It was startlingly red, the red of blood dripping down a gashed leg, as it sank lower, the horizon pulling it towards its unavoidable nightly demise. It scattered that same red and golden yellow and orange in the sky around it, a temperamental painter, as stars that had been waiting in the wings began to show their faces in the vast expanse of the rest of the sky. The sun was pulling all light down with it, letting the day crash and burn in anger at being kicked out in favor of that laughable moon, a hollow facsimile of itself.
The sun was disconcertingly huge as it slid bit by bit past the horizon, scattering orange and maroon and royal purple around it like something extravagantly and carelessly melting, knowing the colors would stay solemnly memorializing it for a respectful few moments but then spill out of sight after it themselves, leaving the waiting sky to be claimed by the uniform blackness of night. As she watched, balancing her chin on her knees, she knew this happened every single day, timezone by timezone like a knocked-over row of dominoes, but she still could not deny the poetry in it.
The sun was a living creature today, a furious beast that was ready to zoom down to earth and run you down, scorching and unstoppable. I remembered long childhood hours playing the video game where it did just that, a desert danger that had to be jumped over and defeated. A world of darkness seemed preferable to this. I thought of my years living in a temperate climate and could not understand why I had returned to Texas, where this demonically possessed celestial body ruled from April to October, hiding in the air conditioning the only escape from its wrath.
“Do you ever think they’re not really what we think they are?”
“What do you mean?”
“The stars. Maybe they’re not really balls of plasma. Maybe they’re…holes, showing something shining behind. Maybe the sky is a really, really big bulletin board, and the things we think are stars are just holes left behind from the pushpins. Maybe we’re being held up by one right now!”
“So what’s on the other side? What’s there that’s showing through?”
“Something magic. A bigger bonfire than we can even imagine, maybe. And the gods are all there, always dancing.”