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Daisy's Star Map

Sean Patrick Whiteley is a 32-year-old writer living in Revere, Massachusetts. When he isn't doodling or staying up far too late, he is exploring the curious places of New England and experiencing sunlight with his wife. His fiction has been featured in The Furious Gazelle Halloween Anthology, FIVE:2:ONE, various podcasts, and elsewhere. Find him on Twitter @SeanPWhiteley.
The orange streetlight winked out, which woke the dog, who was a mildly clever Pomeranian, and was easily disturbed by the smallest of sounds. And when the orange streetlight winked out, it went--wink!--and of course, Daisy, the Pomeranian, leapt into wakefulness, yipping and yapping, snarling and barking.
Bork! Bork! Bork! Daisy rose the alarm.
And then, she was silent. Her muzzle opened and closed, her eyes bulged with the effort of barking, but no sound came.
And she was floating. Her paws lifted from the floor, and Daisy hovered in the dark living room. She slowly tumbled head over tail through the house. The kitchen window opened, and a soft, golden light pulled Daisy outside.
The window closed.
In the morning, Daisy's human, Margaret, shuffled into the kitchen to put a pot of coffee on the stove. Something crunched under her slipper. She looked down. Dry dog food covered the linoleum.
'Daisy!' Margaret shouted.
The Pomeranian tip-toed into the kitchen.
Her human was fuming. 'Look at this mess you made, Daisy!'
Daisy barked.
Margaret grabbed the broom and started sweeping.
Daisy ran around the kitchen. She growled. She nipped at her human's ankles. But she couldn't stop her.
Margaret swept up the dog food. Those delicate patterns of dry dog food. The concentric circles, the trajectories and lines; a star map, it was a star map! Why couldn't Margaret see? It was all the Pomeranian could remember of her night on the ship, deep and away in the sky. The beings who took her had touched her mind, had expanded the capabilities of her thoughts. They showed her the star map. And now Margaret, the fool, the great fool, swept it all away.
Daisy barked. Margaret, you witless hominid!
'It's okay, baby,' the woman said, bending down to pet Daisy's head. 'I forgive you.' And with that, Margaret put the coffee on the stove, and moved about her day.
That night, while her human snored, Daisy remained awake. She shook her head to keep from nodding off, and she sat, waiting.
Waiting for the orange streetlight to wink out.
Waiting for silence to befall the house.
Waiting to float through the window.
I'm too clever a dog, Daisy thought, much too clever for any of this world.
The End
This story was first published on Monday, August 3rd, 2020


I wrote this story, in some ways, as a warning: a warning to not ignore the thoughts and communications of those we perceive as insignificant--the smallest voice could be telling us the grandest things, bringing us messages from the farthest stars. And, in other ways, this is just a story about a little dog and the universe she was given.

- Sean Patrick Whiteley
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