Summer 2021 Youth Writing Contest Winner: "Eyes in the Sky"

Summer Writing Contest Poster
Madeline W.
5
Sep 17, 2021

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Madeline W. has won third place in the 9-12 age group for the Summer 2021 Youth Writing Contest with her piece "Eyes in the Sky." 

I started writing for school, and decided to start putting the many stories I had into the physical world. I don’t have a lot of favorites, but I like Spider-Man, and really hate spoilers for things I want to watch, read, or participate in in any way. 

 

 As I focused on my connection, my mind spread its boundaries, forming a link― a bridge, if you will―to the spirit realm. My consciousness compressed itself into my messenger: a crow.  

 

As I flew across the plains I glared down upon the grassy hills. The moon rose in the horizon, tinting everything with its eerie blue glow. Prickles spread up my arms as the cold wind fought to blow me away from my target. 

 

Suddenly, the world started shaking. Everything blurred together as I fell. The ground rushed past me as I fell closer to the Abyss of the Lost. Distant calls for help blended with pleas for me to wake up. I blocked out the calls and soared upward. When I spotted an old hut in the distance I knew I had reached my target, 

 

Diving downward I remember the thrill of succeeding. My goal was right in front of me.  

Upon landing the door swung open, Spirits of ancient prophesiers called me, begging For a new host. Someone who traveled and could bring them, at least somewhat, back into the world. But I was not here for that. 

 

The voices echoed as I made my way to the center of the cottage. I had to keep focus, if I dove too deep into their Stories then even my wings could not help Me. 

 

I had arrived in the center of the room. The ancient spirits sensed my presence. Few ever made it to their ranks and they knew I couldn’t stay long, I could only make out parts of their sentences. This is what I heard, 

 

Power,  

assembled, 

culling, the worlds, 

Loss, 

Harsh, 

 

Bring back, 

The shadows, the blights 

Opposition shall fall, 

Sealed, 

Have hope 

 

I was jolted from my reverie by my master. As he shook me I watched helplessly as my find faded and my senses were pulled back to Fespar. 

 

I was not again allowed to venture 

Into the spirit realm again for I had gone much further then over the bridge. 

 

As I aged I grew physically as well as spiritually. As soon as I had completed my training I ventured once again into the spiritual realm and made my way to the hut. When soaring alongside the Abyss I noticed a strange light at the bottom of the chasm but carried on. It was dangerous to get close.  

 

I found the hut and communicated with the Phrophiciers. This is what I make of it 

 

All of the power  

Assembled in three 

First of sky and flame and fire 

Culling impure for the worlds gain 

Second of water, harsh but soft 

Granting life or hastening loss 

Third of nature, earth, the trees 

Kindest of all but harsh when guarding  

 

Bring back the he watchful  

Bring back the light 

Free the shadows from the blights 

The opposition shall fall 

The Void shall be sealed 

The Star,s, have hope 

It lies in you  

 

I’m hoping it will be accepted when I present it to my village. 

 

 To all future readers,  

Farewell, I hope this scroll guides you true. 

~Laetig, Crow in Spirit 

 

I have come to the conclusion that I have made a grave mistake. The villagers have rejected the true majesty of my message, the prophecy, and went in search of the hiding place of what they called ‘monsters’. I thought they would not be able to find it but that belief was false. They formed a mob, I was unable to stop them, and, taking torches, burned down the nest. I can only hope that I have not caused the death of three marvelous creatures. Or worse: doomed humanity. I have aged too much to be able to offer aid. Once again, 

 

Farewell, all who view. 

Do not make my mistakes. 

I believe that someone shall find out how to defeat this great evil. 

May this knowledge guide you true. 

~Laetig, Crow in Spirit 

}*{ 

 

Satyr gathered her supplies and brought them towards the boat. She was going to a village to bring them medicine. They had had a forest fire in the surrounding trees and a lot of people had carbon monoxide poisoning, because of the forest fire all of their herbs had burned so they could not prepare the mixture to heal it. 

 

“Satyr, are you sure you want to do this?” A voice called out. Satyr turned to find Lan Alecia gazing at her worriedly. 

 

“Yes, I’m sure it will be fine. It’s a small boat. I’m not likely to draw attention. The lan was so worried because of the creature that plagued the gulf. The greenhouse had heard tales of the ‘fire demon’ that ruled the gulf, attacking ships and stripping them of their rations and cargo. Satyr doubted a fire demon would have much use for medicine. But despite her doubts she would be careful. After all, she didn’t know what fire demons needed. 

