Usual: Money? None being made. Characters? Not Mine. I promise to return them in the condition they were lent me. Idea has been stewing in my head ever since I first read The Sound of Her Wings, and has just now found the context to wrap itself in.

Olber's Paradox
~ Jeanne M.

"Death is the mother of beauty."

- Wallace Stevens

"Astounding." Death spread her arms wide, taking it all in. "I never get enough of it, you know. Technically, I'm there. Everywhere, really. Being me, doing the whole anthropomorphic personification bit, and from every angle, every spot in all of creation, it's completely breathtaking." She grinned, spinning faster and faster. "So many beautiful, bright, lovely stars set in an inky backdrop!"

"How many of them have you taken, sister?" The voice beside her is filled with melancholy. "How many of them are already gone?"

"A few." If he is surprised by her verbal shrug, he does not let on. "Everything dies, little brother. You know that. Is the night sky any less bright or beautiful when a star dims? It doesn't get any darker."

"Hmmm....yes. An interesting question, 'How can the night sky be black with so many stars in it.' I always wondered that myself." He locks his hands behind his head leaning back to look upward. "He was a very talented dreamer, you know."

"He was very polite. When he realized who I was, he didn't put up a fuss, just asked if he could see a star before we went."

"Did you?"

"Did I what?"

"Take him to see a star."

"Yes." She stops spinning, moving to sit beside him. "He was so sincere, I couldn't refuse. I know I'm not supposed to, but I didn't want to say no. I asked if he had a particular favorite, but he couldn't decide. He loved all of them so much. We ended up going to the Pleiades, and Saturn just for kicks. I was tempted to take him to another solar system, but I was afraid the shock might be too much for him."



"Wasn't he already dead? What could another shock do to him?"

She shoots him a mildly annoyed look, reaching over to tug on his pale hair. "Just because you're dead, doesn't mean you stop living."

"Oh." He remains silent, staring up at the sky. If the incongruity of her statement bothers him, he does not let on.

They remain staring at the stars for a time