No one needs to tell the Matrons when the time comes. As a group they are a whisper of rainbow pastel wimples and the susurrus of silken fabric as they move.
I can hear them under the soft bleating of the metabolic unit hooked to my belly. It whirs, it feeds this body and keeps it comfortable.
Here in their House of Passing Time the Matrons attend to dying star prophets.
I am dying.
I open my eyes when the pink wimpled Matron comes to perch on my bed. Her brown face reminds me of dimly of my Mother, the deep Cupid’s Bow of her pert mouth.
“Do you dream star?”
Her voice is distant bells and pinpricks of light behind my eyelids when I let them settle.
“I dream and see nothing.”
The me who lived- raving and flaming with prophecy- would hate to sense the Matron’s disappointment yearned for laughter and freedom. I am too tired to gladly comply.
I’ll not have my last days spent dreaming and desperately trying to prognosticate for the smiles of any Matron, even a pink wimpled brown skinned beauty.
After so many years of being ridden by time and used as the mouth of madness, I am content to die quietly here in the House of Passing Time, I will only be passing.
The Matrons come, pale blue, lavender, buttercream yellow. Faces brown and ivory, eyes bright with expectation. There must be some renown among the Matrons to be the sister who holds the last prophecy of a dying star in her palm.
After so many years of madness without mirth, as my time draws near I know what to do.
Mint green wimple, this one older than the rest of them, my time is too close for the youngsters. Her wrinkled hands are soft and warm, her fingers curl around mine tenderly as if we were sisters.
“Do you dream star?”
I open my eyes, yes she is a lovely old creature.
“I dream, I see. Come listen.”
She releases my hand and whips out her tablet. She leans down until her ear hovers above my dry lips.
“Speak your dream star and go home.”
My eyes close, the metabolic unit clicks off as it reads my body readying for death.
I take a few deep breaths ready to go home, my whisper reaches her ear as I am released to go home.
“When did our elephants leave?”