Short Stories

Flash Fiction: “And the Stars Will Fall”

((Yo, so I’ve been keeping up with the weekly schedule a little too well, so I decided to post on Wednesdays too, ahaha;; stick around to watch me come to regret it.

This is a concept I came up with while bored during my internship over the summer. I wasn’t allowed to send any files home or use a personal laptop, so I wrote most of it in a gmail draft, ahaha. I brusquely edited it this past December, but it’s still not really a serious piece. I hope you enjoy it all the same.))

She weeps again tonight. Her tears bring not a cooling rain but a shower of stars, each sparked with spite and kindled with her rage. It is beautiful from afar.

The portal to her chambers is torn open, and a swirl of pale sunrise sweeps into the room. “Oh no, oh no – what is it? What’s wrong?” the young god asks, but the goddess does not answer. Another tear drips from her cheek and burns through the clouds.

To the east, there are gasps of awe. To the west, people plead in prayers. The sunrise summons his attendants, the nymphs carrying crystal flasks. He takes them and gently catches the falling stars. They shine, liquid fire in the glass. The sunrise glows violet with concern. “Auntie, speak to me… please.”

He jolts when the flask is flung from his hand, burns his fingers black when he catches the spill.

“I’m no aunt of yours,” the goddess states, a hardness to her voice unfitting of her form. There should be no stones in the sky. “Never call me that again.”

The sunrise softens, colors clouding. “… I apologize on behalf of my father, my lady,” he says and grows dark when the goddess goes rigid. And then she trembles, constellations displaced, slipping from her shoulders, jumbled at her hands.

“Your mother was supposed to be the last,” she whispers, more tears brimming from her eyes. Her anger, washed away in sorrow, has cooled. The first drop of rain drips from her eyes, followed by another, then another. “When she died giving birth to you, he brought you to me. And then before I knew it, he was gone again.”

The sunrise keeps silent, growing duller still.

“Some other flower to tend to until it wilts. Left you in my service, as if to appease me.” The stone cracks in her voice. “Do you know how many there have been since your mother? Do you even know how long it’s been since he came to me?”

“… Four mortals since my mother,” the sunrise responds, then murmurs, quieter, “And too long.”

The tears come faster, colder now. The fires in the west are quelled. “He tells me that we have an eternity awaiting us,” she says, voice a wistful wind. It is a gentle, solemn thing to carry away a hat or push a lonely boat to sea. “He tells me human lives are short, to be patient, that I am who he will return to in the end.”

“But he lies—”

“No. He means it every time.” The goddess turns with a sweep of her arm and sinks into her bed of heavens, reclining into the cooling clouds.

The sunrise, helpless, waves the nymphs away.

“… Then he is cruel.”

The goddess smiles. “He is indeed,” she murmurs low and turns away from the sunrise. She needs not see him to know his hues. “He’s proved it in how he takes you, a child of the earth, and casts him into the heavens. Your colors belong in the flourish of flowers, not here in the cold void of the heavens.”

“I hold no disfavor towards your realm, my lady.”

“When he brought you to me, he promised me a family, and I believed him.”

The sunrise flushes red, rushes forward to seize the goddess by the hands, and morning stars glimmer in his eyes. “I am forever your family if you wish it, my lady,” the sunrise exclaims, rippling with tendrils of gentle gold. A pale pink washes over him. “Though born from his blood, I will never be his.”

And the goddess kisses the color back into his blackened fingers and hugs him close. “My dear nephew, it’s not your fault,” she tells him, though she fails to meet his eyes. “Thank you.”

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