She stepped out her door and had to blink, overwhelmed by the brightness. With the thick cover of clouds, it was as if the sun had never set, humanity’s hum of artificial light being reflected back by a sky that felt closer than it ever had before.
Sitting on the stoop, she added just a little more light to the eerie glow, her thumb practiced and sure against the lighter as she brought a soft, cupped flame to her mouth. As she did, the clouds above her parted.
Breathing deeply of smoke and flame, she searched the sky for stars.