Shiori concentrated until the room began to spark with magic. One by one, the crystals and glasses began to light with an aurora of colors. A warped space swam through the room, distorting the windows.
The smoke of the candles formed shapes. It described parakeets, hydrangeas, scissors. The wings of the parakeets morphed into the wings of buttonquails which had raced by the river at the Songbird King’s palace. The hydrangeas morphed into patterns Shiori had sewn on the curtains. The scissors split into two and walked away from each other.
Reading the stars was reading yourself, first. Many found liberation in the honesty and vulnerability, once they meditated on it. Shiori found only unease. Meditating brought the nightmares clearer.
Soon the smoke was a maze around him. It thickened. It darkened. One by one, lights like stars began to ignite within it. The shapes became more frenzied.
A cat’s tail. A baby’s foot. The edge of a perfectly white gown.
Shiori’s hands shook around the focus. The stars were manifesting, almost bright enough to read.
The dead cat’s dry tongue, a baby’s screaming mouth, the ghastly color-bleached intestines of—
The focus shattered in his hands. Shiori pitched forward from his chair and vomited. The stars went out.
-The Stars Went Out
Oh, look, my first title drop…that you know of. *Raises eyebrows* It shows up in a few different places, once in each main character’s narrative. My goal is to give them each distinctly different meanings that all, of course, relate to the same thing. In the meantime, have some weird magic! I’m having a series of blind dates with different kinds of magic in this world, since I think I’ve neglected them a bit in favor of drama.