There was the Earth, and then there was the deep black sky.
He stared into it, like a fascinated child at a zoo, fixated on those small white lights. He’d heard rumours that they existed, but in Eaglepoint they were obscured by a dim yellowy purple, a force field from the great beyond.
They would be after him before long. He was not supposed to be here, breathing the cool night air – which felt so soft upon his lungs – and being tickled by lightly swaying grass. The sound of nothingness had scared him at first, but now he basked in it, letting emptiness wash over him.
He tracked shapes in the stars with his eyes, picking out birds and dogs and ploughs. He imagined them coming to life, fighting for their place amongst the black.
How far away were those lights? A mile? Ten? What did they look like up close? Were they cool like a winter’s snow or hot like a summer’s sun? Why were They hiding this?
It was only then he knew that he had been blind. He and all. There was more to existence than he had been told. There was beauty not just in the eyes of women, but in the eyes of the world, and now that those eyes were reflecting his life back at him, he finally understood. He felt as though he were drowning in reality.
Something changed, not just within him, but in this place. There was a faint whiff in the air, different to the natural grasses and barks that had filled his nostrils just seconds before. It smelt like smoke, harsh and bitter. It smelt like home.
This was it. They had found him, there was nothing he could do. So he just lay there. He swum amongst the stars as the heat built up around him.
He was at peace.