A Pale Blue Star | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 28, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 28, 2020

Fiction

A Pale Blue Star

Listening to summer breeze, smelling the raw pages of an old book my mind went wandering into the sea of nonexistent dreams. I drifted there like a lost sailor. And I hunted for a thousand-year old pale blue star.

I swiftly drifted on the soft surface of clouds. A flock of books was flying in the distant, I could see them in the light of a large moon, larger than the size of a palm. The pages of the book fluttered. I could hear the sound clearly.

The star I searched for was a thousand years old and it was pale blue. I had to find it quickly. If I didn't, the star would die.

I didn't want it to die. This was the star I prayed to when I was a child. All my prayers were granted. I got to smell all the colors, I got a new sense to understand words of a falling leaf or of a foggy ripple in the wind. It gave me a blob of cloud in a blue jar, it stands beside my bed. Its touch is like stardust with the smell of a full moon. At night, the cloud glows within the jar, it swirls around and twinkles like a herd of fireflies. It floods my room with a faded yellow spectrum and with the lights leaks the smell of damped earth.

How could I ignore the poor condition of the star after all it had given me!

To save the star I had to reach it and write a little poem all over its body. The star would rise again when I sing it aloud. Then it will be fit again like our sun.

But where was my star? Where should I go? Which path should I follow?

I suddenly remembered something my father used to say. "Books are your true friends. They will always guide you to the right path."

I trusted my father's advice and followed the flying books.

They flew and flew and I walked and swam leaving disturbed clouds behind. A long trail of my movement curved the sky. Light glowed through it as if it was an eye of a child in the sunshine.

I fixed my gaze on the books, didn't move my eyes from them. They had my full attention and that was a mistake. I crashed into a big object. It was rectangular in size and was a bit tick. Light glowed from its surface. The light blinded my vision. The prettiest part of the poem fell out of my heart. I lost those words, and I myself was lost. I couldn't find my way around the object for quite a while.

My vision didn't help me so I took the help of my instinct. I pushed on the obstacle before me. I kept pushing it like a blind man pushes a cart into an empty compartment, unsure of its mobility. I tried to go under it but failed. I tried to go over it but couldn't reach the top. So I kept pushing whatever was before me and walked by my side. After a bit, I was able to pass it. I overcame my obstacle properly.

But another problem emerged before me. The flying flocks of books were out of my sight, they were gone.

I felt a tremble within me. Desperation shook my senses and my consciousness danced within like a madman. I have to find out a way to reach my star. I had to and I don't have much time.

Without thinking anything I ran toward where I never went. I ran over the soft clouds. Fireflies hit against my face, some even got stuck on my shirt. But I didn't notice them since I was in a great hurry.

The fireflies stuck and glowed against my black dress. And I ran. It was as if I was a sprinting night sky myself. Like a summer day my body started to warm up, breeze left my nostrils, sweat leaked through my skin. But I kept running. I had to keep running because I would save my star no matter what.

Finally, I reached my star, dimmed and old. There was not enough time. The sun would rise on my side of the earth soon and I would be moved to my ordinary position in existence.

I weakly knelt before my star. I touched its pale blue body and rubbed my hands on its wrinkled skin. I could feel the curves on it under my palm. The touches were soft and smelled like pages of books.

I didn't waste any more time and set to writing on the star,

"All the breath that reached my heart

For thousands of years apart,

Let them merge into a single life,

Let them form a single art."

I curved the lines onto the wrinkly body of my star and recited the sentences cheerfully. But my star didn't glow. I sang again but nothing happened. I sang again and again and again but my star remained true in its silence and wrinkles.

But I didn't stop, but I was starting to fade away, but I kept reciting.

It was morning. I returned back to my bed. I wept. I couldn't save my star, it died like a million others I didn't care about.

The next day when I looked across the evening sky through the veils of my window, I saw the star glowing at me.

It flew on to my finger as a firefly. It stayed there for a few moments before disappearing.

 

Abdullah Rayhan is a student of the Department of English at Jahangirnagar University.

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