Posted by: victanguera | July 7, 2010

Writing Prompt #212

On Twitter, someone posted that today is Tanabata. Erm, okay. Thankfully, they posted a link. Apparently, this Japanese Star Festival celebrates the meeting of two lovers only able to meet for one night every year (except if it rains, they can’t meet and have to wait another year). Tonight is that night.

For today’s prompt, write that meeting.



  1. They have done this since the time when the stars were young, when the earth was fresh and new, each year one meeting, one night on the earth and together.

    “It should have rained,” he says, after their bodies have had their way, as flesh cools and they become two people again, no longer strictly whole even with their breath enfolding each other.

    She looks up, startled; they have met for so long that no words are needed. One a day, aye, but more lifetimes than the human mind can easily compass.

    “The rain makes it more piquant the next time,” she says. “We never talk, then.”

    “No.” He does not ask how she is, she does not ask of his year: they are here, and nothing else has any meaning before that.

    “We could,” she offers. “Only not politics,” with a smile at some private joke he does not know.

    For a moment he is angry with himself, and then with her, but he lets it pass. “I meant the magpies,” he says roughly. “The rain would have washed away the oil from their wings.”

    She looks surprised at that, then looks at the bridge with fresh eyes. One hand rises to her mouth, reminding him of when he first saw her, but her eyes have ages and lifetimes in them now, and her hand lowers as she smiles sadly.

    “I would have come anyway,” she says. “I could not call this day off.”

    “Do you live for any other days?” he says, half-dreading her reply.

    She just looks at the birds dying for them and says nothing.

    He holds her tightly for a moment, savouring the smell of her hair.

    “We could end our night early, send them home,” she whispers.

    And it is his turn to be silent. He kisses her again, to end speech, to dissolve thought, and loose and lose himself in their aching greed.

    • Love it.

    • Mikeran buried the last sandal under the bamboo tree. The number nine hundred and ninety-nine whispered through his head, but he shook it off. He’d counted, and double counted.

      That night he slept with his face pressed close to the roots of his bamboo tree. The next morning, he climbed so close to the top that the stars almost brushed his fingertips. If he reached far enough, those brilliant specks would trickle through his fingers, like bright, cold water.

      Tonight. It would be tonight. He could already smell Tanabata. Like jasmine and oranges, drifting in the warm summer breeze. He shut his eyes, thought of her silky hair beneath his fingertips. Mikeran swiped at the tear that hit his cheek as he envisioned her beauty, the power of her smile. Another drop spattered on the back of his hand.

      This would make two years of rain. At least the rice patties would thrive. As Mikeran placed his foot on the first sandal ready to depart, Tanabata grasped his hand.

      They created a new star that night.

      • hah, nice. Amusing that we both focused on the rain.

      • How could you not focus on the rain? One meeting a year unless it rains. And Japan is VERY tropical. The rainy season starts at the beginning of May and ends sometime between the middle and the end of July. Seems like a recipe for rain if you ask me.

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