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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by Douglas on September 8, 2007
"I should have spent a little more time on this one - maybe I'll come back and revise it at some point."

Starry Night Far from the City

The sun had set three hours ago, there on the side of the mountain, forty miles from the closest town, eighty miles from the closest city. The night was clear, and for the first time, James was able to see the lights in the sky that had always been hidden by the lights of civilization. The stars seemed to him to be cold, piercing crystals hung haphazardly on a black curtain.

He remembered visiting a planetarium once, and having constellations pointed out to him. Now he was unable to remember or recognize a single one - except he was sure he remembered those three stars in a row were a man's belt.

But James didn't care about constellations - for the first time in his life he understood how ordered his life was. From city streets to ticking clocks, from regimented school work to deadlines and urgent priorities, everything was neatly organized and blocked off in lists and grids.

But here was a stunning display of a random myriad of glowing lights neither designed nor dictacted by the power of man. Yet Man was not content to find a heavenly display over which He had no rule or power. So He crafted for Himself a story which explained the positions and orientations of each of these uncontrollable lights. In creating these stories, He could fool Himself into thinking He was in control.

Tonight, James had no interest in control. He just wanted to feel small in the vastness of an inexplicable, uncontrollable display of light and dark. For tonight, he felt a strange comfort just to be dominated by the violent display of disordered and uncontrolled lights.

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