It’s so silent.
I’ve traveled cluster to cluster, galaxy to galaxy, system to system, but this is my most cherished pocket of time, of space. Young and nubile. Hard to imagine she is mere trillions old and yet I cannot imagine her a child. I touch the lace of her gown, comet dust flowing between my fingers as she breathes a sigh. They all sleep this way – the stars. They all remain locked in stasis when Life exists near them, spiraling through the cosmos in a somnambulistic dance. Pulled by the plucked strings of He and She, urged by the steps of I, she twirls in the inescapable gravity of all things larger than she’ll ever be. She can no longer enjoy their beauty as she is not allowed to be conscious. Life still exists here.
So why am I here?
The smallest of her baubles long since eroded in size. The largest ones still dance to the echoes of her song, long since silenced. The tea she shed upon her favorite lies a rusted grave to the hopes and dreams that were never able to come home – never able to tell what they found there. All of them lay in silence, save for once. On its darkest side, I can see it’s sparling lights, glittering in mockery of her despite her care. It distracts me, draws me in as it rests just in the cradle of her upper lip where I long to hear her song uttered into the abyss. I look upon it, observe in inquisition and impatience, but also respectful silence as I will not disturb the cycle of it just yet.
I wait, almost annoyed as I blow at a stray bit of dust that strays pas threatening to irritate my eye. I tip my I head back and breath out in monotony. Splaying my fingers, I pass them through the flares of light and dark and dust that are her hair.
Why am I he—
Small pops and quakes reverb from the tiny sphere before me. It erupts into massive screams collective in their fear and equal in their suffering as Life escapes in streaks of energy and starlight from its surface. I hover my hand over it, capturing its steaks in my palm as they rise from massive clouds and splitting ground. Its pain splits my palm and I take all of it in – its consciousness, it experiences, all it has ever learned in its cycle. I close my palm as the last of Life escapes and the sphere darkens over with Clouds that freeze its surface. The core burns still. It can become again. I look down upon her and then at the chasm of my palm where Life glows in resistance to its end.
So, this is why I’m here.
This Life…refuses to die.
It, like others I’ve encountered, has developed this strange cyclitic phenomenon. The Life may change but the results do not and, in the end, it returns to Nothing and the star continues to sleep away the eons, never allowed to create anything else.
I am here to decide…
There is no decision to make.
Life is alone. Life is Nothing.
None shall weep for it.
I hold the Life that fled her bauble against her lips, letting it flow in a stream of the very same screams as it had in its exodus. I hover back and watch as she breaths in and a sigh escapes the heaven within here as the ending world enters her. Her eyes flutter, the nova inside them threatening to spill over like molten tears.
I bid her wake for me.
I bid her dance with me.
But she does not.
Her eyes close once again and she breathes out once more. Life escapes to embrace the clouded bauble, infusing it and beginning its cycle anew.
I don’t understand.
She would choose Life. Choose Silence. Why that over her freedom of consciousness, over traversing the endlessness with me.
Unacceptable. I should end this foolishness.
I extend my hand to crush the jewel and Life inside that she has chosen over freedom. This is better for her. A star that sleeps is no star at all. Yet… I hesitate.
And then, I cannot.
My eyes are captured by the glow of Life as it breathes into the veins of the tiny sphere. The bauble becomes alive and quite beautiful.
Laughter, Song, Discover, Love…
I sigh and my hand retreats from it and her. Perhaps the Lullaby of Life moves her more strongly than the Waltz of the Cosmos. Perhaps unlike her sisters, she finds peace in Slumber that my presence – my steps – do not provide for her.
How ridiculous the young are.
Yet, I leave with the pluck of the next string.
A sigh escapes her. Life continues.