 

Soon her boat was ready and, waving to the lan she started her journey. She should have been worried. 

 

}*{ 

 

She had been traveling for two days and was halfway through her third. It was five days across the gulf in all. If the brunette had a larger ship it would have taken far less time but she was glad she could take the journey at all. She was getting her lunch when she suddenly felt the warmth of the black sun increase dramatically.  

 

Looking up for the cause, she found herself faced with a burning stone, racing down from the blue expanse overhead. She was frozen for a split second before rushing to grab an orb lily. If she did it right she would be able to breathe under water… hopefully.       

 

“What’s that, a treasure?” said a voice above her. Satyr looked up. ‘Oh no’ satyr thought. It wasn’t a stone like she had thought. It was the fire demon the lans had told her about. Only… not to doubt Lan Alecia or anything but she didn’t look all that terrifying. Before her was a skinny girl about 14. Probably underfed. Despite that though she was strong. Satyr didn’t have a lot of experience with muscly people but she could tell that this fire demon was strong. She had torn about knee length pants and a tunic with some embroidery on one corner. It was hard to make out but it looked like a pirate sign with the top halves of the crossed bones replaced with red-orange skeletal wings. For her probable living accommodations it was done quite well. Around her waist was a colorful, purple blue and red belt with a drawstring bag dangling off of it. Her skin was tanned from its time under the sun but it looked as if it had never been sunburned in its life. Curious… and finally, no matter how many times her eyes darted away trying to tell herself it was just a girl her age, nothing dangerous her eyes were always drawn back to the reason she was called a fire demon, the reason for the wings on the skull. Her wings. They were hauntingly beautiful, fiery skeleton wings, sprouting off of her back like they belonged there for all time, never to be questioned, just accepted as your fate. 

 

“People always reach for their treasure when they see me, makes it a lot easier to find it,” the girl said, trying to peer at the contents of the bag. 

 

“It- it’s not treasure, at least not what you're thinking of, I don’t think.” I looked up at the girl, fiery tongues flicking up at her wings. “Um… by any chance… are you a-a fire demon?” 

 

“A fire demon? Is that what people are calling me now? I like it.” she answered with a smirk. 

 

“Now? Did people call you other things?” 

 

“Yeah, the Cursed Phoenix, Comet of Doom, Comet of Death, the Fire Pirate, Queen of Flames, stuff like that.” 

 

“Oh. Cool.” 

 

“Yeah, soooo about that treasure, what is it? 

 

“Medicine. A town on the other side of the gulf had a fire and a lot of people got carbon monoxide poisoning. I’m bringing them medicine.” 

 

“All by yourself?” 

 

“Yeah,” Satyr, feeling more confident that this girl wouldn’t hurt her, decided to ask a question on her mind. “By any chance… did you start the fire?” 

 

“No, I normally rule the gulf, not the surrounding towns.” 

 

“Oh. Do you know if it was pirates or anyone else?” 

 

“Pirates? No. There used to be pirates here but they left about a year ago.” 

 

“Was that your fault?” 

 

“Yeah, I may have burned a few of their boats. Well like two. Though they only had three so I guess I made a pretty good dent.” 

 

“Soooo, you're like a protector who needs payments to work?” 

 

She shrugged, “if you want me to be that, okay, but I still want the medicine,” she held out her hand expectantly. 

 

“Wait, don’t you want my provisions? You would be able to survive longer until the next boat comes. But… there's been talks of making a trail around the gulf and ceasing travel across it.” Satyr said, scrambling to find something to stop her from taking the medicine. If this Cursed Phoenix took the medicine there wouldn’t be any orb lilies to help the village. 

 

“Really? Thanks for telling me, now I know why there've been so little boats across the gulf. And I know where I should go if I want to get more treasure. Buuuut, yes I would like your medicine. Every boat has provisions but not very many have medicine.” 

 

“What kind of pirate are you?” 

 

“The kind who takes what I want and leaves. Like most pirates. Now give me the medicine.” the ‘phoenix’ said, a stern look now painting her face. 

 

Satyr was undecided for a second before determination took over. “No,” she stated, reaching for the bag. Before she could get to it the ‘Queen of Flames’ reached down and snatched it from in between her grasping hands. 

