Angels Of Blue

by Dawn Leaper

A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes

Star light, star bright,
First star I see tonight,
Wish I may, wish I might,
Have this wish I make tonight.

Swing you low or high away,
Burn you hot or dim,
My only wish I dare not say-
Lest you should grant me him.

The moon shone mournfully in the sky, flickering through the dark clouds that cast greying shadows over the skies.

Soarin Skies sat on his bed, thinking, unable to sleep. Like he had every night for the past seven months.

The bed, once a place of warmth, and joy, and rest, and love, now felt cold and disparaging, having only one inhabitant instead of two.

And it had been the same thing, night after night after night. He could only dream about one person.

She ran through his thoughts every night. Every quiet moment, every breath of silence, in the late hours of the night and the early hours of the morning and the persistent thudding of the scalding waterdroplets in the shower that allowed his mind to zone out and wander.

He thought about her in the space between seconds.

She was like his map, his lantern, his lighthouse. Every decision he made in life was guided, influenced in a way by her, consciously or unconsciously, actively or passively, she permeated every aspect of his life in the best way possible.

And without her, without her reliability and partnership and companionship, he was like a pilgrim, stranded with no direction, lost and paying the penance, like walking over broken glass.

Every step he took forward hurt.

Every time he woke up, and the realisation that the left side of the bed remain cold and empty forevermore.

Every long night spent alone, without the comforting presence of a warm body next to his, reaching across the bed each morning for the next three years expecting to find her there, but only grasping cold air.

Every day that he dragged himself out of bed, fought the desire to stay within the sheets, made himself productive, even if it was just sitting outside for a while, or calling one of their children for a chat.

Because he had promised her he'd keep going. He had promised. And Soarin was never one to break a promise, especially not to the mare he loved.

And by God, he had loved her. He loved her still.

Because when you love someone, they become a part of who you are. And Soarin would always remain true to himself. She was in the air he breathed and the things he did and the memories that ran through his head. Her touch burnt his skin, but he loved of it, the feel of it, because it stayed there, it left a mark, a memory. Her laugh rang constantly in his ears and her voice in his mind.

He knew her good dreams because they were his, he knew her nightmares because they harrowed his heart. And she wasn't perfect, but he knew her flaws, and he loved her even the more for them, because that was made Dash herself.

He had been trusted with all the shadows of her secrets, every contour of her face, and image that was permanently etched behind his eyelids every time he laid down the sleep was of her, his Dash.

She changed the very nature of his soul.

The only thing Soarin could think about was their life together. How the moonlight used to shine in her eyes and turn them a different colour. The flood of emotion in his chest when he realised, for the first time, that he was catastrophically in love with her, the potency of the feeling almost painful, tinged with a bright sweetness, like licking honey off a knife.

He missed her so much it felt like the breath was being crushed out of him every time he tried to smile.

And sometimes the room felt like it was collapsing and the walls were closing in and all the world was against him, and he had to get free.

So, like the night he proposed, he escaped through his window, away from sleep and sorrow, away from the challenge of having to wake up again.

The sky, like it was for countless others of his kind, was his salvation.

He sought his refuge in the vastness of it, the glorious expanse of space, the freedom.

He could breathe.

Up and up and up he climbed, higher and higher, breaths becoming increasingly laboured. He remembered when he was a young stallion, and he could sky-rocket directly upwards with ease.

He flew until he burst through the final layer of cirrus clouds, and the dark space above him was loud with a quiet emptiness. He had always marvelled how transcendental the night sky looked from up here, as if he could reach out a wing and burn his feathers in the fiery scintillations.

Landing on one of the denser-looking clouds, Soarin folded his wings gently and exhaled slowly. It was so silent up here; the only things he could here were his own breaths and the thudding of his heart in his ears.

He lay down, missing the warm body that was usually tucked neatly under his wing.

And he cried.

Oh, he sighed a shaky sigh, voice trembling with emotion. His Dash and her eyes like dark rowan berries, her laugh like broken wooden windchimes, her voice raspy and familiar. What would he do to kiss her one more time, embrace her in his arms, sculpt her limbs, trace the planes of her features with his hooves.

And he shook with emotion, the sheer ferocity of grief he felt with each and every second he remained alive on this Earth. He couldn't see the sun over the horizon, couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel. Giving up almost seemed like the easier option. The more selfish option.

With weary eyes, red and sore from tears shed, he peered through his lashes up at the stars. They were dizzying, like little pieces of Heaven that had scattered into celestial fragments of fire. Something bright and falling streaked across the sky, fading as quickly as it had appeared. It was quickly followed by another, and another, and another.

A meteor shower.

'When you wish upon a star,' Dash whispered knowingly to a little Prism, who lay snuggled beneath her wing as the family watched the stars fall on a cloud outside their house, 'you must never, ever, ever tell anyone your wish. Do you know why?'

'Why, mommy?' Prism, when he had still been 'uncool' enough to call her 'mommy', had giggled back.

'Because if you speak your wish aloud, it will never come true.' She finished conspiratorially, bopping him lightly on the nose.

Meteor showers were rare, Soarin knew. Perhaps it was a sign. Perhaps he was being foolish. Wishing for something he knew could never come true.

But the stars were full of magic, and Luna worked in mysterious ways.

Just once, he told himself. Only once would he allow himself to dare to dream.

Please, he begged in his head, I wish to talk to her just one more time. Just once. Even in a dream... he prayed so hard, as if by pure mental prowess he could will his wish into reality.

Soarin wasn't quite sure when his eyes had drifted shut, but the darkness was inviting, soothing, even. Grieving was an exhausting pastime. He felt his body relax, his heartbeat slowing and his breathing rate decreasing as a powerful wave of drowsiness washed over him. No matter how much he dreaded it, he could resist sleep no more.

A dream is a wish your heart makes.

And Soarin's heart wished for one thing more than anything else in the world.