The Wandering Star

It watches me with those strange eyes. Even you, love, cannot imagine such eyes. This is the third night I have been assigned to watch it—him, I’ll call it “him.” The creature deserves that much dignity. The first night, I did not look toward him. I thought I felt him watching me, but I admit to you and only you, that I was afraid. I am a rational and curious person. That’s why I asked to be given watch over him. But my imagination can run as wild as that of the most superstitious sailor, especially out here in the vastness. We are farther now from home than any ship has sailed since before the war. After so many days, my excitement has waned, and my restlessness has waxed.

The crew’s whisperings about the creature, about it bringing bad luck, about its deadly powers, had seeped passed my rational mind and into my fears. Being on watch means actually watching and yet, I am ashamed to say, if not for my partner, the creature could have set himself on fire, or levitated the cell key toward himself, or done any manner of tricks and mischief that first night because I wasn’t watching him at all. To make matters eerier, the lights are so dim. We must keep them so, for we are rationing our fuel. Someone miscalculated. But then who can tell when it’s night and when it’s day when trapped in the bowels of the ship? I keep watch in the whale’s belly, while the captain and officers watch from its eyes.

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