A crescent moon, curved like a ship, balanced softly on the currents of the dim sky. The lunar canvas was gilded with cold, and its waning fragment was bright with winter’s cruel, sharp light.
Clouds smeared the horizon with twilight; fingertips plucked the stars from their night time aerie. The sun, rebuked, sank beneath the hemispheres, wrapped in a blanket of latitudes and longitudes. Night had truly arrived, a shadow descending from the heights of the sky’s perfect arc.
As the moon continued its gentle voyage, a single star – spared from the clouds’ harvesting – hung below it. It seemed to be suspended from the gliding bow, deftly maneuvered at the end of a thread, glistening with the dew that bloomed out of the chilly air.
A sparkling bait, it waited in the depths of the murky atmosphere. Alluring and artful, it was the pearl that once rolled in Phoebe’s palm as she reclined in her citadel beyond the planets. Delicious and distant, it lingered by the tender arc of light.
What did the moon wait for, with its shining lure? Perhaps galaxies full of fish and dragons were close by, drawn close by their inexorable, swimming orbits. Perhaps veils of light, the delicate frost of outlying worlds, would wrap themselves around that tempting hook.
The moon cast its line throughout the night, ready for the nibble and pull of bright, curious victims. It remained in patient grace until the sun returned, swathed in a bronzed and bloody haze. Only then did the radiant ship disappear, floating away on dark waves glittering with satellites, to wait for the return of its twilight sport.