Dr. Mary Malone

Dr. Mary Malone swirled her tea around the bottom of her stained mug. It had long since gone cold and there was no one around for her to cajole into making her another cup. She wrinkled her nose and glared the black bird sitting on her monitor into silence. Putting the cup back down, she twirled in her chair.

The bird reached out his head, nuzzling her fingertips while she gnawed her bottom lip and tapped her fingers lightly on the keyboard. Click clack. No one would believe her. It was a waste of her time. But no more so then many other things she had done. But.

Will had gone away. Serafina, her witch sister, was forever beyond her reach. Lyra was wandering the streets somewhere, happiness following like her shadow, as was her way. The Mulefa were living their lives as ever, with the love and compassion she had been so lucky to feel.

Was that a waste? No, of all things, friendship and love was the least wasteful; even if all she had left now was the black bird sitting on her monitor and the bitter-beautiful memories hanging behind a muslin veil in the back of her mind. Those were all she needed. She smiled to herself, watching her reflection, translucent over the unbelievable words on a glowing screen. Those were all she would ever need.

There was one memory, though, that she would never smile for. Not when she could still hear the cracking of their broken hearts so loud it made her ears ring. But still, wasn't it better to risk loving and being loved, then to never love at all? Yes. And she knew they would be the first to say so.

That was all she needed to know. Waste or not, the world would know. The printer whirred and clicked, shuffling paper and painting it in the wet ink of dreams and hope, death and life, hate and love.

Some might think their love a waste, might think love in general a waste. But how could she, when she saw how it saved worlds beyond count? How could she, when she had felt the truest love of all, seeping off them into the very soul of the universe, making it live once more? She shook her head and hugged herself. No, of all things, love was the least wasteful.