Ducted Heating Dreams

We dropped down off the roof and began to walk away from the centre of town. A trio of bleary-eyed villagers ran past us, dressed in their sleeping clothes but curious about what the commotion was. Their eyes widened as they saw the flames and they hurried fast onwards.

‘Are you proud of yourself?’ Kowarr asked me, fury dancing on her face.

‘I did what had to be done,’ I said, getting more and more irritated. ‘Why can’t you see that?’

‘People could have been hurt,’ she repeated.

‘Oh, please,’ I shot back, dust kicking up from the road as I spun around. ‘What about all the people the Empire hurts every day? All I’m doing is taking a stand – like I’m supposed to.’

‘The only thing we’re supposed to do,’ she said quietly, tears angrily brimming in her eyes, ‘is help people.’

‘And I suppose if we offer affordable air conditioning services around Canberra we’d be doing more good?’ I scoffed. ‘Please. You change the fate of a nation through action, through drive – not cowering in a corner hoping the good rulers will spare the people you care about.’

I took off again, not caring if she was following this time. I felt the heat of the burning village warming my back; even if it was in my mind, the warmth still brought me comfort.

‘We all miss her,’ Kowarr said loudly, still rooted in place.

My step faltered, and I froze.

‘We all miss her,’ she repeated, slowly walking towards me. ‘I know more than anyone how much you’re hurting.’

‘You have no idea,’ I hissed through gritted teeth.

‘What would she be telling you to do?’ Kowarr pressed firmly. ‘What would she want?’

I thought about it for a moment, amidst the discordant chirping of insects in the tall grass, and eventually started to laugh.

‘She’d want me to settle down and offer quality ducted heating repairs near Canberra,’ I chuckled.

Kowarr, at first concerned, started to smirk, then joined in my laughter.

Eventually we sat down on the side of the road together.

‘So then,’ she said, placing a hand on my shoulder. ‘Which direction will it be?’


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