Looking behind her, she saw the stars that had been floating so abundantly were no longer there, and all that was left was the big empty.
“George—where have all the stars gone?”
“There’s no time, Prudence. You need to shine, and you need to do it now.”
“Oh George, I’m so scared.”
Not only were there no stars, but she could feel the cold hand of death caressing the side of her face. It was working its way inside of her—wrapping its fingers around her softly shrinking soul. If she left it any longer, it would surely snuff her out, and for one terrible moment, she found herself wanting it to. George sensed what she was thinking and winced.
“Fight it, Prudence. Don’t give up now. Don’t let this be the end of what could’ve been so much more.”
She wanted to fight it, she really did, and yet in that one brief moment, she felt the sweet embrace of the void wash over her, and she desired so much to let it have her; to slip back into the cosmic womb and feel no more pain or heartache. The stillness that had her in its grasp whispered into her ear, and the silence it spoke of was like a soothing lullaby one would sing to a baby to ease it to sleep. She knew the lullaby well, and the more it sang, the less she wanted to remain.
“No more second chances, Prudence.”
But George’s voice was already so far away. Everything was far away. Down the plughole, she went; spinning like a spider being flushed on its way to oblivion.
“Don’t go, Prudence.”
His voice trailed off like a wisp of smoke.
Into the darkness, she opened her arms. There was nothing down there. Nothing at all. It was at that moment she came closest to that which all living creatures one day came to face. That same door we would all step through when it was our time to say goodbye. It was inevitable. Like the changing of the seasons. Like the tides of the seas. And yet as she felt herself coming undone like a yarn of black cotton wool, the thought of there being no more tomorrows seemed to be the saddest thing imaginable. On the precipice, she tasted absolute fear, and yet she had a choice. If she wanted to, she could live again. She could once more come into bloom. It was then that she saw how it was not yet her time, and how if she wanted to, she could see another tomorrow, and although it would no doubt hurt as much as it had done today, she would be alive.
She began to kick her feet.