Book of Days: January 28, When the Stars Were Right

They said when I was born the stars were right. I didn’t understand that, not when I was young. I thought maybe it was some butchering of the phrase “the stars aligned,” as many of my relatives were, as they say, from the old country, but in this they meant exactly what they said. 

The world moves, the universe turns, and it’s like some sort of puzzle lock, only you don’t know what it’s unlocking. Each placement has potential, but when the stars are right, well, that’s when things open up. 

When I was born, the stars took a position they hadn’t in millennia, hadn’t since the things that stir in the darkness and haunt our dreams went to sleep themselves. The stars, they’re like a cosmic alarm clock for those unspeakable things, and when I was born, the alarm went off.

It’s a coincidence, of course. One little person can’t be all that important in the grand scheme of the universe, and certainly not when dealing with forces on this scale, but all the same, my relatives treated me with awe and more than a little fear. It was as though they thought the alarm going off on my birthday meant those old things moved with me, or that I was one of them, and even now I’m old enough to know myself and choose my fate, they still look as though they expect me to show another face.

I saw a movie once, before everything went completely to hell. It was old then, or so it seemed, but I’ll never forget the way they repeated the phrase, “a man can change his stars.” It was a beacon of hope to child whose stars had haunted their entire life and loomed large over their future. Before then, I’d bought into the nonsense my relatives spoke, the fear they didn’t even really bother trying to hide, and I thought I’d discover there was an old dark thing growing within me, destined to consume me.

But even if there is, I’ll lock it away. I can, with time and energy and rituals I shouldn’t know, change my stars. It won’t be enough to send them back to sleep again, or at least, what I’ve discovered so far won’t be. But it’s enough to keep me as myself and put one person against them who knows enough of what they are to be a bother.

A bother may be all we can ever achieve. I’m told we’re as mosquitoes to them, but anyone who has ever heard of malaria knows mosquitoes can bring devastation. Not by themselves, no, but they can carry it, and my relatives believed I carry something. I will change my stars and make myself the carrier of the end.

When I was born, the stars were right for them. Before I die, they’ll be right for me.

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by | Jan 28, 2021