Day 31: Past in Incense

The Songbird King’s palace swam through Umi’s head. His emotions fluctuated like steel between the forge and water—the harem in Árai Nayzam had seemed miserable for a time, but that was only because it had been his first misery. It was an idyll compared to everything else that followed.

The vulnerability of the hog-piled children, the elbows and giggles, the identical robes. It was impossible to be so vulnerable now, and painful to try.

Umi closed his eyes and imagined in the thick, dreaming aroma of Shiori’s incense both of them were in their childhood again. He imagined he didn’t have to worry about who didn’t (or did) want touching him. He imagined someone would wake him, in the morning, and tell him what he should do. He imagined they would tell him how to be happy.

-The Stars Went Out

I’m sad to see this month go, so we’ll end on a low note. Wven though I’m glad I get to sleep, draw, and think coherently again–not to mention get back to “Lost and Found” and “Black Dragon”–I’ll miss being so constantly immersed in “Stars.” But Camp Nano is over now, so congratulations to all participants, and thank you for joining me!

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