A Dying Art

Inspiration Monday, courtesy of Be Kind Rewrite. The prompt I chose is “The stars look different.” Be sure to check out all the other great writers who participate.

(Oh, and there’s only nine days left in Movember, so I suggest you think about making a donation to this worthy cause.


The Stars Look Different


The stars look different when you’re flat on your back on the sidewalk and the wind is whipping at you and you can hear the cars whiz by and the footsteps of people going out of their way to walk around you.

You’d think they’d seem farther away, but it’s the opposite. They seem closer, like you could reach out and warm your hands on them.

Maybe because you’re laying down, distant memories slosh around and splash over the rim of whatever container you stuffed them down into. I saw lights strung around a tree and boxes wrapped in bright paper and people sitting together, but their faces had been erased and all they had was a fuzzy white pink oval between their hair and their housecoats.

I wasn’t even sure if this was something I remembered or something I saw on television.

They the stars moved and it was a necklace, hanging loose around a thin tender neck. This was something I knew was mine. But when it happened, I couldn’t tell you.

They moved again and headlights flashed bright on a dark road and there was a scream, and then another. My mouth was full of pennies. A sharp silence and then a cacophonous screech of steel slamming into steel.

A cloud drifted by and the stars had moved again.

Blinking lights, distorted through bottles and liquid and off mirrors and through smoke. I felt the sticky table under my elbows. Heard the small thud as another glass was set in front of me.

The snow crunched under a heavy boot. Inches from my ear. Someone leaned over and blocked the stars. They said something. I said something back. Don’t know what either of us said but then the person’s hands were on me, going through my pockets, slipping between my arms, touching my neck.

Then the stars were gone.



7 thoughts on “A Dying Art

  1. A fantastic piece. The details, like warming your hands on the stars (instead of just touching them), the sloshing memories, the space between hair and housecoats. The way you use the stars to draw out memories, indicate the passage time, and eventually hint at death (or at least unconsciousness). A great example of Show, Don’t Tell, and just generally beautiful.

  2. Wow! What a strong piece of writing. And your use of metaphors is great. My favorite part is this: “but their faces had been erased and all they had was a fuzzy white pink oval between their hair and their housecoats.”

    Powerful stuff!

  3. Pingback: chriswhitewrites

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