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Just imagine the stars behind the wall. They see her while she sees them on the app called 'Constellations'. She lays in bed and swipes the stars, holding her phone ahead of her like a torch, a compass. She remains down below the wall, within her walls, with the door locked and the light turned off. 

Dust collects around her cheeks. She wipes her nose and waves a moth away. Each formation flickers for a moment before she gets bored with it. North Star. Orion. Little Dipper. Ursa Major. Next. This is unproductive. She should be productive. She should write. She wants to be a writer, right?  

She should write about the stars... all good writers highlight the sky within three sentences. The way the moonlight dances at night, hiding behind plush clouds, followed by the crying suns, fragmenting on the horizon. Irridescent. 

She should write on paper. Margaret Atwood writes all her work on paper. Wait. The room is dark. The lamp went missing. There's not even a bulb in the ceiling fan. The cracked window is no help; The moon has other business. She needs a candle. It has to be a candle. She's inauthentic if she doesn't write at night by candlelight. She scratches her toes. There's no sheet between her legs and the tattered mattress. 

Here's the thing. She wants to sell her stories but she hardly has the energy to type into her already open cellphone. She spends too much time wearing out her mind. Her eyes are dry. Two glass machines. She stares at screens. She doesn't remember the notebooks hidden behind her shelves of unread fiction.  

Instead, She strikes a lighter and sparks the scent of the Dead Sea. At least she gets the candle lit. It spits out shadows, revealing a pile of laundry and a basket of tissues. The moth rests near the wick, then crawls directly into bed. She types quickly on her phone. Notebook App. 

Time to write. A starry, starry night. No, that’s stupid. 

How about this. 

I should be out right now. A club somewhere has a foot of air that I’m not sucking in, sucking down free vodka, holding still. Staying in position. Waiting for someone to tell me I'm interesting. 

…North Star. Self-Isolating.

There's a party in the desert tomorrow night. I hate the desert. I should go anyway and bring a friend. A friend? I know this one girl but, she does this thing where she only talks to me about the good things and, my life isn’t so good lately. 

….Orion. Narcissistic.

Instead, I watch the constellations from my bed, above the desert, above the party, above the club, eternally bonded.

…Little Dipper. Jealous.

Eternally bonded. Bonded like the girls at brunch tomorrow morning. Should I go tomorrow morning? I don't have any floral tops. Three stars in floral tops. A collection of novas sit around an orange flight. They cut their muffins while they cut off each other's anecdotes, and I, like an asteroid, fall into the glass of sparkling radiance up high.

…Ursa Major. Martyr.

So high up. I want to be a star. A part of a constellation, a brilliant vision of Angels. It's warm up there.... right? How do I fit into all that light?

She stops writing. She's stuck. She swipes some more. She finds the definition of a constellation: "A group of stars forming a recognizable pattern that is traditionally named after its apparent form or identified with a mythological figure." Gemini is formed by...

Formed by what? She doesn't know the names of the stars. Who knows the names of stars? She knows the characters, the images depicted by the congregated string of lights. North Star. Orion. Little Dipper. Ursa Major. She only knows that part.  

She doesn't care about the stars, their glaring importance to the Earth, the way they foster life, foster likes on Instagram, frame their filtered faces, volunteer to the fallen, fell in love last Autumn with their cradled babies, and praised fathers. She shoves the blanket off her. 

She wonders why she's lonely. Lonely below the novas, celestial bodies of fire.

Fire. The blanket falls into the candle. A flame creeps like a row of gunpowder until the heat becomes enraged with unfilled notebooks piled below the bed frame.

She feels the element of change. The way it could just take her.

A waking dream distracts her from the scent of burning hair and snot. Hanging heads. Fifty or more in a circle, in black, holding hands and offering condolences. Her very own urn. Ashes on a mantle in the center of her church. Her heart begs a low roar. They would gather.

So she stays in the room. The only place she belongs to. The fire starts to stroke her scalp. She giggles. Her fingers call out for her torch. Her compass.

She posts:

OMG! My house is burning :( Anywhere I can stay? 

The phone falls from her palm. Her lungs hack out the smoke and her body contorts into the position of a cadaver. Someone, probably the landlord, rattles on the other side of the door, the locked door. The door that is always locked because of the self-fulfilling demon that holds the knob. 


She feels more warmth inside her, tugging her blanket near her chest. Her last movement. The alarm goes off. She falls into the void of silence. 

A star replies.

I'm coming to pick you up right now. 

…Sirius. Caring.

And a comet. 

Where are you?? Send me your address.

…Halley's. Selfless.

Then a sun.

Are you okay? LMK if you need help.  

…Sol. A good friend.

She closes her eyes. The heartbeat dies. Now she can see her stars clearly. The sense of desolation through the life she manifested. They arrive, the moon gawking at the beam of outreached arms through the combusted ceiling, smoke, and ash carried out by the wind. Breaking a pact to never grab something that wasn't supposed to be with them. On fire, she shines.

July 23, 2020 15:03

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1 comment

Harken Void
07:10 Jul 30, 2020

Hey Sahara! Returning the favor ;) Brilliant concept! Must say, I did not see that one coming - her burning to death. I liked how your character revealed herself through writing about the stars, giving each one a personality, a splinter part of herself, most likely. That text was just hilarious! (OMG my house is on fire..) Interesting take on death, presenting the celestial bodies as friends at that point. It made it easier to accept her death, knowing she would be fine, somehow. One thing I will say is that your sentences were short...


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RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

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