Silverwood slept peacefully while the countryside burnt. It was not her fire. It was not her countryside either. Anyway, the villagers had always thrown stones at her when they saw her.
She slept peacefully and awoke to the sound of the troll groaning. She had forgotten to water him!
She quickly filled a bucket and lugged it downstairs to the basement where the bewitched creature was standing guard over her portal. It glugged the water down thirstily between belches, and she made a note that she must steal another child away from the village. The beast had not eaten for months now. He was such a bother.
The cosmic furnace heaved as stars and other celestial bodies were consumed. An ornate chimney ran from it into space where the stardust blew freely like smoke across the ashes of the universe.
“Yes dear,” an old woman said to an image of Silverwood, “Yes, yes, you are young. Don’t be so hasty to leave that planet, all the civilisations of the cosmos have their problems. For example, this one never discovered chocolate. Never. No wonder it ended in tears.”
The image of Silverwood frowned on the portal. At this point it was only displaying images, but–if the counterparty accepted it–the device could open a small wormhole between itself and receiving portals.
And there were many portals across the multiverse.
“But, mom…” Silverwood whined, her shoulders slumping, “It is so boring down here. And the people stink, and they don’t like me. There is nothing to do and it sucks.”
In the background, her troll was standing behind her, its back to her, guarding the portal against anyone other than her.
Silverwood’s mother sighed. She was too soft on her girls. She hoped that they did not grow up to be spoilt.
“OK, Silverwood–” her mother began, and before she even finished, the portal had solidified and Silverwood was standing before her with her troll. The old portal would deactivate on the planet until they needed it again.
“Thank you! Thank you!” Silverwood bubbled, looking around her mother’s moon, “Can I go somewhere exciting next?”
“Just because we are gifted with immortality and magic, doesn’t mean that we are gifted with the knowledge or wisdom of how to use it,” the old, white-haired man said as clouds drifted by him. The air seemed to glow up here as light-filled clouds made up the landscape around him and Silverwood’s mother.
“Yes, I have told our daughters this many times, dear,” she said, shaking her head, “But Silverwood still struggles with it. She struggles with the boredom of it all.”
Silverwood’s father smiled. He knew exactly where to send his daughter.
The camera flashes looked like mini-supernovas as she got out of the limo. There were so many of them. Bodyguards–led by her trusted troll, albeit slightly made-up to fit in here–kept the paparazzi at bay, but their numerous cameras flashed repeatedly overhead as she walked down the red carpet.
“Silverwood! Silverwood!” screamed a reporter that she mildly recognized. They locked eyes, so she paused and leant in for an interview. The famous mortal actor on her arm hung back and smiled in every direction for the pictures.
The world was watching.
“Silverwood, who did you cheat on your husband with?” the reported flashed some pictures that she barely saw. But, she did not need to see much. She knew, and now so did the reporter.
Her heart sunk. How?
“How-how did you get those?” Silverwood stumbled, as the world came crashing down around her. The famous mortal actor was no longer smiling on her arm. He reached forward and grabbed the photos of her and another man.
Cameras were flashing. The media buzzed ratcheted upwards. The entire world was watching. Silverwood no longer felt all-powerful and immortal amongst these maggots.
“No amount of magic can erase your feelings or undo your mistakes,” she heard her distant father whisper into her ear, “Just because we are gifted with immortality and magic, doesn’t mean that we are gifted with the knowledge or wisdom of how to use it.”
She could sense him smiling up in the light-filled clouds, but below him and around her the paparazzi and international media went crazy…