Starless

Rowley Ruskin

In this place that is two places, the sea embraces the sky. Beyond the gate you see the infinite night and feel the cold wind of the High Wilderness upon your face. The sky has opened to you.

You allow the Flukes to enter first. That is their right. Their tendrils are restless as they rise. The water crackles with heat. There is a song in the air. A song that threatens to burn. HOME. They sing their wordless chorus. HOME. Their voice shines brighter than the stars. HOME. And then, in a tone that can almost be described as gentle: OUR GRATITUDE.

You watch them disappear into the night. The Neath grows darker in their absence. Your crew breathes a collective sigh of relief as the energies of the Correspondence quiet. Their anxiety disappears with the Flukes. They do not understand.

“Captain.” Your navigator remains restless. “Consider the price.”

You look to the impossible vastness of the heavens, threatening to consume you whole. “A small price, all things considered.”

You give the signal. The sound of the engines is impossibly quiet after the Flukes’ song. Together, you take to the sky and claim your place among the starless nights.


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