The fourth annual No Kiss Blogfest, some of the most fun anyone can have without kissing, is underway, hosted by Frankie Diane Mallis. I wasn't going to join in this year, even though I have every other year. I had no no-kisses and even said so on Twitter.
And then! And then! I got this idea and wrote a flash fiction yesterday that I hope you'll enjoy. I sure had fun writing. I even found a picture that works. I'm beginning to have hope for 2013.
Alys had five minutes. Chronos opened the door between dimensions once at the turn of each year for 300 seconds. Not a second extra would he grant.
She clutched a bone-handle knife and a sheaf of papers. The paper was for Mikel, the knife for anyone who shouldn’t be there.
Stepping through the shimmering light, something like a thin waterfall that had replaced the closet door of her bedroom, she entered an identical room—Mikel’s room in Elsewhere.
For the first time, he wasn’t there.
“Mikel,” she said, not too loudly, not sure if something was wrong.
They’d been visiting one another since they were ten. Mikel had stepped through first, scaring the breath out of her one New Year’s Eve as revelers whooped in her neighborhood.
“Where is this?” he’d demanded as if she’d had something to do with him being there.
“Ohio,” she added. When he still looked blank, she turned the questioning on him. “Well, where are you from, just stepping into my room from nowhere.”
“Not Nowhere; Elsewhere.”
But now seven years had passed, and they’d learned to use their five minutes well, exchanging quick words and long letters, full of their hopes and fears, written over the months between meetings.
Where could Mikel be? She pulled out of her pocket the beautiful blue enamel timepiece he gave her last year so that she’d never lose track of time and never forget him.
Their precious seconds were vanishing.
The outer door to his room banged open. "Alys." He stood in the doorway, looking taller than last year, shoulders wider, black hair longer. He was breathing hard, cheeks flushed. He shut the door and hurried to her. “I’m sorry. The dimension looters are roaming the streets. I couldn’t let them follow me and find you.”
He grabbed a packet of papers from his desk and thrust them at her. She handed him her papers in exchange and put his in her jacket pocket, where she’d already slipped the knife and timepiece.
“Read them carefully,” he said. “I may have found a way to stay in your dimension without fading. There are things I need you to research for me.”
A closed fist in her chest released, and hope spread like sunshine through her. “Really? What is it?”
“No time, Alys. I…” Instead of finishing his sentence, he threaded his long fingers, still chilled from the night air, into her hair. Gently, he pulled her to him. His eyes were deep purple amethyst, and she hoped if he did find a way to stay with her that he wouldn’t have to cover those unusual eyes with contact lenses. She loved staring in their crystalline depths, but this time she found her gaze drifted to his lips. He was going to kiss her, she was sure of it. How many nights had she dreamed this moment would come?
They leaned into each other, eager, and a little unsure. She placed a hand on his chest and another at his waist. His breath was warm and sweet as apples as he leaned closer, but just then the timepiece rang with a single, haunting chime.
He dropped his hands to her shoulders and backed her into the veil between their dimensions. “Don’t forget me,” he said as he disappeared. As if that were possible. She grasped the timepiece in her pocket and held it tight.