Before the Beginning, there was neither day nor night; neither land nor sea; neither planets nor moons nor stars. There was no nothingness before the Beginning, for nothing is Reality, and Reality is Something. Existence burst forth from hyperreality. Light became, and so did Darkness. Mona Vanderwall was the spark of infinity. The architecture of the heavens sprang from her mind. She knit the universes with her hands. The fabric of space and time coalesced in her person.
Her particular favorite was a planet she called “Earth” and on it she planted Human Beans to grow in her own likeness. The Light called to her, but the Darkness required her constant attention. And so she found herself in the Darkest places across the span of eons, singing it into a shape her Beans could manage. There were weeds in her Bean garden, roguish fungi, parasitic cacti. She pruned them but they grew. They grew and they grew.
“One day my Beans will have to stand on their own,” she said to her faithful spectral gatekeeper. “One day the Light will need me too.” The gatekeeper nodded. He loved her, as all those with right minds and hearts loved her.
She was everywhere. She was nowhere. She was then. And she is now.
STARS HOLLOW TOWN SQUARE
Aria: Seems like we’ve stood here and stared longingly at this police station so many times before.
Hanna: Shut up, Aria. You only just started being on the same show with us this season.
Emily: This time, though, we’ve got real evidence. Not trophies smeared in rat’s blood. Not fractured, potentially robotically implanted memories of doing shovel stuff. But like actual pictures of Ali being alive and free.
TV store: *springs to life*
TV store TVs: *slideshow of Ali visiting the Liars dressed as a ghost of herself*
Spencer: I will throw a brick through this TV store’s brain and destroy all of its—
Emily: Honey, no.
Hanna: I can’t believe I quit drinking for this.
REAR WINDOW SPEMILY
Spencer: I’m not really in the mood for coffee.
Emily: Man, that’s dire. It’s cool, though; we can just do stuff with this whipped cream.
Spencer’s eyebrow: *quirks*
Spencer’s phone: *buzzes because Ali is calling*
Spencer’s lady-boner: *is crushed*
Emily: I think A might actually be Ali.
Spencer: Or someone wanting us to think she’s Ali.
Emily: Or Ali wanting us to think someone else is trying to make us think A is making us think she’s Ali.
Spencer: Masks! Goddamn masks! Anyway, are you OK, lesbian-wise?
Emily: I’ve been thinking maybe I shouldn’t have chucked away every real and righteous thing I had with Paige just because Ali was resurrected. Like maybe I forced a dichotomy onto something because the #TeamJacob vs. #TeamEdward marketing for Twilight made us all a lot dumber.
Spencer: I’m not being even a little bit sarcastic when I tell you that literally the only thing you need to do is apologize to Paige.
Emily: Nothing is that easy.
Spencer: The way Paige McCullers loves you is that easy.