I was there when the third fell.

The gates were sealed by fire and their howls tore into the night.

I watched you- all of you- trail through the sky, burning like the stars you had been. The world rumbled, the sky filled with thunder and lightning as he struck each of you down.

I was in awe.

I had never seen the light before. Not like this. Never up close.

He said 'Let there be light' and thus shadows were born.

I lived in the dark places, places your kind had never seen. Never touched.

I saw the light, and I was jealous. I felt the warmth your kind so cherished, and I wanted it.

There were so many of you, and he was just throwing you away. Surely nobody would miss one. Just one. Just for me.

He separated the land and the sea. All the jostling was what woke me up.

I caught you when you fell.

The others all landed in the hard places. The dry places. Arid, sandy places. Places where I couldn't go.

You landed in the cold. You landed with a splash, and I caught you.

You were so warm! You burned! I'd never known a warm thing before. But you changed as soon as hit the water. Your fire died down. Your feathers fell off and floated away from you. I collected them, in case you'd ever need them again, but you never did.

After hardly any time at all, you were cold on the outside. But on the inside, you were still warm. Still so beautifully warm.

So I swept you away, beneath the waves and into the depths.

You cried out.

Only bubbles came out.

You gasped for air.

Only water came in.

You kicked and tried to fight me, but eventually, you stopped.

You fell asleep.

But that's okay. Years have passed, and you're still here. And you're still warm.

Beautifully, blessedly warm.

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