Celestial Lights

Written for Writing Prompt #18


He crumbled at the sight of it. Dry paste on his tongue, legs made of concrete.

Clouds weren’t spherical. They didn’t glow. It must be some kind of trick, one of them stealth planes or a drone of some kind. A really big drone.

The others might be gaping, but he wasn’t going to fall for it. They’d already played him fool enough. Inviting him along. Telling him tales:

Maryanne likes you.

Yeah, you’re totally her type.

Of course you stand a chance, Rory. More than anyone.

He flicked his eyes to where she sat with Phil Michaels, the biggest prick for a hundred square miles. Phil’s hand on the small of her back, her clutching his side like a human tourniquet.

So what if they were all looking up, mesmerized, eyes like dogs on a pile of sausages. It’s a stupid cloud. A play of the light. Fake news!

She’s not seeing anybody, Rory. I swear it.

Maryanne’s laugh rose above the other voices. Sure it was at something Phil had said. Rory didn’t hear it, but it didn’t matter. Her eyes full of stars, her mouth full of stardust. All for Phil.

“Screw this!” Rory tossed down the bag of marshmallows, the sticks, his hope. “I’m outta here.”

He cut a path toward the cars. Kicking himself for believing he stood even a flake of a chance, for expecting romance—coupling up while stargazing. Stupid. The sky might be wide, but it wasn’t big enough for him and Phil to share it.

He yanked open the car door, cranked the engine, and slammed it into gear.

That’s when Maryanne stepped out in front of him. “Wait,” on her lips, hands out, eyes full of stars. The weird cloud breaking behind her, radiating shafts of colored light. 

Rory jammed his foot on the brake, unable to tear his eyes away.

Celestial lights had come to earth.