Scarlet Stars

There are two kinds of Knowing.

Here is the first: When the marine layer is low, the amber streetlights refract in such a way that the white froth upon the tide is tinted red. This I Know, and like so many scientists, fancy myself wise for Knowing.

In my homeland this is called a “bloody” tide; and this is a type of Knowing too. Bloody tide and full wolf moon, and the turn of the Gregorian Year; this is a type of Knowing that sends me down to the sea with my hair wild in the wind, to climb the carnivorous black rocks by starlight alone, to make offering of that which I deem precious: the Dragon’s Tears.

Offering and demand – this is more of that second kind of Knowing. You can give anything to the sea, as long as you are willing to be left with your hands.

The clouds lifted before midnight. The sea foam returned to its white sheen. At the edge of the pier, the sky was spattered with red fireworks – a thousand crimson stars, burning holes in the velvet sky. I wondered if the gods are real, and if so, what they must think of us, painting the night sky red with stars of our own making.


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