You stand in silence and try not to shiver, but your body hunches up unbidden. You are standing on the top of the meteor, quietly hovering behind the group of humans and trolls, staring at the ground instead of whatever you had all been called up here for. Another dream bubble, you think. You have had enough of dream bubbles.
You try to fit in, because these people are all you have now and it is far better to have friends than enemies. It isn't easy. None of them are remotely like you. None of them understand you. None of them were ever involved in the war as you were or the life you lived before hell broke loose. You know, deep inside your mind, that it was their faults that the war started… but there is no point in holding a grudge now. Grudges do not wind back time.
You speak to the humans mostly, if you speak at all. For some reason, despite the literary lunch you had so long ago, you apparently still come off as rather brusque and your attempt at speaking in polite terms was met with derision from some of the gathering's less palatable members. Yes, you think, there are people here far worse than you. Some of the trolls are kindly enough but they are often overshadowed by the loud and obnoxious ones. You stay out of their way.
When it seems that the event has died down, you risk a glance behind you, into the endless depths of nothingness. You don't know why you do… you don't really want to see anything. A white fleck, far behind, seems to haze in and out of vision and you stare at it until your eyes water, daring it to conform to a shape you can recognise and betray its true nature. It just seems to shimmer like a star and fades into the bleakness behind it and then you are left with your own emptiness.
Evidently someone takes pity on you and you find yourself being corralled gently back into the maze of corridors, walking with silent company back towards your quarters, but even then your fellow finds themselves distracted by better things and you are once again abandoned to your own thoughts.
Your own footfalls break the stillness as they patter across the floor and it is not until some time later that your eyes are drawn out of their mindless slumber. One of the others has been raiding the kitchen again and has left debris across the ground. You kneel awkwardly beside a small pile of cans and roll them absent-mindedly as your brain takes you back to former times. Bile rises in your chest at the thought of it. If you ever felt happy, you can't remember it now; just the images playing like a movie. Your hand moves a can and places it on top of another before flicking it off and listening to the metallic sound reverberate between the walls. You do it again.
Your ears hear someone approach but they say nothing and you say nothing. Then they go again. When you eventually muster the curiosity to turn to the thin air beside you, you see more cans piled neatly and accusingly. Do they know? Do any of them know what you did before? With a shaking hand you pick up a fresh can and stare at it, wondering if anything will be the same again.
At length you find you have company again but this time they stay at a distance, watching you piling cans on top of each other or arranging them in a pattern only you know. One of them is holding a book in his hand and with a bleary gaze you watch it until he takes the hint and hands it over. You put the roof on top of Can Town's main hall, regarding it as a pale mockery of your original masterpiece.
Time goes by and they take pity on you, coming closer and trying to talk, to comfort, to understand. You find yourself telling them about Can Town, even though inside yourself you had promised you'd never speak of it again. Before you know it, more chalks have appeared and streets spread away in all directions, sprouting blue trees and happy people and the smiles on the faces of your fellow artists fan the flame of hope that has been guttering in your heart.
Yes, you decide at last. Things just might be OK after all.