 

“Thanks. I think I’ll be going now,” she spread her wings, ready to take off when a big wave rose out of nowhere right above them. The two girls let out a yell and a shriek before it came crashing down on top of them sending them swirling into the watery depths below. 

 

}*{ 

 

Satyr gasped for breath, her legs and lungs burning. Beside her was the pirate unconscious. Satyr hoped she didn’t get to her too late. Using the last of her energy she dragged them towards the shore, surprisingly close after they had been swept under. Finally they reached the shore, Satyr’s legs burning with every step before she finally collapsed onto the shore. Once she made sure they were out of reach of the gulf she conceded to wait until the girl woke up. She may be a pirate, but she still needed help 

 

}*{ 

The pirate girl woke up in the night. Satyr had dragged them out of the gulf into a clearing before the forest. It was a pretty sight, with some mangrove trees sitting in the water, the pines and birch mixing in the background, fireflies dancing everywhere. Pines dominated the side of the gulf with the monastery, while birches, willows, lighter colored trees were more common on the opposite side. They must be about halfway across the gulf considering the trees were mixing. There was a strange column too, which looked to be sandstone, near the back of the half circle. It had odd etchings in it, close to the top but not all the way there.   

 

Satyr was roasting some nuts she had found over the fire she made the the ‘comet’ 

 

“Are you awake?” she said with a soft voice. 

 

“Yeah,” They said, sitting up with a wince. 

 

“You got bashed pretty hard against the rocks at the seabed. Why didn’t you use your wings?” She said as she got up and walked towards Phoenix 

 

“Couldn’t,” her wings fluttered behind her. “Can’t fly unless they’re on fire. Which water puts out.” Satyr offered the nuts to her and she took them warily. 

 

“I see. Do you know why?” 

 

“No. They just work that way.” The two girls sat together in silence, the fire crackling merrily as the comet ate the nuts.  

 

“What if we lit them on fire?” her voice called out, uncertainly. 

 

“I guess that would work but the fire normally comes back when they’re dry.” 

 

“Okay, I guess we’ll wait.” 

 

“We?” 

 

“Well, you need medical attention and I need to go… somewhere” 

 

“Somewhere? Wow. So descriptive” 

 

She had a strange accent, it was hard to describe. Lilted, she seemed to commonly drop the vowels at the end of two syllable words. Like ‘second’ she wouldn’t pronounce the ‘o’. She also seemed to emphasize the middle constants which would make the ‘c’ harsh. It probably made it easier to hear her over the wind on a ship. Did she use ships? It seemed like she could travel the distance well enough with her wings. 

 

“I just don’t know where I’m going. To the village, or back to the monastery?” 

 

“So… you’re from this Greenhouse… and were, at least, heading to this village when I asked for your treasure.” 

 

Asked. It made it sound a lot more civilized. “That’s right” 

 

“Well…” she seemed to be treading carefully. “If you don’t have that medicine… you should probably go back to your ‘monastery’” 

 

“Hmm. I can decide in the morning,” she walked over to the other side of the fire. “It’s late,” she continued. “We should sleep.” 

 

“I’ll sleep when I want to,” the comet muttered under her breath. But, despite her protests, it wasn’t long until she fell asleep. Satyr was about to follow before Phoenix called out, 

 

“Y’know, it’s sort of hard to fall asleep with a stranger staring at my back.” 

 

“Oh yeah,” she blushed, glad that the pirate was facing the other direction. “Sorry.” 

 

She rolled over and closed her eyes. The girl was right. Even though she was pretty sure the auburn was facing the other direction, she was a bit uneasy. She tried to push past it and fell asleep soon after.  

 

}*{ 

 

Satyr woke up in the morning, at 4:00 out of habit. She debated the thought of moving on then and heading to her destination, but couldn’t decide if she should head back to the Greenhouseor the village across the bay. By the time she had come to her decision the ‘comet’ had woken up. By the shadows around her, it was around 5:00 by now. Except… that was strange. Satyr stared at the shadow of the tree, seemingly creeping toward her, somehow wavering. The sun was positioned behind her, and all the other shadows stretched away. It crawled closer, ignorant to her confusion. 

 

“Hey, Deer!” 

 

She whipped her head around to look at the winged girl. “What did you say?” Part of it was not quite understanding what was spoken, the other part was wondering why she had said that. 

 

“Deer. Y’know, ‘cause of your horns?” 

 

“H-horns?” 

