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What You Learn From The Stars

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 12:20 AM

1. The stars are the greatest liars to ever exist.

2. They will always remind you of him.

3.  Your obsession starts when your cousin gets a telescope.  He wants to be an astronaut.  He shows you Orion.  The two of you sit in the long summer grass with your necks tilted back and he tells you about flight and velocity, but all you know is gravity.  The way it drags your limbs low.  You listen and stare over the treeline and wonder why people are always trying to explain things instead of just letting them exist. 

4.  You buy a box of glow-in-the-dark star stickers.  There are sheets, and there are thousands.  You use an encyclopedia to look up star maps and painstakingly recreate the winter night sky in the northern hemisphere.  Your fingers bleed from the pointy corners sticking under your nails but on stormy nights at least you still have the stars.

5.  You learn about horoscopes, try to find your zodiac so you can know your future.   But you are born on a cusp.  Sagittarius and Capricorn.  So now you have to read both, look at both, pick and choose what it is that you want to be.  Maybe that is better.  It is probably best that you don’t know what will happen to you.

6.  You check your maps and find them in the sky—the centaur-archer, the fish-goat.  You prefer Orion, straddling a galaxy, constant and unwavering.

7.  Then you meet him.  You start pushing out the screen of your second floor bedroom window at night, balancing on the sill and bracing yourself against the steep angle of the roof.  You think:  they can see him.  If you whisper your love to the stars, he will feel it.  Once you try to crawl out, to get closer, and you slip down the hot roof tiles and crash onto the flagstones below.  That should be your sign, not the fact that one of your zodiacs is compatible with his.

8.  You fly two thousand miles to meet him, for the first and thousandth time.  You walk the streets and end up near the water, look across the black towards the Statue of Liberty and realize:  there are no stars.

9.  At 3AM you empty the minibar while sitting on top of the air-conditioner of your eighteenth floor hotel room and make constellations from the lights in the windows.  Look, there’s Orion.

10.  You stumble back to the bayous and slumber in the bottom of a whiskey bottle.  You wake up and tattoo veritas on your wrist.  You considered vici, but you’ve conquered nothing.  You simply stood at the top of the hill and watched the boulder as it rolled down, knowing that you have to begin pushing it again and that, at least, is something you can rely on. 

11.  You realize that you always carefully avoided the fact that the light from stars takes billions of years to reach you.  They are probably already gone. 

12.  The hardest truth you learn is that his love was like the stars:  you could believe that it was alive, but it probably never existed at all.  

I'm still not sober.

Word Count:  545

So, this was written for the so beautiful =Sammur-amat's Written In The Stars contest.  I've only entered one other contest probably over a year ago but I adore her and the prompt, so I tried.  I think I hit the requirements.  My zodiac (Sagitarrius/Capricorn), the constellation, and latin phrase (veritas = truth, but if we need a phrase, vici = "I conquered," best known from Shakespeare's Ceasar's vini, vidi, vici)

This is the journal for the contest, if you want to toss your dice for it as well:

I kindly ask if anyone is willing to donate for this contest:

I ALSO NEED ME SOME PRIZE DONORS- Features, Llamas, Critiques, Commissions and YOU TELL ME <3 
Also, who is willing to HELP ME SPREAD THE WORD PLZ? Anybody interested? 

Ola, my lovelies! :huggle:
So the time has come for me to host another contest (yay! :la:)
I love being able to both work with and give back to the dA lit community, and I believe contests are such a splendid way to do so. Both donors and participants play such a huge role in the success of a contest as well as the continuous community involvement, growth, and consciousness which all make for quite a beautiful dA experience, really.
The Mechanics/ About This Contes

It's prose because I did not follow the usual rhythms that I would with poetry, and also because it was intended to be.  Yes, it may seem a bit poetic but my shorter prose tends to be.  Though, for the record, this was a lot longer in my head than it ended up, but if I wrote this as a straight narrative it would be a novel.  So instead, this is a list.  I like lists.  I did not intend there to be 12, but it ended up that way, and I'm pretty sure there are 12 zodiac signs?  Can we pretend that there are?

I love you all.  Carry on.
Add a Comment:
stargirl2791 Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
that is sooooooo good.

paragraphs (verses? paraverses? versagraphs?) i like: #4, #7, but the whole entire thing comes to a bat-crack home-run at the end.  very nicely done.  i also like the references to mythology and astronomy (poor Sisyphus).

oh gosh. this is just so well done.  i just keep rereading it!
hopeburnsblue Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Professional Writer
Wow, this is stunning! :heart:
Euxiom Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013
ararhawjrhwjkh2r HOW DID I NOT SEE THIS


this is so gorgeous.

Did you really recreate some constellations with those glow int he dark stars? I still have them in my room...I like 'em to be honest, and since i'm not in a nice rural area its the closest i've got to proper star gazing.
IRAtheIV Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013   Traditional Artist… You have been featured in my journal for the awesome originality :D
Jade-Pandora Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2013
I wish a fellow participant all the best in Dee's competition! :star:
linaket Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013   Writer
Thank you :heart: best of luck to you as well.
Jade-Pandora Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2013
^.^ thank you
Nevarware Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
This is such a marvellous piece. It reminds me of the way the narrative in Braid picks very select ideas to reveal that encourage you to reflect on what has come before, but aren't suggestive enough to allow you to predict what's coming next. It also has that same feeling of melancholic whimsy, like a person trying to construct a scientific fact out of poetic moments. I greatly enjoyed reading this.
SilverInkblot Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Hi there! Just a note to let you know that I've featured this piece in my journal :)
inknalcohol Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2013   Writer
What is it with Orion? Is he the sex god of constellations? My cous and I loved him too. I still can't look up at the sky without finding him and then thinking of her.

I love the layout of this. I hate the heartache of it.

And as a side note, we're drilling a fucking hole in that boulder, dropping a couple sticks of dynamite in and running like hell. Fuck pushing it back up the hill.
lintu47 Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
schongslipper Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
What a great piece of prose! I'm in love with the format, the story, the double meaning... everything. Great job.

Number three and five are my favorite sections.
"he tells you about flight and velocity, but all you know is gravity"

Also, the tiny details you include makes this so personal in a tantalizing way. I agree with ~aloafofbrad's remark about the cusp bit, and I also love how the protagonist recreates the night sky.

The only issue I detected was "You wake up and tattoo veritas on your wrist. You considered vici, but you’ve conquered nothing." From your description, it sounds like the inclusion of these was an element of the contest and therefore necessary, but it sounds a little rough and forced. I would delete it. But the allusion directly after that is another masterful move! Lovely.

Overall, perhaps making it a bit less preachy might increase impact. On a few occasions you tend to state themes a bit too vividly; letting the reader discover them can sometimes work out better. That's just a predilection of mine, though.

So this is a really strong piece. Now I want to read more from you! Thanks for sharing it.
aloafofbrad Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013  Student Writer
that was beautiful :) i really liked the detail about the cusp in #5.
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June 16, 2013
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