They arrived in Costa Rica at night, having narrowly escaped a night of incarceration in a hotel near the Houston airport (both flights, as fate would have it, were delayed). The shuttle driver did not obey the speed limit, so the tapestries unfolded faster than her eyes could track. Pure blur, save the sky.
The stars were brighter, more urgent. Each with a distinct, seemingly assigned (she decided), purpose. This made her remember, fondly—missing them already, like limbs—that she used to tell bedtime stories every night, methodically moving from each daughter's room, youngest to oldest, as they drifted off, God willing.
"Keep going," they'd say, "tell me another," kings-turned-toddler-queens to her Scheherazade. And she would, plumbing the depths, making it up as she went. The protagonist was always a young girl, not betting on the prince.
The story she told her daughters that night (in her mind, for they were with their father for ski week; it was his turn), cheek pressed to transit van window, was that of a girl looking up to the stars, having the revelation that the earth was in fact enveloped above by taut black velvet, punctured with holes from without so as to let the bright light just beyond shine through with purpose and pattern.
Each star, deemed The Seamstress From On High,* would be assigned a charge below, lighting her path, guiding her well.
(The charges were always girls, as were the Gods, the messengers, the agents.)
So that when the charge lost her way, she could look up at her star and know ...
... she was not alone.
[Not even in this remote corner of Costa Rica, where the jungle ocean air felt and tasted different. Different good. And the sky above shone like none other.]
*Clearly, she'd been reading of fantasy and prophecy as elements of story.