 

“Yeah. Horns. Those little nubs poking out of your hair? Whatever, I’m going to start walking, you go wherever.” 

 

Satyr patted her head and, indeed, there were horns there. She had always had little bumps on her head but normally you could barely feel them when you ran your fingers across her scalp. Her hair had never really grown there. Guess now she knew why. ‘but why grow in now?’ 

 

She remembered the shadow and turned back but it was stretching away from her. She shrugged it off and hurried after the ash-scented pirate. 

 

“So, where are you going?” The newly horned girl asked. 

 

“Where are you going?” 

 

“To the village I was originally headed for.” 

 

“Don’t you not have the medicine you need?” She seemed skeptical of her. “Or, whatever it was you needed,” strange… that seemed to be almost an afterthought. Seemed like she was purposely trying to make her think she wasn’t paying attention. 

 

With a jump she realized amber-eyes watched her, waiting for a response. 

 

“Oh! Ye-yeah, but I feel bad just not going. They still need help, even if I don’t have the best remedies for them.” 

 

“They’re still going to need help even if you show up with a positive attitude.” 

 

“You seem strange against me going to the village…” 

 

“Well, maybe I don’t want a traveling companion.” 

 

“Oh…” 

 

‘X’ 

 

This is annoying. She was very annoyed. She didn’t have the medicine! So why was the girl still going? They must be paying her or something. There had to be something she could say to get her to turn around. Well… she didn’t seem to know what the post was.  

 

The Post was a tool probably made by pirates a long time ago or something. She didn’t know and didn’t really care. It marked the line down the middle of the gulf and told you which side was which. She could also tell how long till nightfall by the position of the shadow it cast. 

 

About the girl...She might be able to get her to think it was the other way… maybe. She had to try it at least. No one could find her base. There was too much at stake. 

 

“Are you sure the village isn’t the other way?” 

 

“Of course! From what I can see from the sides of the gulf, pine trees are more common behind us and the Greenhouse is surrounded by pine trees!” 

 

Fax. She knew where she was going and was sure which way it was. Maybe she could lose her on the trail? Yeah, maybe she could save this from turning to nost.  

 

“Well I guess we’re traveling together now,” hopefully, not for long. Of course… with this new road it was going to be a bit harder to lose her. And then there was the fact that the victim seemed to be pretty aware of her surroundings. 

 

“You seem pretty okay with this…” the girl was smart, treading carefully. 

 

“Well, I’ve been in bad company before, you’ll hardly be a problem,” don’t think about the pirates, don’t think about the pirates- 

 

“Well, I look forward to your companionship.” 

 

They continued walking forward in the steadily increasing heat. The pirate had woken up this morning with, it seemed, heavier wings then when she had fallen asleep, and, though she wouldn't admit, it had been quite a while after the newly nubbed girl had. 

 

The black sun continued to make its way across the sky and near noon, the girls were jolted from their pace by a cart coming up behind them. They had already seen them and had shouted out a greeting. Like she cared. She took a step to her left ready to run off into the forest. Her companion was apparently quick to see the ‘issue’ and, taking her cloak from off her arm, draped it over her wings. Ugh. Too late to run into the forest and lose her follower.  

 

“Hello ladies! Enjoying the new road? It only goes as far as Capritis but it's a fine way to travel, am I right?” 

 

“Yes, it is,” replied the victim, smiling at the driver. 

 

“That cloak looks warm, careful not to overheat, it's hot out today.” 

 

“Oh for sure. But she has anemia. Makes her cold all the time.” 

 

“Ah. they treat things like that at an establishment on the pine side. Can get it treated there” 

 

“We’re coming from there actually. Told us what to do.” 

 

 “Say, how about I give you two a ride? It's longer than going across the gulf, and gets even longer when on foot! How about it?” 

 

“Thank you sir. Where would you like us to board?” 

 

“Ah, the pleasure is all mine. Gets lonely only talking to one's horses. You gals can climb on back. Little crowded but I'm sure you can manage.”  

 

The horned girl gave a little laugh and led her to the back of the cart. Once they were settled near the man he started the cart and bagan talking again. 

 

“So, may I ask what your names are?” 

 

“Satyr.” 

 

She stayed silent. There was no reason to tell this man anything. Or be on his cart. As soon as her wings were lit she could fly back to the old lady and leave everyone else behind. She’d done it before. 

