“Rest easy, oh stars.
Your soft glow warms endless worlds.
Close your tired eyes.”
Jason read and reread the haiku poem. It was written in blue ink on loose leaf paper, lying on the wooden desk, blanketed in dust. How long has this been sitting here? he wondered. His flashlight began to dim. He smacked it against his thigh, giving it two sharp double-taps. The beam brightened.
He scanned the other end of the room. What is that? Is that a machine? It seemed odd to him that the thing he illuminated could move in such a way without making any discernable noise. Rings silently spun inside themselves, totaling seven in all, stacked within, layering many intersections at once. Each ring appeared to move on its own independent axis, each with a unique tilt. Jason couldn’t help but stare. He admired as the rings would overlap at multiple points.
The apparatus made a noise, a hum. This jarred Jason, letting his flashlight waver. The beam drew lower. It revealed a blue triangle etched into the floor under the machine. It brightened.
The machine’s hum grew louder. The rings moved faster. The triangle on the floor, brighter.
The ground began to shake. Dust in the room rose and fell in a rhythm.
The rings of the machine stopped.
Jason reread the haiku poem.