A heavy quiet covered the hillside, even the stars were quiet this night. The roots of the grasses felt their way into the old hard soil careful not to disturb. A bit of space dust lit up the dark sky for just a second and then decided not to intervene and burst into a long trail of flame. The silence continued to rule. The small boy looked out from his place behind the rocks and tall grass. He was overcome with fear. He did not fear the darkness or the quiet. He feared what they suppressed. Clear beads grew on the edges of each blade of grass and slid down until they nestled next to the thin stems. The stars split into all their colors inside the clear beads of moisture and gave the simple grass elegance it had not earned, pastoral grace. The boy child watched the stars swim in their blackness until he earned one of the precious beads, it moved from the corner of his eye to the mound of his cheek and held its ground, a jewel of red and blue and green and purple. He broke the peace with a sniff and once the spell was broken there was nothing to stop the vocalization of his mood, he whimpered and sniffed and snorted. The quiet ran for the next valley embarrassed to have been chased away by such an insignificant thing. The boy dripped the ornaments of water from the tip of his nose into the grass and the grass accepted them as gifts. He continued until the water no longer came and the sounds relaxed. All that was left behind was a gasping for air that he could not control and then even that came to an end. The quiet peaked through the blades at the top of the hill and inspected the valley. The quiet slid back into its place of comfort, pausing for a second near the small boy for one more gasp and when the boy slept the silence relaxed with the night. A cool breeze came down the draw between the hills; not enough to shake the jewels from the blades of grass, not enough to stir the thin brown hair on the head of the boy, felt more as a few less degrees of heat, just a hint of change. Fire appeared on the edge of the highest mountain in the East, a fine line of light marking the peaks and turning the sky from black to dark blue. The boy rolled onto his stomach sticking his nose into he bend of his arm with his forehead resting on his elbow. The damaged grass under his arm released its scent and screamed without hurting the boy or the quiet. And then the sun, no longer content to hide behind the mountains, jumped into the sky and pushed the stars into nothingness in an instant. The cool breeze demanded its place but knew it would lose once more to the ball of fire so far away and it, which once had thoughts of overtaking, became the hunted. The boy squirmed in his sleep. His feet moved in a mock run and his hand pushed an unseen, to anyone but him, assailant.
The squeak of hinges in need of oil, “Timmy!” and then with more respect for the quiet, “timmy?” a girl, still just a child herself but also a mother stood in the gap of the open door. “Timmy, I’m sorry. Come inside and talk with me,” she paused a second and then added, “I love you Timmy.”
The small boy woke in time to hear only the last words. As he stood his mother came to where he was near the rocks and reached out her hand. Timmy placed his tiny hand into hers and let her help him stand. Inside the house she poured him a cup of coffee cooled with an oversized portion of milk. She sipped her black drink and listened, first to the story of his recent dream and later to what had made him afraid. They covered the fear with toast and jelly and smiles.