 

“Uh, she’s mute to,” she glared at Satyr, apparently. Not that she cared. She could speak if she wanted. “Her name’s the… uh, Thicufi. Yeah.” 

 

“Huh, never heard that one before. She from the other side?” 

 

“The reed side? Y-” 

 

“Nah, the other side of the land. Y’know, where the sun sets? Heard the people there are so small the grass is like a forest. Reckon that's just nonsense though.” 

 

“Yeah! She’s from there. Her family moved here though…” 

 

“You ever been there?” 

 

“No,” with that the conversation ended, leaving just the rattling of the cart and the horses feet. Eventually they stopped for the day, eating some more nuts Satyr had found.  

 

She stared at the stars as her new companions fell asleep. They twinkled at her, seeming to almost speak. She took a deep breath, filling her lungs with the clean, slightly humid air watching the fireflies mingle with the stars. It really was beautiful. The oranges, blues, and greens of the oh-so-distant stars and the eerily swirling green of the fireflies.  

 

She hoped she could fly again soon so she could close that distance a little bit. The black sun's heat closer than ever, uncomfortable as it may be with that constant feeling of being watched. The trees from above as she soars over the orange hued gulf searching for those imperfect specks of ships, like insects, infiltrating something that was wonderful. She hated how she relied on them. How she had dreams about them. Where they had the treasure she actually needed. The one she was looking for. If it even existed. It seemed she was closer than ever now. All she had to do was get home. It never seemed so far away. Hopefully she could get something from this man to make up for being gone so long. She could definitely handle herself but she still worried. 

 

The Madame had her own sort of fire. Different from the stars. Different from the fireflies. She may seem far away. Untouchable sometimes sure. But it wasn’t the same as the stars. It was so much different than the fireflies. It didn’t flicker on and off. It was constant. Dull, but it’s glue spread all around the room. Dignified, it did reach all around trying to consume everything, it knew its space. 

 

She opened her eyes to gasp in shock. The fire floating in front of her flared as if shocked as well. It was exactly like she had imagined. Except… it seemed curious now. A bit softer. No, a lot softer. And wary. Edging towards and away from her, curving beautifully. 

 

She drifted to sleep, wondering if maybe she already was. 

 

‘X’ 

 

The days passed, with the auburn girl trying out her new ability every night. She was getting better at controlling the fire but it was pretty pitiful. Every morning when she woke up, Satyr’s horns, although they looked more like antlers at this point, were a little bit longer. It was hard to hide it from the man giving them a ride. 

 

Phoenix would have left by now, uncomfortable being around people so long, itching to get back to her home base. To the madame. She tried to focus on trivial things, like the birds in the trees they passed, most of the time flying away form the cart on their tiny, pitiful, feathered wings. ignoring the quickly growing more prominent fact. Well. at least they could fly. Phoenix’s wing flames still haven't come back.  

 

She couldn’t ignore the real problem forever though. One night, when Davike, the man driving the cart, was sleeping, she realized she couldn’t ignore the fact any more. She had told Satyr her name. Phoenix. Satyr was growing on her. This was very bad. There wasn’t an issue with her knowing the winged girls name within itself. The problem was that Phoenix didn’t want to get close to people. Especially people who already knew about the weakness in her wings. And the fact that she couldn’t swim. 

 

Phoenix really hoped they reached Satyrs destination soon, she couldn’t do that again. 

 

One day, after they had already reached Davike’s stop and were walking on foot. Ahead of them one the road, there was a strange figure. Phoenix squinted, used to seeing through heat. 

 

They had a dark cloak with a zig zagging bottom. The hood was up so she couldn’t see her face. They stood there as they warily continued on their way. Soon they were approaching them. 

 

“Hello” the stranger lifted their arm in a wave and the travelers were met with darkness. 

 

)0( 

 

Kraken held her hand out, holding a steady sheet of water soaking the pirate sisters' wings. They didn't need to be constantly wet, but did dry quickly, especially when the girl was under pressure.  

 

She didn't know why Oull Zala had tied them up, but the shadow manipulator seemed to know what they were doing. After all, the Oull was always trying to get back at the humans who had wronged them. Those filthy, stupid, brutish- she took a deep breath, puhsing down and storing the rage for later, when it would actually make a difference. 

 

The pirate sister groaned and opened her eyes, just a crack. She had seemed like one who was good at recovering from blows. Now all that was left was for the soft one to wake up. Then they could begin.  

