The girl who belonged to the nothingness that separates space and time, briefly blinked. As her eyes closed, the old world disappeared, and the grey of the new one took its place.

Standing tall in the heavy rain, a bear greeted her with a grin. Shining his teeth, he took all the steps between them but one. He stretched his paw out, pointing to the umbrella the girl was holding, and poured a handful of berries into her palm as she surrendered it. Slowly and carefully, with the very tips of his sharp claws, he opened the umbrella up. He raised it, covering all of the girl and her straw hat, and just one of his ears, and gestured towards the bench behind them.

They sat in silence for a moment. The bear smelled nicely of rain and warmth, and the girl was composing her thoughts. The bear smiled and shrugged, when she asked where she should begin. She couldn’t start from the beginning as she could not remember it. So she started from the end.

She told him about the gigantic low-lying magenta moon casting long shadows from the onyx crosses in the cemetery in the middle of the sapphire meadow, and she told him about the grey worlds that never change, a milk white fog burying into the heavy wet brown soil, the soil turning mud, the mud turning swamp, and the little swamp creatures, living underneath it in their cosy warm houses, talking politics. She told him about worlds of frost and ice, and about the polar rabbits hopping and rolling as they played team tag with the thickly-coated white-grey polar zebras. How, once caught, they would switch and it would be the turn of the polar zebras to catch. How, binoculars in paws, polar bears would sit high in the watchtowers, making sure nobody fell into the ocean, and how swiftly they slid down the towers when they were needed. She told him about the crazy blue sky and the crazy yellow sun and the crazy green grass and the crazy mild breeze of the crazy naive world. And she told him—well, she told him about all the worlds she could remember, and the bear listened, committing every one of them to his memory. At times he nodded and at other times he laughed. At times he forgot to breathe.

When the girl had finished, they sat in silence for a moment, and then the bear started talking. He told her about his world and his beginning that he remembered so well. About how time passes and how it feels, and the girl listened and nodded. There was just one thing he did not tell—how he had been waiting for her. Waiting not in the tut-tut-she-is-late fashion, no. He had been simply waiting, well knowing that they would meet one day.

The girl asked the bear if he would come with her and he eagerly nodded. Almost too eagerly, but the girl didn’t mind. After finishing the berries, they got up. The girl took the umbrella and collapsed it, and told the bear to close his eyes for a moment.

The bear picked up the bench, slowly shut his eyes, and the next moment they were in a new world. A world entirely different.

Image props: @stalkeralker