Ill Stars

Today’s 10 minute unedited free write based on the Daily Post’s daily prompt: Disasterous

from Italian disastro “ill-starred”

So much disaster, so little planet. Every day some small pocket of pain, some dress cut unflatteringly, some bullets tearing through a school library, some trench full of bodies in the jungle or the desert.

The stars must be so tired. Constantly ill, chronically vomiting misfortune all over this small planet, its oceans full of trash and its shopping malls full of hostages. What made them so ill, I wonder? I mean, sure we launched tons of garbage into their personal space, but they’ve been sickened far longer than all that. Since Christ, for His sake! Since Odysseus. Since Eve.

We always want a why afterward, some plausible explanation—a hand too unforgiving or too forgiving at the crib side, a name like Mohammed. But more than a reason, since those stories never really keep the stars from raining on our heads anyway, I want to know what would make them well again. What is chicken soup and ginger ale for constellations? Would a short vacation to the other side of the universe help? More wishes? Less wishes? Do we ask too much of them? Do we give them too little attention and never seem to ask how their night’s going?

In a campsite tonight, some small boy will take out a compact telescope. He’ll wait for the sun to drop below the horizon and adjust the lens to get the clearest view. He’ll put his eye to the cradle but all he’ll see are clouds.


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