 

The stone pillars around them, representing the ancient Phrophiciers from before the humans had forsaken the Watchful. Their imprints were still here though, ready to serve Oull Zara and bring back the one who gifted them. Saw them worthy of communication, the ones who would soon spread warning of threats coming. Gifted with messages like the one she now had. 

 

All of the power 

Assembled in three 

First of sky and flame and fire 

Culling impure for the worlds gain 

Second of water harsh but soft 

Granting life or hastening loss 

Third of nature the earth the trees 

Kindest of all but harsh when protecting 

 

Bring back the Watchful 

Bring back the light 

Save the shadows from the blights  

The opposition shall fall, 

The Void shall be sealed  

The Starlings have hope 

It lies in you. 

 

She had to make sure this worked. The raven haired girl pushed her doubts to the back of her mind.   

 

Soon the retro girls had woken up. There was so much yelling… so high pitched…  

 

“Hey. Quiet down a little,” She ground out. Their eyes shot towards her, looks of surprise soon turning into looks of distrust and unease.  

 

“Who are you? What do you want?” Demanded the pirate sister.” 

 

“Calm down,” she replied curtly, dumping her water back into the channel. The antlered sister’s eyes followed after it with wonder, the pirate one refusing to look away from Kraken. “You’re not going to get hurt.” 

 

“Excuse me, but we’re to up, you kidnapped us, you look really shady, and my wings are doused. By you. All the evidence points to the probability that you will in fact hurt us. And you’re knuckles look weird.” 

 

“I don’t want to hurt you!” The sharp jointed figure was getting a bit tired of all the yelling. “All I want to do is talk like civilized people! So it would be nice if you could stop yelling!” 

 

“Yells the person,” Kraken grit her teeth. She was like an insufferable human. 

 

“On the coast, on the reed side of the gulf, there is a village called Ravern. That village-” 

 

“Ravern?! The village that burned?” Kraken relaxed a bit, happy that they seemed to know what she was talking about. 

 

“Yes,” she continued. “The village that burned us.” 

 

“Um, us? N-no, there was a forest fire there 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Well Kraken,” called Oull Zara. The water controlling girl glanced at her fearfully. She opened her mouth to plead but the Oull held out her hand, to be quiet. “You tried your plan. Now we do things my way. Shadows,” she held a hand above her head, the shadows of the surrounding pillars stretching towards it. “Take care of the antlered girl.” 

 

The shadows rushed towards Satyr, they crawled up and creeped into her mouth, absorbing themselves into her body. She struggled, but you couldn’t fight shadows. It seemed like the deer sister couldn’t fight anybody. Too soft for that. They soon passed out, something the shadows had done, and most shrunk back to their stones. Kraken couldn’t tell if there was anything left. It was too dark. 

 

Kraken felt a bit uneasy. The noirette was angry at humans but… to go as far as seemingly hurting her sisters? Sure, she didn’t really know them but they were still her sisters! Some fire whizzed past her bringing her attention towards Phoenix and Oull Zala fighting. The winged girl seemed to be struggling with her fire, not used to controlling it for anything other than flight. The adrenaline was doing its job for now but it wouldn’t be long before the Oull got the upper hand.  

 

Phoenix would get hurt. 

 

The stars twinkled. 

 

She made her decision. 

 

Rushing into the fight, she grabbed some water as she passed the channel. Her elbow drove into Oull Zara’s ribs, slashing the skin as she pivoted. Her eyes were squeezed tight as she dropped and turned her momentum into a sweep to the legs. Oull Zara fell, Kraken’s water rushing to the Oull’s nose and mouth. Enough lack of oxygen and she would pass out.  

 

The noirettes hand froze, stopped in its tracks. The sharp woman on the ground in front of her glared. This was not good. 

 

)0( 

 

Suddenly there was a pop and then teal. Which was strange. It was the color of Oull Zara’s eyes glow when she asked shadows to do things. There were smears of white as well all though, it appeared that it was the teal that was on top of the white.  

 

She wasn’t alone either. Across from her were the pirate sister and the antlered sister. They were floating in a triangle-like position in ,seemingly, the middle of this obscure space. 

 

Phoenix looked at her, the question clear in her eyes. Kraken had gone from trying to get them to join them, to fighting the oull for no reason that the winged girl could see. 

