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"Monachopsis: The subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place."


A gust of wind blows its way across the plane, starting out as something sweet, sugary- before ending as nothing more than cool, earthy air. The impact of the breeze ripples the wild grass on which he lay, racing along each blade and creating the effect of something akin to ocean waves.

Grass. He's laying on grass.

Fingertips graze the earth, dancing along the surface and taking with it the scent of this place, forever engrained on his palm. His hands glide through the grass, searching for something, anything.

Yet, Changkyun finds nothing.

Eyes opening. Vision returning. An ebony sky upon which rests thousands of bright lights, falling to their death as they rain down from above. Explosions of light behind his eyelids, leaving with it trails of smokey glitter.

Slowly, he sits up. A sole figure, lonely against what should be empty. A picture perfect moment, camera ready, a masterpiece one could dare to call a light show. A meadow that stretches far beyond eye's reach surrounding his figure, the taste of freedom heavy on his tongue as he searches the midnight sky for answers he cannot, and will not find.

All around him, fragments of star race across the inky blackness, leaving behind streaks of rainbow light that paint the sky with their graceful hues. An explosion of colour upon a dusk black canvas, a galaxy of everlasting wishes that crash down for no other reason than that wishes are wasted on the weak.

The boy underneath the sky, smack in the middle of the grand scheme of this masterpiece, finds himself wanting to gather every star, every light that plagues this land and drowns him in all the shades of love. But as he reaches outward, palm facing up to the commotion ahead, no stars fall in his direction. All he receives are lights that decorate his bare skin with splashes of the star's essence, dripping down his arm and bathing him in dying wishes.

Despite the clash of all these stars collapsing to the ground, no sound is heard from them as they descend. In fact, the night is nearly soundless, save for the breeze that whispers in his ear. Silence wraps around his form and holds him there, motionless against the scenery and trapped underneath the blazing display of colour.

Then the wind slowly begins to pick up, first barely noticeable as it ruffles the grass under his feet, and quickly turning the silent plane into one full of noise, a whipping of air whistling while it picks at his clothing and renders him unable to see, or to move.

He lies back down on the ground, clutching onto any grass within reach and holding his body down to fight the sudden change in weather. He cracks an eye open, searching the sky for signs of a storm.

Changkyun finds none.

The space above the field is clear of any clouds, aside from the bursts of light and colour that decorate the sanguin surface. The stars continue to fall, unbothered as they die, one by one, the wishes running out slowly as the sands of time slip away.

Why do the stars fall like so? Why do they crash to this empty meadow, with such speed and force? Each one, always more bright and beautiful than the last, loses its spot in his sky before burning out in all its brilliance, emptying the firmament of yet another light with each wish lost.

More importantly, for who or what do these stars fall? For him?

His questions are all answered in this moment, the second he chooses to focus his eyes on a particular light somewhere in the distance. Someways far off, farther out on the vast meadow, is a light brighter than any he has witnessed in the sky that watches over him.

A boy roughly his age stands still, palms raised just as Changkyun had had them. The boy appears to reach out for a star, trying to stop even just one from hitting the ground, trying to keep the darkness away from the sky and from himself.

His hair is stark-white, from what Changkyun can see, bright and cheerful. It's the kind of brilliant white he thinks belongs only to holy beings, some kind of angel maybe.

Millions of thoughts race through his mind, questions without answers that run around in circles and refuse to have an end. He wonders who this boy is, where they are, what they're doing here.

The boy in the distance doesn't move from that position, grasping at invisible ropes and begging the sky to grant him a wish. The desperation is clear in the way he seems to claw at the air, and if Changkyun were closer he would see the silent tears that flow down soft cheeks. He would see the boy's eyes reflect all the wishes he so wants to obtain.

But he can't, so he settles for watching the sky instead. He stares at it and sees the way each star falls, the space above becoming significantly darker with each loss. Although none seem to fall anywhere close to them, the bright haired boy doesn't give up. He stands there, fingers tracing the heavens, watching and waiting for the right moment.

All Changkyun can do is stare.

Just as he thought the wind had stopped, the breeze begins to pull at his clothes once more. It's slow, not immediate, but the change in the air is known. The boy in the distance remains unbothered, still clinging to his hope that the sky will allow him a second chance. The wind attempts to take him with it, trying to knock him off his feet and push him down, yet despite all its effort the boy stays rooted in place.

