A Billion Dead Stars

A Billion Dead Stars

I’ve been driving for almost two hours and the weather is increasingly ominous. An eerie sound catches my attention and I tell myself it’s the wind wailing. But the sound storms again and I’m far from placated. The sound is unending, the sound is louder. And I know exactly what it is. I immediately stomp on the throttle and gain speed, police cars trailing behind. I know the area well and am confident about drifting from the main road. I veer into a hidden exit that looks like a dead-end but I know it isn’t, though the path is craggier than I remember and I’m forced to slow down. I look at my watch and hammer the wheel with my right fist. Sweat covers my forehead. I struggle to reach the maximum speed without wrecking the vehicle. I keep bouncing on my seat and my head repeatedly hits the headliner. I don’t feel the pain because I don’t care. I’m focused on the road like my whole life depends on it. My whole life does depend on it.

It’s 7:19 when I reach my destination and I’m terrified. I stop the car. Quivering. Mumbling things and prayers like it ever made a difference. Fuck. My body’s shutting down. Heart dropping to my stomach and pushing down my knees. I step out of the car. Leave the road and head to the woods and I’m plodding. The soil is damp because it started to rain. Beads of water prodding on my head. Slowly freezing. Panting. A thousand thoughts race through my mind. Anticipation. Plan B? Plan C? Nothing.

A police siren wails from not too far and I’m back to reality. Focus on the task ahead. ‘Keep moving forward until you see the sky’ she’d said. Her voice rings in my head and I’m alive again. My pace gets faster. I’m running. Sprinting. Tree trunks circle me, sinister leaves blur my vision. We are going to get away with this. Just like we always have. Nothing will stand in the way. No laws and no God will stand in the way. Nothing. The siren is closer but the trees have vanished. Like a miracle. She’s a miracle. And I’ve reached the meadow. Giant pines arching on both sides of the frame. The wind bays at the sun to set. The soil trembles. And as the trees sway wider and the wind bawls lustier, I finally reach the edge of the cliff.

And there she is. As gorgeous as ever. Her hair pulled up in a bun, exposing brittle ears and a delicious neck. A white dress so queer and I’m not surprised. A bride from outer space and I love it. I race to her and hold her hands. My knees betray me and I collapse. Head down. Face veiled in drenched hair. Eyes closed. Tears mixed with rain. We both laugh. Through the mist, human screams make their way to my ears and I spot uniforms in the distance, pointing and marching forward. And the restless siren. And the thunder bolts. I pull myself together and get back on my feet. ‘You’re late,’ she smirks.

‘You’re still here,’ I smile back.

She raises a forearm, a silver ring glinting on her palm. I reach for mine inside my pocket and grab her left hand. The ring slides on her finger. A perfect fit. ‘It’s beautiful,’ she says. ‘You’re beautiful.’ She takes my hand and does the same. She looks back up at me and we stand there silently. Replaying every single moment of our life together. A grandiose game and we were the stars of the show. And we will be laughing at the world, once again. One last time.

Louder human screams and closer human figures. The siren still droning. A blast of cold air beckons us to the edge of the cliff and we follow. My tears stop falling. We kiss. And everything around us disappears. The trees. The siren. The men approaching. We turn our backs to the world and gaze at the sea. We hold hands as the wind pummels our faces. My long hair billowing over my head, her bun untainted. We stare at each other one last time and everything makes sense. Under the ghostly lights of a billion dead stars. Under the ghostly lights of a billion dead stars. Under the ghostly lights of a billion dead stars.

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5 thoughts on “A Billion Dead Stars”

    1. I’m happy you enjoyed the read Anne, a new story is out in Contributor Magazone, check it out on this website – I hope you like it!

      R x

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