The newest people believed some of the stars ought to get lonely all alone in the dark, miles from other souls.
But the stars don’t have souls, you see, the Sad would interject. They can’t feel anything, not happy, not lonely–there’s no one to do the feeling for them.
Who does the feeling for us, then. the Desperate would ask. Where do our souls come from?
The Happy told them they were born from a laugh. A person would laugh, and birth twenty-nine new souls that’d whiz about, looking for someone to claim. That’s what the breeze is. Twenty-nine new souls grasping for a heart to ease. Can’t you feel them? And the Happy would stretch out their palms.
From war, the Angry would say. People would wage wars and kill children and sob and each tear would bear thirteen new souls that’d splitter and splatter and fracture and catch on coat-tails and shoes and glistening pearls and seep under our skin over the years until there’s a respectable enough ocean sploshing out our rib cages and we drown in every song we sing for the children we killed. It’s why we still wage wars. In the hopes, we might grow a soul at the end of it. Of course, they sighed, there is no end.
The Sad weren’t very sure but they thought perhaps a soul sprang forth at the touch of a hand that lays you to sleep, along the curved edges of clay pieces you sacrificed sunrises to mould, from the first drop of ink that spreads across the page.
The Desperate thought perhaps they didn’t have souls at all.