I Am Falling

I am falling.

The star that was called Ayaieseazi opened her eyes. She had received this name from a nearby star when she had first been born. The star's name had been Maioni. She had been a grand old star, burning bright and strong in the sky. She had taught Ayaieseazi all she knew. But alas, Maioni had fallen long ago. Therefore, the star's name had no value. Now it was Ayaieseazi's turn to fall. Perhaps that meant her name had no value either anymore.

But if her name meant nothing, or everything in the universe, it did not change her fate. She was falling. She was going to die. She had seen other stars, Maioni among them, fall during her lifetime. But they had been old. Ancient stars that had seen the heavens be created. They had named million of young stars like herself. They had been glad to fall. The next adventure, they had told her.

She was young though. With only eighteen thousand years behind her, the stars around her had called her a child, a baby. And that was what she had been. She had just begun to live. Sure, she had seen comets pass by, stars grow with her, even a planet form, but the other stars had seen these things millions of times. To them it was nothing special. It was just another event in their long life. But to her it was an amazing sight. The tails of the passing comets blazed even more brightly than the stars around her and the colors were much more varied and breath taking. The birth of a star, she had only seen it once, was majestic. An explosion of color flying towards her one second and then away from her the next. And then, where there had been a cloud of dust, there was a child. A beautiful new life, even smaller and more innocent than herself.

There was no point dwelling in the past. Her life had been short. She would just have to accept it. Fate was loving towards some and cruel towards others. Had it been cruel towards her? She didn't think so. Yes, her life had been short, but now she was seeing something new. The next adventure the old stars had said. They were right.

She pondered what would happen to her after the fall was complete. She had talked to the stars around her about the subject once. And each one she had talked to had agreed. She would burn out and then there would be nothing. Her life would be over. That made this the next adventure and the last.

She supposed it was a sad subject. The last adventure certainly sounded sad. But that was what she was doing now, wasn't it? Wasn't she on her last adventure? Even as her fate closed in on her, she did not feel sad. She simply accepted what was happening to her.

Was it really the truth though? Once she burned out was that all? Maybe there would be more to her life after this adventure was over. Maybe there was a second life after one fell. Maybe, just maybe, it would be better than the one she had known, more exciting, filled with more things to see and do than she could ever imagine.

As she fell, she passed a planet. It was a young planet, not yet completely formed. It probably wouldn't be complete for years to come. There was debris all around it. Some of it would move into the planet, helping it to be almost perfectly round. The rest of the debris might orbit the planet forever. It wasn't uncommon. Well, she had never seen something like that herself, but that was what the ancient stars had told her. She wondered what the planet was thinking. Was it watching her as she fell?

Turning her attention away from the other planet, she set her eyes on another. It was a pretty thing. Small, finished, covered in wonderful colors of blue and green and white. She was headed right towards it. There was no way she wouldn't strike the planet. She wouldn't hurt it. But, she would die.

Am I not going to die anyways?

Yes. She was. For the reality dawning on her, she felt calm and collected, more so than she ever had before in her life. She accepted her fate as had the other fallen stars before her. It was the only thing to do. You couldn't fight your destiny. She might as well let fate run its course.

She closed her eyes again, letting the feeling of herself falling wash over. It was unlike anything else she had ever felt. Strong, loving, violent, gentle, protective: there were more words she could use to describe the feeling, but it would have taken her the rest of her life to recite them all.

Her body began to feel hot and it was all she could do to keep on thinking. Was this dying? Was this burning out?

Life was good to me.

Author's Note: Short but sweet. This may stay as a one shot, it may continue into a full length story. (If it does become a story the summary and title will change.) I was inspired to write this after watching Howl's Moving Castle, now one of my favorite Miyazaki movies (also the first anime I ever saw in theaters!). If anyone has read the book by Diana Wrede Jones, Michael (Markel) tries to catch a falling star and it begs not to be caught because it wants to die. That and the scene with young Howl in the movie were the two bits of real inspiration for this. I hope you guys enjoyed it!