They were destined to become best of friends.
“So how did you get *here*?” Indigo asked.
“I don’t know. I suppose I died,” Ruby answered matter-of-factly. “Pain links the two dimensions, New Island over there, and then Collagesity and Heterocera as a whole here. It’s happened before. But I don’t think it’s going to happen again. Once you go through that door you don’t come back. I was standing too close to Ground Zero to survive. I may have *been* Ground Zero for all I know.”
“Zero is my sister.”
“Ahh,” Ruby exclaimed, light bulb turning on over her head as she shifted her weight against the knitted ottoman. “That might explain it, yeah.” Ruby thinks back to what she saw around the corner of the doctor’s ice cream truck. Bound Shirley Boot. But then, at the same time, Ragdoll. Back and forth. Flickering, even. Just before… or maybe it was just *after*, confusingly. Time messed up.
“Maybe everyone on the island survived in their own way,” theorizes Indigo. “Just in their own, other dimensions. Mabel can come back and forth as well, after all. Here, and then there.”
“Maybe not any more,” the now eternally 15 1/2 year old answered. “I think she might be trapped over there. I’m pretty sure of it actually. Which means…”
“No Battle for Collagesity between Mabel and Bill coming up.” Indigo blew out a puff of air. “Well… *that’s* a relief anyway. I saw enough of war growing up in South Bennington. Blacks vs. Blues. Greens vs. Grays. Any color you like or could guess would wage battle against another given half a chance. The Multicolors saw to that.”
“Who are they?”
“The ones that stand above the fray and cause it.” Indigo halted her thinking in that direction, a long honed practice. Enough was enough: back to Ruby and the situation at hand. But, just then, she spotted the wolf and pointed out the window. “Look. A hound of some sort.”
Ruby saw it too, emerging from the dark void of the woods. As it continued to approach, the girls realized it was blue. It barked but the yelping seemed to say something. They couldn’t quite make it out yet.
“Did you hear it too?” asked Indigo to her new friend.
“Yes. Something like: ‘The Friend’.”
Indigo was sure that wasn’t it. “Dare we go out and speak to it directly?”
Ruby shrugged, indicating: what’s going to harm me *now* after what I’ve been through.
“Oh what a *beautiful* dog… wolf. Just what I needed to cheer me up! How are you boy? Girl?”
It yelped, repeating what it “said” before.
“Okay, that was clearer,” Indigo declared. “‘The End.'”
“Or is it…” Ruby opined, “just…”
The wolf howled, reinforcing the finality.
“No. It’s ‘The End’.”
END OF COLLAGESITY 2018 MIDDLE!