Night coated the sky like a freshly painted wall. Crisp darkness was interrupted by thin, misty clouds. Crowley walked a worn path, heading toward his latest assignment. The wind blew softly, making the leaves echo its song; the stars speckled above while the moon illuminated the world below. It was a lovely evening, Crowley thought. Not a bad idea, taking the long way. Crowley was about sixty miles east of where he needed to be. He figured he’d walk until he grew tired before miracling to his final destination.
Crowley didn’t hear the noise, at first. It was a soft humming. Quiet and deep, as if it was coming from the ground. The demon didn’t notice the clouds rolling in, slowly stealing the moonlight. It was the wind that caught his attention. It quickly grew from a gentle breeze to firm gust. The leaves were shaking violently, the hum grew louder and louder. What the hell is going on? It was like something out of a horror movie, but those wouldn't be invented for another four hundred years. Crowley abandoned the path, running to the trees for shelter. Something didn’t feel right. Not angelic or holy, but not evil. Just...different.
Thick fog began to nip at Crowley’s ankles as he ran deeper and deeper into the woods. Long, howling branches acted as callous canopies, drenching Crowley further in darkness. Thankfully for him, he eyes weren’t totally useless in the shade. He squinted as wind swept over his cheeks, making his eyes tear up. Crowley paused to regroup himself. The sight was a bit unbecoming, he thought; a demon needing a break to refocus. He pushed the negative thoughts away, as well as the tears in his eyes. When he looked again, he saw light. Lights, actually. Crowley slithered his way through the trees and found a small cottage. It was closer to a hovel, but it was shelter. The demon feverishly knocked on the door.
“Hello? Hello! Please, let me in! The world is ending out here!” he yelled. Crowley knew this wasn’t the case. Last time the weather was close to this, She had taken action. Well, Noah did at Her request. No warning this time, which led Crowley to believe this was just a crazy storm passing through. He knocked again and the door gave way, granting him sanctuary. Crowley ran in and shut the door behind him. When he turned around, there was a woman sitting near a fire, stirring a large pot.
“Come in, come in,” she beckoned, not moving from her station. “Make yourself at home. It’s getting nasty out there, huh?”
Crowley cautiously inched forward. “Yeah- strange. It came out of nowhere.”
The woman smiled. “Things like that happen. Sometimes for the best. Sometimes not.” Her voice was loud and gentle. It had a bit of a raspiness to it. “Are you hungry, sir? I’ve got a nice stew brewing. It’ll help warm you up.”
The demon thought for a moment. Crowley didn’t normally eat, but he was cold. “That would be lovely, thank you.” Crowley joined the woman by the fire, and sat in a less-than-desirable looking chair. He looked at his gracious host; her face glowed in the light of the fire. “And you are?”
She turned to face him, revealing herself. “Diana,” she said proudly. Crowley looked on in amazement and horror. Diana looked both young and old at the same time. Her eyes were clouded over, milky and grey. Her hair was long and tangled, but beautifully golden. She tilted her head and laughed, “What’s the matter? Fox got your tongue?”
“Ngk- no! Nothing’s wrong,” he stammered. It wasn’t everyday he found himself lost in the woods seeking refuge in a blind woman’s home. “You’ve got a lovely little place here…”
Diana rose, eyes locked on the demon. “Thank you. I’ve been here for ages…” She abandoned him and fetched two bowls from the kitchen and a hunk of bread. “So, tell me, Crowley..what brings you here this evening?”
Did I tell her my name? “I was heading to Reading. I have some business to attend to.” Diana carefully returned to the pot and filled the bowls. After she handed Crowley his serving, she took the chair opposite of him.
“Business? What kind?” She took a bite of bread.
“I, uh, got some milkmaids to tempt…” Did he really just say that? Tempt? To a stranger?
“I see...so, no miracles, then?” Crowley’s heart skipped a beat. Who was this woman? He remained quiet as Diana continued eating.
“I don’t do that sort of thing...not anymore.” The demon lowered his head, eyes falling onto the soup in his hand. When was the last time he’d eaten anything?
Diana tilted her head, calmly to the right. “And why’s that?” Crowley didn’t have an answer. None that he was willing to speak aloud. He felt Diana’s eyes on him, burning into his chest. “Come now. I may be blind, but that doesn’t mean I can’t see. You ache for the one you’ve lost...I can see it in your heart, Star Maker.”
“How do you..”
“Know about that?” she said with a smile. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you...” Diana finished her soup with a quick swig. “So tell me, Star Maker, what happened?”
Crowley gripped his bowl tightly. “There was a war, a long time ago...I had this friend.” The demon let out a heavy sigh. “Our boss caught him committing a crime, so they punished him.”
“And what crime was that?”
“He was in love.” Crowley lost what little appetite he had conjured. “..with someone he shouldn’t have...couldn’t be with.”
Diana’s voice was softer now. “How did they punish him?”
Crowley’s eyes filled with tears. “They… they turned him to dust and sprinkled him across the night sky.”
Diana nodded gently. “The great Star Maker wept so grand, his lost love flew across the sky, hoping to find him in the cosmos. His heart ached, it burned himself whole, trailing like tears in the darkness.” The woman stood slowly and crept towards the demon. She kneeled before him and took his hands. “His love swore he’d never stop searching, until he and his Star Maker were reunited.” Crowley’s face was wet with tears. It had been over three thousand years since he'd heard that tale. Diana lifted a hand to his face. “He’s waiting for you, Star Maker...he has been all along.”
Crowley buckled at her touch, hunching over himself as he sobbed. He cried, shaking in her arms, until the tears ran dry. As he steadied him, he blinked his eyes open to find himself alone, back on the dirt path. The demon looked around in confusion. How did he get back to the road? Where was Diana? And her house? The only answer he found was the night sky. He looked up in exhaustion, ready to miracle himself into a year long sleep, when a comet shot across the darkness. Crowley’s eyes filled again as he watched meteor after meteor travel into the night. The demon wept alone on the road. The leaves danced in the gentle breeze as the earth hummed. He’s waiting for you, Star Maker. He has been, all along...