The Sound of Empty Hallelujah
I saw a boy from outside of the church building. He looked up at the sky and counted the stars — as many as he could. Then from the tips of his fingers, up in the air, he drew the constellations he only knew.
The boy seems to have been mumbling random words I cannot understand. He and the stars are connected. They illuminate as one. Their bodies and spirits are aligned.
The boy becomes the universe — uncorrupted and innocent. The universe becomes the boy — unapologetic and curious.
Universe of Stars
Legend has it that the mother of the boy has been whispering enchanted words of protection from afar. They said these were the prayers of defense that shielded the boy from the dangers lurking in his homeland. A racing car that once hit the boy on his way home was able to make a full stop because of those spells, salvaging the boy from the clutch of death.
The child, full of blood all over his clothes, got stuck underneath the car. He was miraculously found alive though his bones were crushed and his skin lacerated. The driver said he heard a faint sound of cry that begged for him to slow down as if he was bewitched at a time when it was impossible to make a full stop on the road. The sound seems to have come from a faraway kingdom miles away from where the boy was found.
This family intrigued me so much that one night I visited the street where they lived. The stars in the sky were all gone, this time. There was a deafening silence all around, except for the howling dogs. Suddenly, unseen forces of evil wrapped around the boy’s house as if death was there to reap a soul. The tension grew stronger but the fight was quiet. I wondered if the family was still alive inside. I came closer to take a peek. And through the reflection from their stained windows, I saw the boy and his mother pointing their fingertips to the sky as if they were tracing the stars back to their celestial positions. At that very moment, the lightning came to the rescue and struck the hovering dark spirit above their roof.
Days and years passed by. The boy has grown into an adolescent — ever-adventurous, limit-encompassing, fiercely…