The universe is made of mouths. Not circles or loops or any other illusions of organization, of control. Just many hungry, gaping maws demanding flesh and blood, promising peace in exchange for a paltry sum of pain. A clear message. At least, clear for those who can read in between the stars like my Mama.
They believe it’s empty out there. Mama would say, dark eyes on the darkening sky. We spent most nights together beneath the stars, awaiting their wishes. Just empty space.
Mama kept her gaze aloft but shook her head. I copied the movement, memorizing her proud posture, making her disbelief my own. Mama sometimes called me her tiny mirror, more often her little echo.
But nothing is empty. Mama would continue, finally looking from the sky to fix her sharp sights on me. She’d slip into a low crouch so our eyes could meet, our fingers find each other and twine together. Nothing, my little echo, is empty. There is only fullness and hunger. The universe and us.
That was when Mama would untwine our hands and slide out the knife she always kept strapped to her side. It gleamed in the starlight, transformed into a tooth, point terribly true. She would press the blade to the palm of her hand till blood kissed the tip and trickled down the edge, crimson ink till shadows swallowed the hue whole. An offering. A message.
Around us, the night seemed to shudder, darkness undulating like a thousand licking tongues, the stars high above burning in their sockets, ecstatic. A sigh escaped the sky. Or, maybe that was Mama.
We must feed each other. Mama placed the knife in one of my hands, positioned it’s shiny point on the palm of the other. Made me her tiny mirror. The universe and us. You and I.
You and I. I echoed, blade biting into my flesh, blood dripping down it’s face like drool, devoured by the dark. You and I.
Mama lives between the stars now, a message only I can read. A mouth only I can feed. Her knife fills the hollow of my hand, its tip trusty and true. A promise, sharp and clear.
There is no empty space.
Above me, the night splits into a smile.
I smile back.
Just a short & sweet story this week ^.^ Hope you enjoyed! This story was inspired by a prompt titled A message from afar. I think this story came off as more whimsical and a bit bittersweet than spooky but I really had a lot of fun turning my gaze towards the stars for this one~