The Empress

The sun was up now. It was hanging on the ear of a tall lady. The moon must have been hanging on the other. Under her heavy cloak, one could make out parts of colored mist. She finished adjusting the shining star to her lobe and lazily threw back a strand of water that was trickling down her shoulder.
She then became aware of my presence and noticing my expression, said:

-”Come on, don't stare at me like that. It will only cause a small tsunami in the east, not even apparent on the coast. In return, I will make sure it rains in the north, for the fertility of the land.”
-”Are you, are you... a kind of meteorologist?” I stammered. I immediately regretted my question.
Visibly displeased, the old lady stuck her neck in her thick cloud collar, while letting out a little high-pitched whistle.
-”Me?! As a weather lady? What's next? As if I had the slightest intention of dealing with such trifles!”
-”But your collar and your... “
She interrupted me by throwing the edge of her midnight blue coat over her shoulder. A few stars quivered as she passed.
-”All this is my colleague's. It is the interest in kind that I perceive for the service that I provide by giving him a little time. He dresses the night or the day and everything in between and I dress with what this scoundrel leaves me as the time -which is mine”, she insisted- “that he uses up. But you know we can't do one without the other....”
She inhaled deeply and exhaled slowly through her mouth. A stream of smoke came out of it and soon thickened until it filled the room and became as dense as matter. A long procession appeared in the distance, to the rhythm of a strange melody. The troop progressed with a mechanical walk, hypnotizing. Large veils with soft colors dotted with stars inflated as they moved in cadence. Huge balloons of colored silk floated among the swirling clouds of sequins.

Suddenly, the steps seemed to slow down. The space seems to stretch, to distort. Two smooth gloves push aside the crowd and a man, all dressed in pink, appears. He carries a cane set with shining stones and a lavender top hat. The music also fades away as he stops in a final burst a few steps away from me, as if engulfed by the slowdown. The hourglass has now run out. His kohled eyes look unnaturally large and his pupils are so dark that they seem to suck in everything around him. Even the colored sequins have stopped in their tracks, trapping the light in their reflection.

The old woman then impatiently waved her hands and the smoke vanished.

-”Was that the weather?”
-”That? Ouch, she said dramatically, bringing her hand to her temple. Plato is turning over in his grave to hear you utter such nonsense.” Her face softened.
-”It was only the image of time, so weak that it is itself a prisoner.” Suddenly, something occurred to me.
-”By the way, how come...”