After a while the woman spoke again.
"Please bury me after I die. Dig my grave with a large pearl oyster shell. Set a fragment of star, fallen from the heavens, on my grave as a marker. Then wait by my grave. Wait for me to return."
I asked her when she would return.
"You know that the sun will rise. And you know that it will set. It will rise again and set again. The red sun will pass from east to west. As it rises from the east to sink in the west, will you wait for me?"
I confirmed with a nod that I would. The woman made her quiet voice a touch stronger.
"Wait for me a hundred years," she said with a resolute tone. "Stay by my graveside and wait for a hundred years. I promise to return."
I told her simply that I would wait. As I spoke, my own reflection, that I saw clearly in her black pupils, began to break apart. I realized it was flowing away, like a reflected image in still water upset by movement. Then her eyes fell shut, and a tear dropped from her long lashes to her cheek. -- She was gone.
I went down to the garden and dug her grave with a pearl oyster shell. It was a large shell with smooth, sharp edges. With each scoop of earth, moonbeams struck the back of the shell, making it shimmer. The moist earth was fragrant. After a while the grave was dug. I placed the woman within and gently covered her with the soft earth. With each motion, moonbeams struck the back of the shell.
Next I gathered up a fallen fragment of star, brought it to the grave, and set it lightly over the earth. The fragment of star was round. I thought that its edges must have worn smooth during its long fall through the heavens. As I held it close to set it in place, my arms and chest warmed a bit.