Our town isn’t known for much. It’s rare for us to get in the papers and when we do, it’s more likely for something terrible that will bring us great shame. After a while, you just sort of become numb to it. You laugh it off, not to laugh at yourself, but laugh at the regular humiliation of your people. It’s kinda like being a Cleveland Browns fan… for which I offer my deepest sympathies.
On the day in question, when we received our deepest veneration from the world, it took the death of two of our greatest patrons, Calliope the Immortal and Eseferon the Great. Their story was something that brought hope to the world, but their ending was what caught people’s attention. They died in each other’s arms. It was a beautiful moment, so much so that someone even took a picture and, someone even more morbid had it framed. It stood in our local library for a few days, before it appeared distasteful to some and had to be removed.
Now, what came as an even greater surprise and helped create a mythology about their love was that Eseferon the Great somewhat predicted their deaths. I don’t think he predicted it as much as hoped. He wanted nothing more than to fall asleep forever in her arms. Eseferon the Great told the world that he had cancer, stricken limbs with rigor before his death, pulsing pains here and there, but, so it goes, when Calliope moved her hands over his body he felt nothing more. He claimed to have a sore on his neck, but when she touched it the pain dispersed. He believed himself to have something terrible lurking in his sides, but with a gentle caress she made the pain go away. He claimed that her touch held mystical powers. He claimed that when he was around her he felt no more pain.
This was something he said over and over again. For years, he’d admit to believing that she had something special that he couldn’t put his finger on, although it was her love that truly drove him to feel better. Calliope the Immortal I never saw a picture of in her younger days, although she maintained an undeniable beauty in her declining years. She appeared above the fatigue of death, doom and old age. People thought they were both crazy, because Calliope never had a job and all she ever seemed to do was walk around. It was something to see, however, as if we had a guardian angel roaming the streets without concern. It almost seemed as if we should also live without concern. She’d walk through our Riverfront Park and disappear under the bridge, only to return, same upright stance, same graceful walk, as if above water.
The coroners said there was nothing wrong with Eseferon, although he was always the hypochondriac, but I’m sure he’d assume his lack of distress on his loving partner. Calliope called them back. Her gift must’ve run out. Either way, I believe they knew their time was running out. She’d held him together for so long. What do you do when you have no time left? They returned to what brought them here in the first place. They did what they loved to do.