Twinkle, Twinkle...

by Joseph Messina

We think they're suns."

Their gaze was turned upward toward the inky black depths, pierced by multitudinous points of shimmering light. For the young one, it was the first time to be out in the open like this, a rite of passage in their tribe; her mother was a veteran of many sky-side expeditions.

The daughter looked at her mother then back to the points of light in awe.

"Is that where the Creators live?"

"The Creators are there and everywhere, always."

"Are there places like ours out there too? Oceans?"

"We don't know, but some of us believe so."

"And Life..? Is there Flesh out there?"

The mother, suppressing a frenzied spasm, "Even if there were, we could never...get at it..."

And the daughter thought it was too bad they couldn't hunt out there, but somehow felt she shouldn't express this.

They watched a long time in silence as the tiny worlds swam slowly across the night sky...their minds awash in dreams of distant seas, teaming with prey, caught and rent incarnadine...turning this black sky red.

Long before dawn, they started back. The young one took a last look up at the deep, for a brief moment full of so much wonder and promise, now just a sea of drifting sparks.

Oozing slowly across the ice till they reached their sky-hole, they slipped into the cold, crimson waters and glided down home.

BIO: Joseph Messina lives in Osaka, Japan where he used to teach school and own a bar, and now reads books and walks the streets in search of adventure. He graduated from Vassar College.