The war changed Daddy, changed us all I guess.
But Daddy more than anyone.
Daddy had always loved the stars. He knew every name, every number. He knew the constellations, the asterisms. He knew the myths behind each one, be they Greek or Roman or Arabic or Norse. He knew legends from India, from the Aztecs, from the Apache. They were our bedtime stories. Our lectures as we walked though the desert on clear, chilly nights.
After the invasion nobody looked at the stars any more. We closed our shutters, turned up the lights to block out the night sky. The stars meant danger, fear, death.
The only one to walk in the dark forbidden places was Daddy, though he never spoke of what he saw. Not until he was dying.
His final words to me were: ‘Anya. Anya the stars are weeping. The stars are weeping because we lost our belief in them. Our love for them’
I went out the next day, into the dark.
Daddy was wrong, the stars were not weeping. The stars are cold and alien. Hostile.
The only one crying was Daddy.
Crying for the lost innocence of the stars.