Ella waited until her parents had gone to sleep, and she slipped out of the front door and onto the lawn. Her father’s laser pointer was one of the nicer ones, and it killed off the security light outside their home by tricking the sensor into thinking it was daylight. Ella slipped a piece of duct tape about the leg of a lawn chair and kept the laser pointed at the light. She closed her eyes hard and waited. Ed Lee, the cat, climbed on top of Ella’s chest and purred. Ella allowed Ed because Ed saw better in the night than most and she might have need of his help before long. Ella opened her eyes, and there were stars everywhere. Raymond, the Smith’s huge black lab was hidden in the shadows but she knew he was watching over her, even if he did pretend to chase Ed Lee, sometimes. Raymond did not approve of her being here, but said nothing.
Ella knew better than to watch the stars too closely, and she kept moving her field of vision around and kept her eyes closed for long moments of times. There, that was it, now she could see… Now she could see the red light of the laser cutting through the crisp air. Now she could see the moths circling around the dead light still, searching for their habit. She closed her eyes again, and when she opened them she could see the weak and wan light of the microwave‘s control panel casting a nearly invisible shadow into the night. The tiny light of the smoke detectors was like a slight mist of water near a fall. The heater in the aquarium gave off two different lights because it had been split by the water, and Ella could tell the fish liked it, especially the neon fish, who were a bit like her, only smaller. Ella lay on the blanket and Ed Lee lay on top of her and she dreamed of light, and when the sun began to peek over the horizon, She, the sun, warmed Ella enough to wake her, and send her inside so she would not get into trouble.
“Ella, aren’t you going to get ready for school today?” her mother asked.
“No, mommy, there isn’t going to be any school today.” Ella replied. “The sun is angry at one of the larger planets, and because she cannot control her temper, some of her light has been given away, and when it gets her today there won’t be any school because the computer won’t like the light, and daddy’s work won’t like it either.”
“Well, Ella, the sun being angry is a very good reason not to go to school, but I think we ought to get ready anyway, just in case the sun changes her mind.”
“Yes, mommy.” Ella said, but the fish reminded her that it was going to happen soon, and it was best if she just went ahead and started unplugging the important things, like the filter pump. Ella pretended to get ready long enough for her mother to ignore her, and she unplugged the filter pump, and the computers, and everything else she could think to unplug. She took her mother’s cell phone and turned it off, and hid it in her daddy’s metal box. Ed Lee said the cell phone wouldn’t work after all this anyway, but better to do it save the phone.
“Ella, did you…wow!”
Ella looked outside and there was a nice blue shadow dancing in the yard. The sky was filled with colors. Ella knew the sun had been angry, but this was her way of telling Ella and everyone else it was going to be okay. There would be some of the things that didn’t work anymore, and Ella didn’t understand why but she could read the lights. There were different parts of the lights, and different parts of those parts, and those parts had smaller pieces still. They reacted differently if she looked at them or if she didn’t, and they reacted to Ed Lee, and they liked the Neon fish. Ella’s mommy was trying to call her daddy, but Ella stood in the light, and it spoke to her and she smiled back at it. The blue shadows took her hand and Ella felt herself being lifted high into the sky, past the moon, into the core of the sun, and there Ella met the people who really knew the light, and they knew what it meant. They marveled at her, for only two, maybe three humans had ever spoken with them, and they all agreed Ella was by far the very best yet. They showed her the walls they had built to live within the sun, and they let her move the dark spots around by moving the rings around the sun in certain ways. There was something that acted like Ed Lee, but was made of bouncing light that the smaller light people chased and giggled with. There were creatures like Raymond, and they too watched over the people, but no one put them in cages, and no one tied them to anything. Ella was taken to a place where the surface of the sun tucked back inside of itself, in a whirlpool ten times larger than earth, and there were beings who carved symbols into the radioactive heat with their lives, artwork that lasted only a few moments, and no one, ever, knew who these beings were, but one of them wrote “Ella” and it burned brightly for just a second in her mind. The light beings crowded around, and more arrived, and all wondered what this could mean, but they knew she could not stay, not yet, and she allowed them to slowly lift her up again, and it was odd that she was floating up, as she did when she left, and the sun was too bright for her to look at anymore and…
Ella was lying in the grass, right where she had the night before, but her mommy had just come out of the house. “Ella, the whole town is out of power and your father’s phone isn’t working. There’s some stuff in the refrigerator that we can make some sandwiches out of before it goes bad, and we can have a picnic right here and hey, you told me the sun was angry…is that what you said?”
“Yes, mommy, but she’s okay now.”