As we climbed the hill, bow and arrows slung across my shoulder, the day seemed a dream zone of hazy memories. Fragmented. He liked to come here at night, he said.
High above the parking lot, at the town’s borders, where the stars were brightest, we could make out the distant lamplight of vehicles as they journeyed forever to wherever. As he gently touched my elbow, I felt a sudden change of sensation. All was silent, the faraway traffic completely still, as if frozen. He laughed and told me he had learned how to stop time. Nothing special he said. He produced a small mirrored box from his pocket that captured the reflection of the moon.
‘Pass me an arrow,’ he said.
As he unclasped the lid of the box, its contents sparkled in the night.
‘Pure moon dust,’ he said. ‘Watch.’
He took the smallest of pinches, fingertips aglow, and rubbed it along the arrow’s flight. Moon tipped, in bow’s embrace, he took aim at the sky and released.
Breathless, I watched as the night exploded into a million shooting stars, raining down on the parking lot like iridescent tears tumbling from heaven’s lookout.
‘You’ll get used to the afterlife,’ he said. ‘It’s not so bad.’