drink here and there, and some food whenever their stomach desired it. It was a really great day, one which was going to last way beyond sunfall as she had more planned for their little day off.


The fair closed eventually and they ran ahead of the crowd to get out and into the city. In the corner of their vision they saw a little kid in a black robe but disregarded it completely. Nothing was going to get in the way of their day. They sat down at a table in a fancy bar named ‘A Goat’s Desire’. It was rare for a Drekkai to open a restaurant, but Srekke had. And no one could blame him: his food was delicious!


After a solid two hours of enjoying the finest meat in town, Erri told Ray to close his eyes and follow her lead. Ray, a clockmaker and artisan, reliant on his motor control for his life, did not like that idea. The beautiful smile on Erri’s face, combined with the ruby glow in her eyes however, made him realise just how much he loved this woman and how much she meant to him. He closed his eyes and followed her lead, even though it was just an excuse to hold her hand. They walked for what seemed like an hour, all the while Ray not having a clue where to.


“Alright, we’re here.” I said with a smile from ear to ear. “Lie down and let me join you.” He did exactly as I asked him, obviously looking forward to having me lie on his chest. I put my head down, intertwined our legs, and looked up at the stars. Or well.. I had picked this spot for the stars, but the sight was far more stunning than I could have ever imagined. As if space had made a rainbow, it was perfect. Taking the moment in and wanting to remember every second of it, I focused on the ticking of his heart to ground. It was such a soothing pattern, that I almost fell asleep. Right before I did though… tick, tock, tick… silence. His heart... had stopped.