Astar and the Diamond Ruff

CALEB JOSEPH WARNER

There is an island in the north where people sleep with rock creatures made out of their own dreams.

But one night as his spider lover curled her limbs around him, Astar looked to the sky and saw a bright light swirl by and descend, shining, to the peak of Sqwol Mountain.

“What is that?” he said.

But the stone spider did not answer him, because no one had ever taught the stone creatures to speak.

With Astar’s heart set on the shining thing, the furred flesh of the spider crunched back to stone. So Astar wormed his way out of the cold cage of her legs. And though he did not say it out loud, Astar asked the second most important question, “What am I?”

He had no clear answer, but he knew what he wanted to do. Astar wanted to be the first man to climb Sqwol Mountain. Astar wanted to bring back the shining thing. He could see himself in his mind now, bringing back in his arms whatever it might be, saying to everyone laying with their pale lovers, “Look what I have found.”

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