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Tom Coles, 02 Mar '13

It was a small ball of light, and that is a thing we knew. When we saw it, it was the smallest bundle of what we assumed was intense energy, and we were afraid to touch it. Not reaching out and stroking it as it fell is one of the fiercest regrets of my life. I find myself, even in my advanced age, wishing I had grasped at it and been burned as a constant reminder that once I was the kind of person who was wilful and impulsive and took things without asking, a wholly flawed personality in the most exciting and dynamic sense. Instead, we all just stared at it fall from the roof of the cave to the thin layer of water at the basin. It was so much more beautiful because it was so fleeting; a tiny, insignificant thing falling gently whilst we gradually became more and more aware that even if more were to fall then they'd be not a fraction as beautiful as the one that had fallen before.

I can remember some of us bowed our heads and were silent. I didn't want to perform, so I ceased to care about whether I was acting in an appropriate manner and I stood in stark admiration of the dust mote. It was so much more beautiful because of how fleeting it was, like it was screaming its life story to us in a fraction of a moment but with a soft, soft voice. There was something dangerous about it, like blunt scissors shearing through silk - not a tearing sound, but an impression that something was happening wrong, like it could be much smoother if only it'd been given time to prepare before we had cut through its elegance.

It was a long time before any of considered moving. I saw a few twitches, and assumed that my companions were stiff with non-movement. On attempting to move, colour flashed in my vision with colossal urgency, as if my eyes were the epicentre of a flare gun. On moving out of my trance the sensation receded, but it was the first sign that we'd done something wrong. Specifically, I felt like I'd upset something horrible that was an inherent part of me, like I'd broken some inherent code of humanhood and by doing so I'd ruined an essential part of what it was to be human.

What seemed oddest was that after I'd seen the ball, I no longer had any immediate connection with any of my physical qualms. I didn't feel detached, but rather that if I applied calm logic in exactly the right place then I could overcome any issue with I returned to my home on the rocks.

We held these thoughts in our minds as we gazed upon our flesh, gently graying and wrinkling as the dullness of the cavern began to pulse. We held them there as the only shred of humanity we would allow our more logical minds to possess. It was the sweetest thing I had ever tasted.