This is the end. This is the end, Swift thinks. She is face down at the edge of a lake and the reeds brush the tears from her face with each bow and sway. What tears? She is only able to weep in her heart. Pinocchio got his wish, but Swift will never get hers. Swift will never be a real girl. She has been decommissioned, disgraced. As she tries to raise her head off the ground, her own weight pushes an elbow further into the mud. Artificial skin exposing her metallic joints and wires, it’s strange, some malfunction is causing a sensory overload. She shouldn’t be able to feel water leaching into the soil, or the tracks of dozens, hundreds of bugs.
If she stands. If she stands now, her innards will probably tumble out in a tangle. A tumbleweed of artificial parts.
It is incongruous that her lips feel parched. Her existence is incongruous. She stares into the depths of the lake for an answer, and the answer is fireflies.
The existence of fireflies are bitter reminders that all stars, from the biggest and the brightest to the tiniest and most insignificant, will go out. The moment a star is birthed from the universe is the moment it starts the long hurtle through space and time, arriving at the destination: darkness. All stars must go out, regardless of intensity. Regardless of importance. Swift does not feel important, but she feels bright. She will wait for someone to come get her, but it will be alright if no one does.
If no one comes for her, she’ll just shine as bright as she always has. A star that will die before its light touches the earth.