Standing By

The lights shooting into the sky were columns of luminous green, the color of garish Halloween decorations but with a backlight of yellow and capped with warm orange tips. The columns pulsated, alternatelly rising and falling against the sky’s black canvas rythmicaly, as if they synchoronized to music Rune could not hear.

The teen stood on the shore of the lake, gaping up at the display of northern lights. Sighed, realized for the first time since that day he felt relaxed, at peace. These lights, they did not ask anything of him, weren’t there to judge him, did not care about his existence even. They just rose, pulsated, illuminated his vision from the horizon to high above his head.

And then, they were gone, leaving the sky black, as if someone had flipped off a celestial light switch. Please stand by, an unspoken voice apologized.

Rune remembered the lights had temporarily disappeared earlier, at least once during his trek along the lake. He stood, waiting for the cosmic lightbringer to flip the switch back on. Maybe this was the reason for his long walk in the cold night, maybe he sensed the lights would be there —

“Cool.” Jezz’s observation, as her car parked in Rune’s driveway, came back to him. He hadn’t known what she was referencing, but he remembered her looking away to her left. Had he subconsciously picked up her suggestion, headed in the direction of her impression, trusting he would find what she had seen?

The sky remained black. No, that wasn’t it, the pause before the resumption of the lgiht show allowed him time to be honest with himself. As impressive as the northern lights had been, he hadn’t come here to watch them, or to find the lake, or struggle through the forest. He hadn’t come to find anything, but rather to get away. From his father, from Double-J, from Bark Bay, from fencing. And, from Annie. And what she’d said.


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