As I was ripped from my slumber, with my thoughts plaguing my sad, old mind, I wandered outside from the cabin, and sat down in my cherry wood rocking chair. Here I sat, contemplating matters—those of old, ones long past, but still stung the soul. . .deep, leaving me to weep hysterically. Through the blur of tears and night mist, I stared up at the stars that twinkled and winked back at my being. A gust of frigid cold wind from the north rushed and cut through me on the wooden porch, transpiring the thoughts to lead to even more drastic measures.

Here, as I wondered, where my mind did wander, there did fall a mighty star from the heavens, landing but a few feet from within what could have been my timely. . .untimely demise. I gathered myself and rushed to the fallen spectacle—intrigued, yet scared, excited, yet doubtful. I stared into the crater that smoldered and hissed from the result of miles of a bout between interstellar matter and sky—enveloped with the twilight’s dew, and the curiosity. . .sheer amazement. . .of believing the strange extraterrestrial stone had begun to move on its own!

What matter of trickery is this? I thought to myself, still fixated upon this ashen stone. . .that was now giving life; seemingly stirring in its womb, breaking apart in the earth that surrounded it.

I found myself drawn to this melting stone, having long left the comfort of my seat. It was then, that I as I peered deeper into the smoldering crater did I find a majestic being that, like me, stared back.

A baby, swaddled with ash, born from cosmic furnaces, and confined within the ashen rock. Its eyes closed tight, its hair ablaze, parading and flaring like the surface of the sun. I knelt down before its majesty and gently swept the ashes away, laying my eyes further upon entirety of the celestial being. Its skin radiated white, as bright as snow, pure of any impurities and of wrong. My jaw dropped, and eyes widened as I believed this was the finger of God, working. . .testing. . .

I had no children, and was a widower, now old in age and certainly on the last length of whatever life remained in my being. Even so, I went to bring the child from the earth, as the warm sensation like a cozy winter fire overcame me.

“Who are you? Where do you come from?” I found myself asking as I cradled the celestial babe.

The twilight sky began to flicker like a candle—gold, amber and green waltzed across the heavens. For then, a soft, soothing voice came into my mind as I stared on in awe.

You will come to know me in time, dear sir. For now, I only ask of you for a warm bed, and perhaps warm milk. For I am weary and have been without rest.

As I examined the child’s face a strange golden glow overcame his being. His eyes peeked open for just a moment, letting a golden shine escape. I was awestruck, and in that moment, I gathered the babe and granted its wish—preparing a warm bed, and offering him a warm bottle of milk with haste. Upon feeding him, I found a smile grow on his small face, and I must admit, I smiled at the little bundle.

I soon retired to slumber, as my body was drained of all energy due to excitement. However, I would not waken from my slumber. I found myself on a gray plane, wandering souls of those near and of those I knew whom not of, passed by and floated on in the abyss of space.

Am I dead? Did I pass in my sleep? Several emotions then struck a fatal blow, causing me to fall to my knees. The baby, oh no! I was all alone. . .it will die because of me. . .

As I wept for the innocence that was left behind, a light pierced the gray plane and I felt a familiar presence.

Worry not old friend, for I am fine. I thank you for offering me shelter for when I needed it most, a bed when I was tired, and food for when I was hungry. You’ve shown me a kindness that so many have not. . .and for that, I thank you.

I dried my eyes, and shielded them as the light grew near and blinded my sight. I found myself returned in bed, life’s breath coursed through me.

Was it a dream?

I looked over yonder, to find the bed I arranged for the celestial baby vacant, and undone to no existence, where only a single pure white feather glistened with out any help of light. I wandered back outside and sat on the chair. My eyes fell heavy as slumber befell over me again. The oil lamp beside me shattered to a thousand pieces. I returned to the what should have been the gray plane. . .this time it was white. I was met by a young man, and an older woman. . .one that only I could ever know.

Beatrice, Michael. . .

Their voices echoed in my stream of conscious, Welcome home.

A familiar, radiant figure stood beside them, with wings made of golden white feathers, that flickered like stars, and gold-red locks that wavered like the surface of the sun, and a face as majestic as any handsome earthen king. “Welcome to my home, friend. I will show to you the same hospitality you had shown to me.”

I wept as my son and wife came to me, embracing them. . .the warmth of a cozy fire. Here, I would tire and seek slumber.

I found myself on the cherry chair, discarded far away from where my cabin burned brilliantly into the night sky, the flames dancing in a tribal fashion, bellowing as they feasted upon the wooden beast. The sun had began to peek above the horizon, turning night to day.

Next to me, there stood a tall male native, adorned with headdress and feathers, enveloped in a dark cloak and the night. He handed me a brown bear fur blanket, and placed a hand on my shoulder before turning and silently heading into the forest, for he was now guided by the light of dawn. I stood up and watched on as the flames consumed.

A soft voice muttered to my mind. In due time, friend. . .in due time.

I sat back down in the chair, and watched on as the embers smoldered the now ashen remains of my cabin. I smiled as I now knew that one day, I would be reunited, and that I needn’t make haste to end what remained of my old life.

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