Dardanus went for a walk away from the town, into the darkness and noise of the fields. He walked with his head thrown back, mouth open, watching the stars. He didn’t know the constellations, but he named the stars to himself, for himself, made-up, nonsense names, names he had heard. Philomela. Deirdre. Acidulous. Adolphus Magnus. Guru.

The wind was louder in the fields, without the buildings to shoulder it aside.

He passed the last bright white ghost light that glew from the shoulder of a featureless metal silo. The tarmac ended and he walked softly on a dirt road. Shapes moved and flickered in the edges of his vision, elves and fairies and revenants, a-thirst for blood. The wind came from the north, and brought shaggy giants with it, insubstantial manshapes taller than the office he worked in, and their names he knew, and said to himself. Robert Walker. High Thin Keening. Tetsuya. Asphodel. Inglenook.

The stars he knew inexpressibly flickered in their millions at him. He watched the stars, and felt the spaces between them, and grew dizzy upon the spinning ground.