I dreamt, last night, that I had escaped. I tore away from the clawed hands and the growls and demands and I simply ran. On and on the darkness deepened, and so on and on I fled into the caverns of complete shadow. There came a point where I could feel the closing confinement above me give way, and I was struck with such a desire to look. I was afraid, and I should not stop, but my feet slowed in my fear, and I could not resist the pull, so I looked.
And the breath fled my lungs in a great, upward rush like the birds of the north flee to the warmth of their long-lost homes. My hassle ceased and my fool legs simply balked in the territory of my enemy. Above me stretched a million stars of a thousand shades: galaxies and expanses of light. They glittered and danced and swarmed in golds and pinks and blues and whites. It was as if every universe had sent their brightest representative to behold each other in the firmament of this land. And the night? The beloved dark shrank behind it in fear.
A million stars lay on the low shelf of this sky, and their weight made it bow and buckle with the great strain of keeping them aloft. It looked as if, at any instant, its strength would give out and it would collapse, spilling the lights from their internment to fall all around me.
I could almost feel their sparking energy brushing over my skin, releasing hope into my bloodstream like breath.
I longed for the sky to break. To shatter. I leaned forward—upward—in eager anticipation. Waiting for the stars to fall. I wanted to close my eyes and simply breathe them in, but I could not break my gaze from it. From my home. I ached to feel the light wash over me, to swim in the vast illumination of the heavens. The stars…the stars were so close, all it would need would be just a simple touch, the most feather-like of tactile encouragements, and the sky would fail, release them, and they would be free. They would be here, and I would be free. But I could not move. All I could do was marvel at the utter and infinite and incomprehensible beauty of their wonder.
Never in my existence have I seen stars like those before, and I know I never shall again.
I could do nothing as they caught up with me. I could not fight. I could not run. I couldn’t even blink, I was so obliviously lost above. It was almost too easy for their rough, vicelike grips to drag me back from the ledge, away from the divinity and into the blackness once more. Almost too easy for them to bind me again. Almost too easy for their lips to curl with their malevolent mockery as they take everything that remained from me.
And there I, the forsaken whisper of angels, still remain.
But never—no matter how long I am to remain in this misbegotten hell—will anything take away the sight of my stars, my vivid, living stars, above and watching still, aching to be back home with me just as much as I ache to be home with them.