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"How Dark Does Night Get," short story excerpt

Monday 8/15/22

“How dark does night get?” a baby star asked an older star high up in the heavens, which is what some people call the sky, but only in the evening.


“Take a look around,” the older star said. “Try and see for yourself.”


The baby star squinted and strained, looking as hard as it could in all directions. There was light to the east, the west, from up above, where there were other stars. Some light came from below, but not a lot, where a small town was located in which only a few people lived, high in the mountains.


The baby star shivered. “Cold,” it relayed, letting out a puff of vapor. She had so many questions.


“Do we just hang in these spots forever?” she asked.


“No.”


“Are those lights below from other stars?”

“Not like us.”

“What do we do?”

“We are looked to, looked upon, and considered.”

The baby star was glad to have the company. This was the darkest night she’d known yet, despite the light she mustered and tried to force through every part of her being. The stars above—because even stars have stars above them—looked further away than ever. They seemed important. She’d probably never get to know them, but she was most concerned about the star at the top, because it had no stars above it, and no stars to look to.


But then again, what a view.

“I’m scared,” the baby star said, as the darkness crept closer, encroaching, nearly overriding, and she tried to make her light go as far as possible.

“Don’t be,” the older star said, just before it fell from the sky.


Even the darkness stilled its advance to take notice and hum a prayer of remembrance that sounded a lot like the wind. The baby star watched the slow fade of the light into the mountains below. It was so graceful and caused no fear because she knew she was lucky to have witnessed it. She was proud to be looked to, which wasn’t the same as needing to be noticed.