Archivist note: This article is from an older recovered archive and might be obsolete or in need of updating.
Most recent revision is shown below, by Galactic Baroque.
Lilli was hiding in the undersea complex, alone and afraid, not knowing if it was night or day in the eternal artificially lit gloom of the deep. She had found a place to hole up in where the prying eyes of the occasional visitors to the depths would not discover her. She curled up in the quilt she had found and fell into a fitful sleep.
She awoke to a winter landscape, a primordial forest, the trees white with hoarfrost. She followed a game trail through trees which made for easier going than postholing on her short legs through the deep snow. She passed a snowman, familiar looking on the faint cobblestoned pattern that strangely superimposed it self on the drifts, as if she was in two places at once. Ahead was a small forest hut, a hunters shack, perhaps, with a cheery fire in front, tended by a man who was about her size. She broke into a run as she recognized the man as the mayor, Mr. Tenk.
Tenk turned suddenly as he heard her slip and fall on the ice. He calmly walked over and helped her up.
“How did you get here,” he asked quietly. “Are you asleep?”
Lilli followed the man to the fire, upset. “Oh Mosseveno,” she started. ” And awful thing happened and I’m afraid some are blaming me.”
Tenk peered at her curiously. “You can see me?”
“Miss Tremor and I went back to the Carnivale for a last show as we had thought at least,” she continued. “Little did we know it could very well be the last last. That was days ago. I’ve been hiding ever since.”
“Come sit with me.” Tenk brushed the snow from the steps of the small shack, moving an old wooden bowl to make room for her.
Lilli settled next to him and continued her story. “Miss Tremor is amoung other things what is known as a Human Cannonball. My father Maximus was just finishing his highwire act.”
“Your father? Is he tall?”
“Yes Mosseveno. And as I suspect you know I play with fire. Well..” Lilli took a deep breathe before continuing. “I lit the fuse. My timing is always impeccable. For some reason it burned down faster than normal. Miss Tremor took flight and was in a collision with my father.”
Tenk listened kindly.
“I killed him. As sure as shooting a gun by accident. And there are some that believe I did this on purpose. Dear Lord.”
Tenk looked off into the distance and faded, Lilli could see the trees for an instant through his profile. “Do you hear clocks?” he asked.
Lilli looked alarmed. “You know where I am hiding. I’ll be there until this is settled.” Tenk became solid again and she put her head on his shoulder. He looked troubled now.
“Are you sure he is your real father,” he asked suddenly.
“Will you come for me when its all clear? Please?” Lilli relaxed and watched the snow deepen as he put an arm around her shoulder. They sat in silence for a while, listening to the forest.
“What?” He asked, perplexed.
Lilli smiled and reached to brush his cheek, but he was gone.