Drabble 177 – Stellate

A photo of a night sky with stars.

When I was a kid I had a thing about eyes. One of the scariest scenes I had ever seen in a movie was the scene in Milo and Otis where the titular cat and dog floated downstream on a little raft. The camera panned up to the sky, where the stars winked out from between the trees. Somehow, I convinced myself the stars were actually the eyes of some threatening creature or creatures that wanted to eat Milo and Otis, and every time I looked up at the night sky, I thought about how terrifying that would be.

I grew up far enough from a city that the night sky looked like a dark cloth someone had upended a container of glitter over. On particularly paranoid nights, I might look outside and see stars just like the ones in Milo and Otis and imagine all those creatures with slavering, invisible jaws waiting out there for me, too. It’s not a surprise to me that I’m still a little afraid of the dark.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.


(a.) from Latin stellatus for “covered with stars”

Something starry, star-spangled, or starlike.

The wizards of her youth wore stars. Stars on their robes, stars on their pointed hats, stars in their dark eyes, stars flowing from their hands. She supposes they conjured those stars up like anything else, wishes made corporeal.

The only starred cloak she can find is tattered and gauzy, a flimsy thing meant to be worn for one Halloween and never again. There’s no magic in it. She buys it anyway, running her fingers along the fabric, finding each snag, each hole, until she knows them. 

What kind of magician is she if she can’t create meaning from nothing?

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