The boy stands there, watching as the sky drains itself of all the light in the universe, forfeiting the stars for an inky blackness that would bring with it only malevolance unknown. Cashmere flutters along his side as the wind sweeps his shirt, a cold breath that tickles his face like Death's own fingertips.

Changkyun doesn't know why he finds the scene so sad when he has no idea what's happening, who this is or what they are trying to accomplish. He just doesn't know. He doesn't know where he is, who he is, why he's here. All he knows, all that he can say for sure, is that they have no doubt met before.

Something about it just seemed so...significant. Maybe it's the way optimism shone off his face like a bursting firework, or how his eyes reflected the pursuit of thousands upon millions of tiny dreams. The fingers that teased at the skyline seemed strikingly familiar as well, a hand that almost threatened to capture the night as it desperately played a meolody within the air, fingers reaching for the untouchable.

Tragedy plays on loop, taking him back seconds into the past on repeat as he is forced to watch the boy grasp at the sky over and over again, failure evident yet not overbearing to the other. Whisps of starlight cascade across his cheekbones and highlight the shining eyes, lighting him up and burning him out all at once.

Time freezes Changkyun in a glass frame, begging to be shattered for reasons he doesn't quite comprehend. He subconsciously stares, regarding the scene like it were some sort of movie, an ethereal image not seen by real eyes, not created by human hands. It's the kind of tragic scene you find yourself attracted to, almost unbearably sad yet too captivating to miss.

The desolate figure of the boy whose face scars Changkyun's mind seems to shrink as the lights diminish, hope bleeding out in the form of tears that spill onto the grassy surface below and sparkle underneath the starlight, a river of silent prayers unheard.

And just when he seems about to give up, something unexpected by either of them occurs: the last star falls down to earth, in the direction of the white-haired male.

The boy in the distance drops down to his knees, a gasp of relief that Changkyun can't hear escaping his throat, fists unclenching as he once more brings his hands up to reach, the last chance he has to catch his wish, breathe it in and enrapture himself with it. He can nearly smell the intoxication of the star's promise, a kiss from the sky that taunts him.

Changkyun can see the strain in his muscles as he extends his arm, fingers splaying outward to type a message only the sky can see, a wish from his heart to to his hands, an offering of his being. Clear desperation and dedication paint his features in the form of the sweat that drips down his skin...or maybe they're tears.

Honestly, neither of them could tell the difference anymore.

Changkyun sees the star falling, the boy reaching, the inevitable destruction about to rampage right in front of his very eyes. As the light begins to hurdle downward, aiming straight for the boy, he feels the knots in his limbs come undone. Whatever had held him in place for so long fades away like a forgotten memory, allowing him to finally ease himself off of the ground and stabilize his legs.

The boy's eyes are almost relieved, a mixture of anxiety and rekindled flames of hope burning within them as the star draws closer, headed straight for the heel of his palm. He can nearly taste the explosions of light, the colours that blind him and permit him to see, a wave of chromatic tundra that freezes him over like the harsh, winter breeze after midnight.

The falling wish becomes too close for comfort, the impact of its rushing force causing the boy's hair to whip at his forehead, a feeling that goes ignored and unnoticed, incomparable to the happiness he feels while he watches it shine directly into his eyes.

Changkyun sees the star, brilliant and large, about to crash into the boy, swallow him whole in a burst of light and fire that torches the field in all the colours of a bloody ember, obliteration and destruction waiting just around the corner. He can't simply stand here and watch as the boy dies, fades from life and disappears forever. It's not in his nature.

Changkyun panics, scrambling to his feet and taking in a gasp of air, preparing to scream at the boy to move, run, anything other than stand there with his arm outstretched, welcoming death with open arms.

Before he can so much as move a finger, it hits.

And the boy fails to catch it.

The boy beyond the hills misses the star, fingertips just grazing the golden edges that shimmer and flicker like a gentle thunderstorm, electrifying as it makes its contact with the ground. For a split second, the time between the light and the dark, the ground is illuminated by a flash of iridescence, all the colours of the spectrum dashing across the field and splattering every blade of grass with its decaying wish, the only light left before it disappears in a flash of white, as if it had never even been there in the first place.

Not for the first time, everything goes dark.