Septemus 49


Dear Sept,

It’s from you that I’ve learned to listen to that voice that sounds inside. It’s not my voice. Usually, it’s yours.

This time, it belonged to someone else.

“Come outside! Meet with us again! We want to see you!”

How could I refuse? I knew who it was. It was your people. I’d been hoping to have another chance to see them. I’d been waiting for this.

I felt excited. I was going to see your people again. What would they tell me this time?


I hoped I would remember every word they spoke.

The light wasn’t frightening this time. It felt warm. It felt like a welcome.


For just a moment, my rational mind kicked in: What if something happens to interrupt the beam?

The ship was an awfully long ways up there.


But once I begin to lift off the ground, I put my worries aside.


This was their words.



I looked in the bedroom window as I began rising up.

There you were, fast asleep.


Do you know how proud I am of you?

“Sleep well,” I whispered. “I’ll be back before you wake.” I hoped I’d have more news from your people to share with you.


It seemed like I was gone for a long time, though it was still dark when I returned, and you were still sleeping in your bed.

It’s hard for me to explain what it feels like on returning. It’s something like waking from a dream–so much has happened, more than I can process at the moment. And that strange feeling of adjusting to the atmosphere and gravity of this planet. That’s the most disconcerting part.


I stood in a stupor on the lawn before our house.

The space craft hovered above.

And then, then I heard singing. It was all twelve of them–all twelve who’d been on the ship–but with the echoing of their voices, they sounded like hundreds. The melody followed the cadences of the songs you sing, that same minor key, filled with longing and love.

Pagoto, dear one,
Hold one,
Carry one.

Love one,
Dear one,
Our one,
Sweet one.

EO inna-inna O
O inna-inna EO.

EO in’i O
O in’i EO.


I looked up, and the light of the ship’s eye winked, and then it was gone.

Son, when I remember what happened, I will share it with you.

–Your pops

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