He dropped to his knees, staring at his wide-eyed reflection for a moment before dipping his fingers into the universe.
Darkness pooled between his hands, cold and metallic, heavy with the weight of a million shimmering stars. He let the infinite feeling sink into his bones before pressing his hands together and lifting them from the night. Wet constellations clung to his skin, cold gravity pulling galaxies and planets between the gaps in his fingers.
When the universe had run itself dry, one small planet was left alone in his palm, hovering uncertainly in a puddle of starlight. He regarded it curiously as he cupped his hand, lifted it to his ear, and listened.
Through the softened otherworldly music of the stars, a new sound reached his ears—millions of breathless voices, shouting into the night.
He couldn’t tell whether they were singing raw-throated praises to the darkness or pleading with the universe to return their light.
Time was forgotten as he listened for what may have been a minute or a millennium. Eyes half-closed in quiet concentration, he pieced words together, trying to understand. The universe swirled below him, searching for its missing piece.
At last, something shifted in his heart, and in moment of moonlit understanding, he realized that their voices were both broken and whole.
It felt impossible, yet as the darkness thickened, he had never been more certain.
He was listening to the sound of hope.