*...The Original Take...*

The stars were out, he was sure of that. They hung in the sky as they always had; Orion, Polaris, The Big Dipper, The Little Dipper. But something was different.

 They had colors of blue and orange and red but they did not sparkle. He squinted with his eyes amidst the frosty, blackened sky and tilted his neck, the fur on his parka making a eerie brushing sound as it swept past his burly shoulders. As he strained his eyes upwards he saw the moon, nestled among a few faint clouds. The moon was indeed there too and it was a blueish gray color. He tried to see a face and smiled with amusement to see what looked like an old mans face looking down with displeasure. But something was just not quite right. He removed his big, yellow gloves and with his long thick fingers he started to stroke at his reddish beard inquisitively. 

 "Damn ginger!" thought a Raven to itself as it flew overhead observing the large man, hand on his beard ruffling, his neck pointed skyward in disbelief. 

 The moon, the stars, the night sky, it was all there. It was there as it had always been each piece occupying its place amidst the great expanse. But something was just not right. The stars didn't sparkle, the moon while lit did not glow and the sky just seemed lifeless and still. 

 He took a few steps further in the snow, crunching beneath his big black boots. There were billows of steam from his body and smoke rings from his breath as its warmth fought the crispness of this cold, cold night and lost. He turned quickly as if to surprise the night sky, for maybe it was playing tricks, but when he turned around it was the same as before: cold and sterile. 

 He walked back to his little cabin beside the snow covered hill that jutted into the darkness. His breath was laborious and loud as he stepped in the deep snow. He saw his tiny cabin, his escape from the world. Tonight it looked so bland and ordinary. He opened the door as a small breeze howled through as if to welcome itself and take residence. He shut the door and hung up his gray parka on coat rack by the door and sat down to take off his boots. To his right there was a fire roaring in the fireplace. He was comforted by the crackling sound it made but no warmth reached him. Tonight the fire looked wrong. It was hot and it was burning but it wasn't a fire. It wasn't alive, the sparks didn't dance around. Like the sky it just seemed lifeless and cold. 
"A cold fire..." he thought to himself. "I must be going half mad..." And indeed he was. 

 Something strange happens to a man when he falls in love and this man had fallen farther and faster than any man. He had known in the blink of an eye that his life would never be the same the day she walked in the door and out from the cold. The way the frost accented her smooth skin and the way her blonde locks curled down her face from under a knitted winter cap that had seen better days. Her blue eyes sparkled like rubies and her lips were like roses. She had turned to face him and he caught his eyes gazing downward at this beautiful creature. Her shirt tugged tightly at her curves, which were neither too big nor too small. Her jeans hung low on her hips and her legs rose high and gave her a commanding presence. 

 He fidgeted with his thumbs nervously as she walked closer to the tiny wooden desk he sat behind. There was a light shining down and all manner of parts and screws and batteries. She handed him a watch and asked him if it was fixable. He mumbled and sweat poured from his brow. "How do you talk to an angel?" he thought. He tried to breathe but he couldn't. An old man leaning on a rickety table in the corner said, "We can fix anything here and Sam is the best around!" 

 He looked down at the watch with a studious gaze intent on making this quiet, broken watch tick with life and tell time once again. After a few minutes it was alive with sounds and whirling with spinning hands and numbers. He handed the watch back to the woman and as he did her hand gently stroked his hand. The hairs on his neck stood on end. She smiled, thanked him and walked out the door. 

 From that moment on the man made it his mission to be with the beautiful woman. He sent her flowers, he sang her songs and wrote her endless sonnets of love. Slowly, and with each chip of the hammer at her hardened heart, she came around and found herself wanting this man. As time passed they fell more and more in love. He used to be so wrapped up in his routines that he never saw the beauty of the world around him. But now he saw the world for what it truly was, a creation of love and a place of wonder. 

He saw the stars in the night sky sparkle like rare jewels and he saw the moon shine down on his picturesque cabin like a spotlight from a scaffolding a hundred thousand miles in the sky. Everything was so alive. His heart raced and purred like a kitten. His cheeks stretched back as he smiled and took in the beauty around him. He was honestly and truly happy. 

 The old man at the factory had told him that love makes you see things differently. He had also warned him that if she ever left him that things would never look the same. And he was right. One day she was gone. No warning, nothing. Just gone. And as she left he walked outside into the cold night air to sort things out and think the way only a walk among snow covered trees and starry skies can do. 
Without her eyes to light up his world everything was dark. She taught him to see the world the way she saw it, with a wonderment and awe. Without her heart to give life to his universe everything was dead. 

 And so the old man had been right; loves changes the way you see things. Sometimes you see things more clearly and sometimes it makes everything hazier. He had seen the best of the world and now he had lost it. What was once alive was now dead. And so he spent his days sitting at his little wooden desk in a tiny watch factory with the light shining down and tinkering endlessly at broken things. He would walk home to a lifeless house and a build an average fire and sleep an average sleep on an average bed. 

 He had wore his heart on his sleeve and had relied on someone else to be his dream. Maybe he was right and maybe he was wrong. But right now he was just a little bit colder and a little bit more dead to the world around him because he had once held an angel and now he held nothing... 

Copyright 2018 Roxx Hunter.

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