Comets and Omens

 The comet was faint in the daylight. Its colors bleeding out against the clear blue sky, the orange barely showing against the white of the clouds. But, at night it was a bright beacon of what, no one knew. Many claimed it was the end of days. Others of hope and finally world peace. All Devon knew was that it brought back memories he thought he had long forgotten.

He watched the tail arch across the dark, concave belly of the night sky. The bright pinprick of light sat near the horizon, reaching towards the dark stretch of land hidden by the shadows of the early morning hour. Orange broke free of the tail, lighting up the sky around it, and obscuring the already fading stars. It bled, like a dying ember, into a cool blue that reminded him of too much and at the same time, not enough. The memories were hidden under the ash of a love that had burned too hot, too bright before scorching itself and everything it could touch.

Burns, unlike memories, had a way of sticking around.

Devon sighed out a cloud of smoke. It took the last of the warmth in his body with it; bestowing the heat unto the ever demanding world. A shiver wracked his form, but his mind was thousands of miles away, lost amongst the bitter cold of an Alaskan winter where he had held Julia tight against him. They had been watching the northern lights. Gasping and awing as the green ghost of a wave crested across the sky.

Julia had turned up to him, her comet-tail blue eyes bright and her smile wide.

I love you.

That’s what she had chosen to say. Amongst the majestic forces of their sun bombarding their planet she had uttered those words as if they were a sacred prayer. He had turned her face up to his and had stolen the rest of her words in a meeting of their lips. He had thought they’d be okay. That everything would work out.

Devon took another drag on the cigarette. The end smoldered in answer to its larger, brighter cousin. She had left soon after. Too many fights. Banging of doors. Fists meeting walls in anger. She had enough. Never mind that every fight, every word, had been begging her to stay.

His teeth clacked as he breathed the smoke out. It had been five years. Five years since he had come south and tried to forget about her, about the beautiful wilderness that had been his home, and about the scars she had left. Now it was all back. All because of a fucking comet.

He dropped the butt of the cigarette into the dead grass at his feet. It crunched as he rubbed it out with the heel of his boot. He watched as the smoke drifted lazily up from it. The trail stretched into the lightening sky and the comet began to disappear against the approaching dawn. Devon turned back towards the house. Some things were better left in the dark.

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