A familiar small boy with colour flying around him laughed, running through a field of grass. I watched distantly, following slowly. It felt surreal, like I was in a dreamscape of sorts. As he moved, the greens, pinks, blues, and yellows that followed him sparked up dust and disturbed the bugs around him. He painted the long grey and droopy landscape with longing colours that I could almost taste. I stroked through the grass ever so slowly still, wanting to call out to him but no noise coming out. He continued to run through the grass that had turned yellow a long, long time ago; and as he stopped behind the tree, something changed. Maybe it was a small detail, like his height or his eye colour, but even than it was blurry and hard to remember. He went behind the tree slowly, than, as I urged myself to look away and take care of myself, something broke through the brush behind the tall tree.
There stood a small, lean looking buck. His small antlers had grown since the last time I'd seen him, and so many things had changed. I made my way towards him, through black and blue water knee deep and cold, and put my hand out towards him. As he put his head against it, I remembered all the bed time stories, all the laughs, all the hard times, all the wonders and beauties, all the knee scraps, all the baseball games; I remember my son. I felt warm, wet liquid slowly leave my eyes. I reached up to wipe them away but felt startled. Tears. I was crying. When had it been since I last wept? It felt like years, maybe decades. I stared stiffly into the buck's patient eyes, it's long eye lashes complementing the deep brown colour that seemed to hold a place on the small deers face. I felt a smile grace my lips as I hugged the buck, petting it gently, cooing that it was so wonderful and loving to wait for me this long and for so many long growing days. It was brave and strong, courageous and filled with flowing pride. It felt nice. As I let go of the buck I felt reality crash down on top of my shoulders. How would it know when to come back? Did the guard tell him visitor hours? Or was it the Star-Keeper's I had grown to hate over the passing weeks? I looked back slowly at the buck as it danced gracefully, making the long way back to the small boy it once was. I sighed, looking up at the cracking mirror slowly.
"If only the moon was a tad bit closer," I said, Howell looking at me in confusion; "than I could catch it in my hands, and gave it to him as a promise." Howell frowned, his curious eyebrows arching in confusion.
"Whatever do you mean? A promise to what?" he asked, a pinched look crossing him. "I mean," I replied gently; "that if the sky is the limit, I want to give him the stars. A promise to come back too him, make it up to him." Howell looked at me quietly, then turned his attention back to the book in his hands. He always read, it almost seemed as though his hands were chained to them. I had once asked why he read so much, but apparently he hadn't heard me. I looked over my dear friend Howell for a few seconds, licking my dry lips and rubbing my cold hands together in thought, thought and slight frustration. Howell sighed, straightening in his chair uncomfortably.
"What are you going to do when we finally leave the mirror?" I asked, mostly out of curiosity. "I'll be going back to my library, order some books, maybe even leave this crummy little town." He stated, flipping a page skillfully. I stared at him, surprised that I felt that way.
"Why would you want to leave?!" I exclaimed, eyes wide in confusion.
He shrugged, a thin smile coming to his face, "I do not feel needed in this disgruntling town. I am needed else where." I looked at him, biting back a retort as I shifted on my small pillow that I sat upon. I wonder if that was a promise to himself.