The Goddess waited in a lonely field. She laid on her back in the tall grass, staring up at the cloudless night sky. Arm outstretched, fingers gliding between the stars. A simple flick of her wrist could sweep the stars from the sky. Maybe one day but not tonight. Soft footsteps caught her attention.
“We could have met in a cafe for brunch or a restaurant for dinner or a library for tea but you insisted on a cold dark night,” the young woman gestured wildly at the lack of human presence nearby causing her coat to flap around her, “in the middle of nowhere.”
The Goddess sat up and smiled, “Hello to you, too.”
“Oh yes, hello and glad tidings, Mother,” the young woman said, sarcasm biting at every word. She sighed and continued sincerely, “How have you been?”
“Very fine.” The Goddess stood up and walked to her. “Earth-18 has started cooling finally and Earth-9 is on the verge of intelligent life.
The young woman allowed her glasses to slip down her nose.
“Why are you wearing eyeglasses? Your eyes should be perfect!” The Goddess stared into the young woman’s eyes. “They are perfect.”
“They’re just flat lenses. When I change identities, I get new frames to help change my appearance. Along with changing my hairstyle and clothes. It’s getting harder with face recognition software. My current identity almost fell apart because of a picture posted on Facebook that got auto-tagged with my previous identity.” She paused continuing cautiously, “You don’t know what Facebook is, do you?”
“I didn’t until you mentioned it. I am lightly touching the global unconscious mind; just to pull words and concepts out as I need them, nothing more.”
“So, I could say Micky Mouse and you would know what that is?”
The Goddess’s face lit up with a smile. “Oh, that’s delightful. Why didn’t you mention him earlier?”
“There’s a lot ‘delightful’ things here but also a lot of terrible things.”
“How is your Earth doing?” The Goddess closed the gap between them an wrapped an arm around the younger woman’s shoulders. “How is your father doing?”
“Didn’t you see him when you returned?”
“No, I came here from Earth-2 directly via quantum tunneling. Wait, what did I say?” She slapped a hand over her mouth.
“Is that how you travel from planet to planet?” she asked. “You never explained how you do that.”
“Yes, but I didn’t realize the people of this Earth had reached that level of understanding. They have words, real words, for it. You haven’t been helping them have you?”
“No. Of course not. The first rule is no interference with the normal development of local civilization. Anyway, Dad is doing fine. His flares and spots are in decline but that’s normal. I can’t understand him like you can but I still talk to him. You don’t need me to tell you any of this. You can just know it if you want.”
“I do need you to tell me about your Earth. I stopped watching when you asked. You wanted privacy so I gave it to you.”
“That was only two hundred and twenty-four years ago. Not that much as changed.”
“Still tell me about it, please.” They started slowly walking through the field.
“No major geological changes, of course. Oh, there was that island that disappeared but it might have been made up to increase a country’s ocean border. Some men walked on the moon–”
“Space Travel! Now that is news.”
“They only went a few times to the moon about thirty years ago. There are a few space stations but nothing really beyond that.”
The Goddess looked up to the sky, her smile brightening. “What about the probes to Pluto, Jupiter, the rovers on Mars? Oh, that one probe that to the comet was ambitious. Oh sorry,” the Goddess ducked her head, “I went a little deeper into the global unconscious mind. Just about space travel. I promise. I won’t do it again. What else has happened?”
“Um, well global temperatures are on the rise. Lots of wars, and conflicts and … and …” She choked on describing the atrocities people had committed and continued to commit.
“It’s ok, go on.” The Goddess pulled her tighter against herself.
The young woman gathered herself. “People are still people; just as horrible to each other but still capable of surprising kindness. I – why did you leave me here?”
“This is your home.”
“But I don’t belong here. I’ve been alone since you left. I have friends but I can’t keep them for more than a few decades before they notice I don’t age like them. And they die so easily.”
“People will always come and go from your life. It’s not about keeping them forever; it’s about being with them while you have time. Also, you asked me to leave, remember?” the Goddess said.
“Not for so long. I just wanted a little space. I little time for myself. You were always right there and you always knew everything. I just wanted a little space not to be abandoned.”
“You are almost eight hundred and sixty-three years old and you will live many many more years. You’ve been living at a human pace for your whole life but out there,” she swung her hand up and across the sky, “Out there away from the human reminders of time, you’ll find it moves at whatever pace you want it to move. I gave you as much space and time as was safe for you. I’ve never been too far to hear you call for me.”
“I wanted to call you but I wanted you to come back because you missed me not because I needed you.”
“It could have been both. Anyways, I’m here now and I’m not leaving but I won’t crowd you as much. We’ll start with ten year breaks and figure it out from there. What do you say?”
“Five year breaks?”
“Whatever you want. Come on, your father will be rising in a couple of hours and there’s a ridge that has the best view right over there.”