by Elise

I can see the sleep is not leaving your eyes tonight
And I can tell that crawling back into bed will do you little good.
The pillow won't comfort and the blankets will only bind
And me being beside you--no, I won't be of any help.

You want another story
Another round, you cry.
I would hang my head and tell you I am empty--
But it would be a lie, for you fill me and give me more stories
Than any book could ever hold.
That inspiration--it surprises--

No?  All right.  All right.  I won't tell you
Of the maiden warrior again.  She has gone to sleep, anyhow.
She is not here tonight;  I do not know where she is.

A story.
Another round.

This ship holds many stories
I hardly know which to speak of now.
What I really want to know are the stories she wrote
When I was not aboard her.
It is odd to sometimes think of this place
Existing before me.
Arrogant?  Perhaps, but that's me--
Front to back, chapter and verse.

When I think of Voyager,
I can't help but think of her
Many stories.

Still, I do wonder, what stars did she sail without me.
What people looked upon her, and thought her a shooting star?
What?  Oh, I'm not trying to get out of telling you a story.
Never would I do that.

A story.
Another round.

I have one.  It is short, it may not comfort.
My stories are not always beautiful, you know.
Some of them are dark and troubled and
Some I have never spoken aloud.
But this one, I will tell you.

It was a dark and stormy night--
No, tuck that laughter away, for it truly was.
I had never known a storm like this--
Or a night so very dark.
The wind whipped through the trees,
Screaming as though it screamed for something lost.

Part of me could relate to that wind--
Cold and aimless, looking for something it could not define.
It lashed at the trees, ripping their leaves from branches
And they fluttered to the ground to litter the grass
Like a thousand broken stars.

The wind never stopped that night.
It ate at the trees and the building I lay in,
Moaning and talking in a language foreign to my ears.
It frightened me--do not laugh, but I was scared.
Down to the morrow, I was scared.

I could not say why--I'm not sure if I can say why even now.
Looking back, it was an odd reaction for me.
I have faced many enemies in my time
Yet there I was, afraid of wind.
Afraid of--

Afraid of the emotion it evoked within me, perhaps.
Not the wind, but what it made me think of.
Change and how nothing ever stays
Where you want it to
Or the way you want it to
Or the colour
Or the scent...

They are all so fleeting.
Like the wind.

As I lay there listening to the wind,
I did not realize all of this.
It only came later--now.

Back to--
I am sorry, I wandered.
But you know, I wandered that night, too.
I was not where I was supposed to be.
I had not planned on being in that place,
On that planet and in that room.
Holding that woman in my arms.

Look at the surprise on your face.
It delights me--does my story please you?
Stories are not supposed to be what you
Expect them to be, you know.
Let it lead you--don't try to guide it.
For once, give yourself to the tale.
For though it is short,
It has many things to reveal.

Now, where was I?

I think she was as scared as I was,
Lying there, listening to the wind.
I cried and she did, too,
Weeping in my arms.
She was afraid,
So afraid.

I could not comfort her.
I had tried many times, before.
She would not hear me out.
She lay weeping and scared,
And would not accept my touch.
In the end, she pulled away from me,
Leaving me alone.

It seemed we were the only two there.
Us and the wind.  It raged for hours
And we listened.  It was all we could do.

That night seemed endless.
At some point, I fell asleep
When I woke, it was morning, and the storm,
It had passed.
The woman was gone, like the storm.
I lay there alone, listening to the silence.
And then I heard her.

She was outside, cursing, raging.
I came to her, found her amid the debris.
Everything she had was ruined,
Her research,
Her only reason for be--

Why are you stopping me?
You did not want to hear about yourself, did you?
That moment--it still frightens you.
It is the only time you almost gave yourself
To that which you want so badly.

You walked away from me,
From my touch and the comfort I could have given.
Your precious perimeters--
I would have smashed them as the wind smashed the leaves.
But I respect you too much for that.

Why this story?
That moment stays with me.
I do not ask it to stay, but it does.
I am sorry if it saddens you;
I told you it was a dark story.
So much left unfinished.
A story without end.
The worst kind.

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