I am in that space between fully functioning consciousness and the oblivion of sleep when my lover speaks.
“What have you heard about the City of Rumors?” she whispers and I shift in her arms.
“Cyrilla…s’late,” I murmur.
I lean more into her warmth and speak the words before I really even have time to think them.
“I heard it’s always changing. The streets move under your feet as you walk and there is no method to it. You know everyone and no one because you can almost never find the same person twice. Some people say it’s actually a really small city and it only feels big because of its mercurial nature, but I think it’s bigger than any city we have ever encountered.
“No one owns any property because once you leave a building your chances of ever seeing it again are slim to none. There are no locks are chains and people sleep side by side with strangers without fear. It’s not that the city is without violence or hate, but most people have come to the understanding that if you ask most people will give.
“It’s a city of nomads and hermits. Some respond to the uncertainty of the city by barricading themselves into small rooms and nurturing rooftop gardens, while others embrace it and travel to the hermits to bring them food and news because news is sometimes more necessary than sustenance.”
My voice is rough with sleep, but there is nothing I will deny Cyrilla.
“What about lovers?” she presses her question into the back of my neck with a kiss.
“They wander the streets tied together by lengths of rope so the shifting city cannot separate them. Ankle to ankle, wrist to wrist, ankle to wrist, waist to waist, neck to wrist, it all tells you so much about their relationships. And then there is the one couple who roam the city only holding hands. Their faith in their love is so strong that they know no city can keep them apart. If anything the city bends to their footsteps.”
“Will we ever visit the City of Rumors?” she asks.
“When we figure out how to extract it from your imagination, yes, we will visit.”
“And we will be the hand-holding lovers.”