At Starfall

This is my story for Genre Stretch this month.  The chosen genre was Dying Earth – a subgenre of SciFi.  I’m not sure how successful I was, but it turned out pretty cool.

**

Jamie frowned as he headed back to town. The sun was sinking low in the sky. If he didn’t get home soon, he would be caught out after dark. Strange things happened at night. He kneed Bullet and the horse quickened his pace. They were just entering the town as full darkness came.

“We were beginning to wonder,” a soft voice said.

Looking towards Alexander, Jamie shrugged. He swung out of his saddle and said, “Ms. Reynolds offered me supper and I could hardly turn her down.”

Alexander nodded. “Perhaps, next time, you will remain at her home for the night?” he said, arching an eyebrow. “It might be wiser than risking being out at starfall.”

Again, Jamie shrugged. “I made it back in time,” he said. Then, ignoring Alexander, he led Bullet to the livery. By the time he’d gotten his horse settled for the night, starfall had begun. He sighed deeply as he looked up at the sky.

His mother used to tell him stories about stars that seemed to stay still or move only very slowly. Now, the stars seemed to fall from the sky each night. He had to wonder how long it would be until there were none left. Sam said the stars were uncountable, that the real stars were somewhere beyond the streaks of light that fell now. Jamie couldn’t help but doubt it.

He heaved a sigh as the sound of the stars hitting the metal roofs began. Shaking his head, Jamie headed back to the stall where Bullet was resting. “Guess I’m bedding down with you tonight,” he told the horse.

When morning came, they would survey the damage. There were nearly always broken windows. Thankfully, though, most people had the sense to stay inside during starfall. Jamie could only pray that the crops wouldn’t take much damage, or there wouldn’t be enough to make it through the winter.

As Jamie settled down to sleep, he looked out at the streaks of falling stars. “Gotta admit,” he murmured. “They are right pretty.”

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