This week’s prompt: And now the star is dreaming.
And now the star is dreaming. The last vestiges of sunlight have faded beyond the horizon, leaving a sky of black velvet dotted with diamond-like stars overhead. Beneath is a bed of springy, sweet-smelling grass, and all around is the nightly chorus of crickets and toads and the occasional owl.
On the right, just inside Elyse’s peripheral vision is the Pillar — jutting garishly out of the ground, blotting out the stars where it stands. Elyse doesn’t like it, never has. Despite it’s prominence in the valley writ large, to say nothing of the village that encircles it’s base, it has always put her ill at ease. She cannot help but feel it is… watching her, like a great stone sentinel, unmoving, unceasing, unnerving.
So, she endeavors to ignore her right and instead chooses to focus on her left, where Penny lies beside you, keeping up a running commentary of the stars and constellations, which ones are representations of the gods and which ones were imagined by blasphemous mortals.
Honestly, Elyse hasn’t really been listening, but she’s grateful for the girl’s company all the same. She doesn’t like to be alone anymore, and Penny is always happy to attend her.
At present she points out a cluster of stars that might make a pattern, but also might be just a completely random array of dots, and remarks that’s the one you’re named after.
Elyse reacts with mild surprise, as she often does when she learns something new about herself, but the information is useless to her. Ultimately, shes not interested in the what, but rather the who and the why.
A deep voice draws both the girls’ attention. It’s Jovian (to Elyse), Papa (to Penny).
A warm feeling erupts in Elyse’s belly at the sight of him, that spreads to the tips of her toes when he claims a spot on the ground between them. Penny continues her lecture on the history of the Elyse constellation and before long Elyse the person feels a hand steal over hers. She doesn’t look over. She can’t. She knows he is watching her, but she can’t bring herself to meet his eyes just yet. Not now, not with Penny —
Penny, that brilliant, intuitive child. She finishes her story then sits up and stretches. She begs tiredness and excuses herself back to the house, leaving the adults to lie beside each other beneath a blanket of stars.
They make love. It is not a hurried undertaking, as first romantic encounters sometimes are, but instead it is a slow, sensuous affair that makes every inch of Elyse’s skin tingle. This is what love feels like, she knows now. This is belonging. This is home. Family. This is everything I never knew I lacked.
When they are done, Jovian holds her close, breathing in the scent of her hair. He doesn’t say much — he’s never been a great talker, but, Elyse doesn’t need his words now. She knows. Because she’s thinking and feeling the same.
Minutes pass that might have been hours. Elyse is almost asleep, naked before god and man, in the arms of the one she loves, and nothing could be more right in this moment.
And then a scream pierces the air.