Crushed Stardust

The moon was full on that October evening. Waves of fog were drifting in from the lake. The moon’s light glancing off of them, transforming them into waves of crushed stardust drifting in. Elain was there, on the shore, waiting. Dressed in black, as she was each year. She’d always dreamed of living by a lake. With a little walkway, and a light she could see by. I’d found a way to bring her dream to life. We use to walk the gravel path each evening. Stopping by the light. Holding hands. Watching the sun set. Watching the moon rise. Watching the fog roll in.

That was years ago.

I watch the bird silently fly in, landing on the light. She never turned it on anymore. Not since the night I’d gone swimming by myself. Beneath a full moon. I never returned from that swim. I remember diving beneath the surface, going deeper than I ever had. I remember feeling the cold water of the lake as I let it fill my lungs. I remember the release I felt. The freedom I felt. Knowing I would be free from a life I could no longer face.

My only regret was Elain. To be free, I’d had to leave her behind.

And since that night, when the moon is full, Elain always takes a walk by the lake. Dressed in black. Her long hair flowing past her shoulders, to her back. Tears falling from her eyes. She always stops when she reaches the light. And stands there. Looking out on the lake. As if she waits and hopes for my return. Tough she knows I never will.

I wish I could wrap my arms around her once again. Hold her close. Feel her hair brush against my cheek. Inhale the smell of her, and her perfume. Feel our lips meet one more time. Tell her everything was as it should be. Tell her how much I loved her. Tell her I was sorry I’d hurt her as I had. Find some way to heal the wounds I’d left on her heart and soul. Explain to her why I’d left. Why I’d gone on that swim that night. Why I’d never returned. That I’d had to do that. So I could be free. So she would understand. And I could see her smile once more. Hear her laugh once more.

Instead, I rode the fog as it washed ashore in the light of the full moon. And watched tears fall from her eyes. And listened to the question she whispered in the moonlit fog. “Why? Why did you leave me?”


This wrote this little piece of fiction in response to the prompts for the 36th #SatSunTails flash fiction challenge Rebecca Clare Smith holds each weekend. I’d intended to enter the challenge. But, there was no way I could cut this piece back to just 150 words. The piece would have lost all its magic.

Please go visit the #SatSunTails, and read all the entries this week. They are always 150 word works of art.

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