Heaven and Hearth | Laxmi Hariharan
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Heaven and Hearth

……”Not at all.” The Goddess smiles and says, “You must be hungry.”

As she mentions it, Rai realizes that he has not eaten in days. In fact, he has no recollection of when he has last eaten. She leads him into the woods and through to a clearing that seems to appear magically out of nowhere.

In the clearing is a table set with dishes of different shapes and sizes, laden with food. There are crystal glasses of various shapes and sizes filled to the brim with liquid which he assumes is wine.

The food is laid out at a table set elaborately with fine dining cutlery, as if in a wedding. All this is laid out on a long rectangular table, made of some transparent material which seems to glow and gel around the various dishes, holding them lovingly in its grasp.

The space is set with two chairs almost as if she had been expecting company.

Right next to it is a gently tinkling water fountain

Everything is as it should be, yet he realizes that there is something very different to the scene, some niggling detail, which he cannot quite pin down.

Then it dawns on him. The entire set up is light, ethereal and floating a few inches off the ground. As soon as the realization strikes, the table, chairs and the fountain lifts off in one go. And the soaring notes of an Aria fill the air. It is as gentle as the first raindrops pattering onto leaves. The music is muted and the entire effect is very much similar to a luxurious gatropub at the end of the galaxy

“All the comforts of home, eh?” jokes Rai.

The Goddess smiles and says, “You are home!”

Rai is surprised. “It may be home to you, but I can assure you that where I come from, this is more like heaven.”

“Heaven and hearth, is there much difference between the two?” she asks quirking an eyebrow.

Rai laughs and exclaims “Ah! A Goddess with a sense of humor!”