TRAINING: Outshined By Mike Cecconi

Word Count: 495

By Mike Cecconi

Proxima and Rigil, two of the sisters Centauri, two of the closest stars to our very own sun, they like to watch us from afar sometimes, up there in the night sky. It isn’t night to them, of course, there’s no such thing as night for a star, even know they know that on planets and moons there’s the concept of “night”, they know that places where they can never be, it can sometimes be dark.

When you’re a star, all you are able to do is burn, heat and light everything anyone near you for eons, as long as you can. When you’re a star, that’s your job, that’s your life, you coalesce from gases and then you burn. You burn and burn and burn for a few billion years and then you burn out and collapse or explode or just slowly cool and then fade away.

But when you’re a star in the sky, you have a whole lot of time to think and a whole lot more time to chat with the other stars up there beside you. The Sisters Centauri, sometimes they’ll look out toward the humans on Sol’s little blue third planet and one will say to the other:

“Animals that talk, can you believe it? Animals that can talk to each other, don’t that beat all?”

“Look at those amazing little miracles on Earth,” Rigil might mention to Proxima, “what would it be to live a life like that? They’re born and live and die so quickly. It’s like they’re blinking in and out of existence down there, they come and go so fast.” Maybe Proxima agrees but adds her own insight too, “people blink in and out so quickly that I swear I sometimes see them twinkle.”

“They look so small from far away,” one will say to each other, “they must be gigantic up close.” They study the patterns we make in our movements and pretend that something so fascinating yet so far away might be a way to read their own futures in us. They joke that their own fates may be told out in the fleeting little ways we live and love and die, they make their predictions based on our movements as a way to pass their burning years up there in the heart of space.

“Animals that can talk,” they’ll say to each other with awe and wonder, “who could ever believe it?” Proxima and Rigil Centauri, they watch us from their perches in the darkness, telling each other and their other sisters up there little stories of our wonders as we go.

They think of us as tiny itsy miracles, not knowing that when we have spent our little flitting twinkling years, we all will join them up there in the sky and burn ourselves up too, lighting the way for others to someday do the same.

They don’t know that we human things are just in training to be stars ourselves.