Catch a Falling Star


It was another summer night, and Page and Alli sat in their respective rocking chairs, on the porch of Alli’s old house – her dilapidated hang-out spot, from her high school days, spent with Nealy and Aro. The night sky stretched out before them, like a future full of promise.

Page jumped up, with a sudden enthusiasm, “Get up for a second, will you?”

Alli looked confused, “What? Why?”

“Just stand up. One moment!” Page laughed.

Alli got up. Page grasped her arms and turned Alli around, so that she was standing behind Alli, “Close your eyes!”

“OK?” Alli grinned.

She felt a necklace being placed around her neck, and gasped, opening her eyes, “You shouldn’t have!”

Page had placed a diamond pendant, on a silver chain, around her neck, “See how it shines like the stars, up in the sky? They’re all there for you, Sky Avatar. Always remember that there are still good things, out there, in this world.”

They both looked up at the moon and the canopy of the heavens, from their little wooden porch, floating in space and time.

catch a falling star


tengu, shugendo

Cai took Dan to a tailor, and that evening they appeared at The Alley Cat – a premier entertainment venue, featuring on its stage, every night, diverse acts, from contortionists and disappearing magicians, to traveling troupes of escape artists.

Circular tables, covered with black tablecloths, were each lit with one red candle, in a circular glass. A cigar bar, The Alley Cat was one of the few establishments Downtown where you could still smoke indoors.

Through the haze, Dan glimpsed the two men from Cai’s cell phone picture: the tan, bearded Sebastian in a dark suit and a navy dress shirt, and the pale, smooth-faced Hod, in a suit and tie.

The clean-shaven FBI agent looked up at Dan and caught his eye. Dan felt a hook twist in his stomach, despite himself. Behind the profound gaze, he sensed a hot-blooded man, compelled by an all-consuming fire. The bearded man – although also broad-shouldered and endowed with an immense soul – was the more relaxed one, of the two.

vintage '90s, 1998