(I haven’t put any of my fiction up here, so this is a first. Just a short vignette I wrote this week.)
She’d had to cram a year of work into a few short months. That’s when her stasis ended. The magic that took the year and compressed it for her gave her just long enough to do her work. Four months out from delivery was now when they could calculate what might be wanted and what would be needed. It was part of the deal she’d made.
For much of the year, the little ones experimented and worked on pet projects, lived their lives, grew their families. But once she awoke, it was time for all-hands on deck, around-the-clock work. They had deals through many of the large manufacturers: two percent of the merchandise would be delivered there for her purposes. It was easy to get these deals when you got in early, while the companies were still small, before they’d grown into the massive conglomerates that they were now.
They had to start sorting, organizing, and filling in the gaps as soon as possible. Towards the end, they got specific requests. Those took some shuffling, since she worked hard to get everything lined up right. But it was all worth it after they made their deadline–a day to celebrate. A day to relax.
It seemed every year was harder than the one before. Every year her time was just a little longer than before. Fortunately, they only had to take care of the one night. There were others who had their own arrangements to handle the other nights.
Tonight was their night. She’d gotten to see him when he awoke. They’d shared a filling dinner, but it hadn’t been long enough. He didn’t have time. His stasis was longer than hers. Rather than a year compressed into four months, he got a year compressed into one night. And one day.
She still wanted to help all the children, to make sure none under her charge were missed. She loved giving them hope and sharing what she could with them.
That was why they’d accepted the bargain. They could stay on and fulfill their mission, continuing on, with all their time condensed into the days they were needed–those that would do the most good. In exchange they got an eternity together.
Even if it was just one day a year.