Fat Old Sun

 

“Sun’s fallin’.”

Jake opened his eyes.  Floaters swam in his vision.  He squinted at the sky, eyes adjusting to the fading evening summer sunlight.  “What?” He tilted his head to the right, dragging an arm across his forehead for shade against the glancing rays.

Penelope turned her head to him.  “The sun.  It’s falling.”  The evening lights made a play of her face.

Jake turned his eyes back onto the sky, arm falling to the soft, green grass.  “It’s called sunset.”  The sky had turned purple, and blue, but where the sun still was, it was the vibrant orange-yellow of the sign clinging crookedly to the chainlink fence. 

“You’re not lookin’ right.  See, there.” Penelope extended an arm lazily, pointing high into the sky, far above the setting sun.  The deep purple of the sky swallowed everything except for the first few stars of night.  Birds were calling in the dusk, a sweet music. 

“Don’t see a damn thing.  You sure you aren’t just making shit up?”  Jake gave a cursory glance at the sky in question.  A dark splotch sped across the sky.  Bells of some kind tolled in the distance, sounding for all the world like the air-raid sirens he heard in the World War Two documentaries. 

Penelope laid a hand across his mouth.  “God, you’re fuckin’ stupid.  Just shut up and look, okay?”  Being unable to form a reply, Jake looked over her knuckles towards where she pointed.  Something was falling, and the light of the dying sun caught it in its rays, painting the object a dull orange.  Penelope pulled her hand back form his mouth and lay back, the summer smells swirling about her, new-mown grass smelling sweet, mingled with sweat and dust.

Jake stared at the object.  As it fell, it did appear as though the sun, or a star, at least, was dropping from the night’s belly.  A sound reached his ears, a high, whistling sound.  Beside him, Penelope started to sing, her voice mingling beautifully with the birds, and the bells, and the shrills from the sky.

 

“An’ if you see,

Don’t make a sound…

Pick your feet up off th’ ground.”

 

The object had a shape now, as Jake’s eyes followed it down, down, down.

 

“An’, if you hear,

As th’ warm night falls…

Th’ silver sound, from a time so strange…”

 

The whistling grew to the sound of a train, thundering around his ears. 

 

“Sing to me…”

 

It burst in the air, as the sun fell beyond the horizon, and filled his eyes with a brilliant light.  A sound, like a storm raging inside his ears took over him.  He turned his head to Penelope and met her eyes.  They held hands by the river as the bright light roared around them. 

 

“Sing to me…”

 

Grant Seman

 

 

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