Winter Holidays - Story 7 - Yonder Star by J.A. Bryson

The craft hovers just over the peaks of Judea. Kygll fixes her gaze on the bright star pulsing in the easternmost sky.

“There.” She unfurls a tendril-like finger and taps the windscreen.

The pilot, Enis, nods wordlessly, squinting his ink-black orbs. He pulls the throttle, and the craft drops with a sudden jerk.

“They’ll make him a god,” she says.

“Or kill him.” Enis blinks indifferently.

Or both.

Kygll’s innards lurch as they make their final descent, a wrenching sensation she’ll gladly wait millennia before experiencing again. A darkened Bethlehem comes into focus, its colorless buildings still and silent—all except for one. A stable.

“Is that it?” Enis points.

Was he expecting pyramids? Kygll clicks her bifurcated tongue against her teeth in annoyance. “You’ll find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and laying in a manger.”

Enis snorts. “A human.”

Kygll grabs her augury kit from the wall-case. Its gold skin glitters in the artificial light.

“Not for long.”

The magi touch down in an empty pasture, their craft failing to sway even a single blade of grass. A whirring fills the cabin, the pressure shifting almost imperceptibly.

“You think it’ll work this time?” Enis kneads his fore-skull. He has a worried look.

So that’s what this is about.

Kygll sighs. Can she blame him after the debacle in Uruk? Not that the flooding was her fault. Missteps were made, miscalculations. She’d like to think their prognosticators have learned a thing or two since then, and that they’ve grown wiser.

“They’ll build cathedrals in his honor,” she says. “Cities will be vanquished in his name.”

“And you’re sure she’s a virgin?”

Leave it to Enis—always thinking with his tentacles.

Kygll snickers. “Does it matter?”

Enis grunts something unintelligible as the portal materializes, a shimmering breach in the craft’s wall. The rush of outside air is bracing and damp. Kygll shudders, breathing deeply.

“He’ll join us in H’van,” she says. “We’ll be ready, waiting—”

“Too much waiting,” he says stiffly.

“It takes time to build an army of believers.”

“Two thousand years?”

Two thousand years is nothing really, not in the scheme of eternity. Enis is just being ornery. He’ll come around.

“Have faith,” she says.

“I’ve got nothing but faith.” Enis rises from the captain’s chair, lengthening to his full, gangly height. He stands at Kygll’s side.

“With their lord and savior at the helm, we’ll return to Earth like thieves in the night.” The intimation of a smile twists her lips. “They’ll greet us like kings.”

Enis chuckles. “Kings, eh?”

A joyful thrumming warms Kygll’s chest as she peers into the blackness of this holy night of nights. “Glory to the newborn king.”


J.A. Bryson is a Viable Paradise graduate with short fiction in Gamut Magazine.


Post a Comment