The stars were…exquisite.

They gleamed and danced above him as he lay there staring at them through a strange irregular haze. His eyes wanted to close, but he wanted to watch the stars.

An ever present tone rang out. It might have been an array of notes, a chord maybe, but one tone clearly stood out from among the rest. Was that an A? Maybe a C sharp. Where was it coming from?

A warmth rose to his face that quickly boiled into an uncomfortable heat. His left eye started to close, not because he willed it, but because the heat on his face seemed to demand it. He could sense his cheek expanding.

For some reason, the memory of the day his Aunt Clare made those heavenly double chocolate macadamia nut cookies flashed through his head. He could see her smiling.


He tried to sit, but the gravity held fast as if he were strapped to the planet itself. He blinked slowly, once, and again. The image of Kitch standing over him faded into view. Kitch was yelling…something at him. He couldn’t tell what for the sake of the tone.

He moved his head back and forth a bit. His brain sloshed inside his skull like water in a bucket.


Did they have white chocolate chips?

He saw Kitch reach for him. In the moment, Kitch’s hand grabbed his lapel the stars cleared, his eyes focused and a realization shot through him like a bolt of lightning. He had never been hit so hard in his life.

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