The Ceiling Of Her Sky

By Anonymous

Early winter feathered the windows
of the little inn with lines of white frost,
and snowflakes clung to the corners
as Ari peered out into the deepening twilight.

“Close the curtains,” Shahana said
as she knelt by the hearth,
building a fire with bricks of peat.
“We need to keep the heat in.”

Ari closed the curtains.
“The clouds hide the stars tonight,”
she said to Shahana.
“Yes, more snow is coming,” Shahana said.

“Why do we have stars like this?”
Ari asked, opening the small pouch
where she kept the fallen star
that was Gailah’s gift to her.

“When the world was being made,
Barzay laid a bowl of earth and metal and stone
while Ligia topped it with a bowl of sky,”
Shahana began.

“Then Talaton put the sun and the moon
into their tracks across the sky,
but the rest of the bowl was barren,”
she continued.

“Gailah took the jewels from Her gown,
then some of the other goddesses did the same,”
Shahana said, “and embedded them in the sky’s bowl.”
Ari smiled and said, “That sounds lovely.”

“When the first paladins were called to service,
each god sent a different symbol to theirs,” Shahana said.
“The first novice of Gailah had no jewels,
so the goddess let fall one of her own.”

Ari looked at the softly glowing star she held.
“I neither had nor wanted any jewels,” she said,
“yet Gailah sent me this one anyway.
I still wonder why.”

“The ceiling of Her sky is made of crystal air
and the stars embedded in that ceiling
are gems of ideas from the mind of Gailah,”
Shahana explained.

“But what does that really mean?”
Ari asked as the star in her hand brightened.
“It means,” Shahana said, “that if She sends you one,
She believes you can use it to light the way.”

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