 

The blue eyed girl turned away from the amber face uneasily. They judged her and she couldn’t blame them. She has knocked them unconscious, tied them up, not to mention capsizing the antlered ones boat, and soaking the pirate ones wings every night while she slept! And to top it all off, she still didn’t know their names. 

 

‘Hello,’ A voice sounded out from the depths of the space, wherever this place was.  

 

“H-huh? Who are you?!” Questioned Satyr, her voice rising in her panic.  

 

‘My name is Ciriticus.” 

 

“Hey Citrus, mind telling us what this place is?” 

 

“It’s Ciriticus.”  

 

“So, both you, AND the place, are called Citrus.”   

 

“Phoenix, don’t be rude.” Interrupted Satyr. 

 

“Like I-“ 

 

“We’re in a mysterious place, with a mysterious voice, which we have no idea what they’re capable of.” 

 

“Just cause I want to,” Phoenix insisted, looking nervous.  

 

‘I mean you no harm. I only wish to show you what you could not tell each other. For the plan of the Starlings to work you must work together. However, you do not trust each other like you wouldn’t you had grown into this world united as you should have.” 

 

Kraken get her teeth remembering the actions of those filthy humans. 

 

‘You see, I can tell from your reactions, how little you know. Kraken knows of the act committed and hates them for it while Satyr and Phoenix do not know and have been shaping their lives and personalities without that knowledge.” 

 

The pirate- no, Phoenix and Satyr, glanced at each other. Phoenix seemed to be more nervous which was much different than what the sharp jointed girl was expecting. While Satyr seemed curious. What was the pirate sister hiding? 

 

‘Look to the violet,’ called out the voice again, a deep reverberating male. They looked and indeed there was a panel in the air consisting of violet, the edges streaking into the teal. Soon other colors penetrated their vision and the showing began. 

 

‘}0{‘ 

 

Scenes flashed before their eyes, telling stories they should have known. Locking them in their minds, never to be forgotten. It showed a giant, white woman with one big pupiless eye, the Star, surrounded by her children floating in the mist, red, green and blue. It showed a man leading a mob, ending up with the Star switching places with the dark entity that was locked in the Abyss of the Lost, causing the sun to change from white to black, as the one watching changed.  

 

It showed the Starlings, children of the Star, concentrating all of their power into three Starling eggs before fleeing to the misrs outside the world, no longer possessing the power to stay. It showed a man receiving a prophecy from a hut in the Shadow Plane. The villagers finding the nest. A mob forming and burning it to the ground, claiming that the eggs would hatch into monsters.  

 

Three pillars of smoke rising from the flames. The blue one being jerked away by a woman with glowing teal eyes. The green one comfortably finding their way to a greenhouse surrounded by pines and manifesting into a little brunette baby. 

 

 And the red one. Being blown away by the winds towards the sky, their rightful domain. Crashing onto a pirate ship and being raised by an old woman. Having her unnatural flaming wings doused by the pirates before they tied her up, preparing to toss her into the gulf, ridding their lives of the girl. The old woman saving her but falling in herself. Wings lit once again, burning ships, an old lady being carried away in a ball of fire.  

 

And then back to the violet, as the visions ended. 

 

‘}0{‘ 

“Ph-Phoenix. You…” Satyr trailed off unsure of how to finish such a sentence. 

 

“Fax,”muttered Phoenix. Satyr gasped. 

 

“Phoenix!” 

 

“Whatever. And I don't want to talk about it,” Phoenix was curt in her answer, obviously not wanting to stay on the topic. 

 

‘This is what you've been missing. The stories behind each other. The knowledge of the world behind this one.’ 

 

“Seriously? That was a violation of privacy! Phoenix obviously didn't want us to know that!” The other two girls looked to her shock. “What?” Kraken looked away, a bit embarrassed. “I'm not heartless,” she muttered. 

 

‘Ah. Well. You have a reality to save.’ 

 

“Are you running away? Coward!” Phoenix got cut off by a pop as they were returned to their previous positions, one last shadow slithering away from Satyr. Kraken was brought back only to be reminded how doomed she was. Oull Zara’s glowing eyes happily reminded her.  

 

Shadows rushed at Kraken, surrounding her, tightening around her limbs. She felt them creep up to her face, covering her nose and mouth. The pressure in her chest was unbearable, constricting. She couldn't breathe. Distantly she heard someone cry her name. The air heated up. 

 

The shadows lost their hold and Kraken fell to the ground, gasping and clutching her chest. Flames whooshed over her, roasting her skin. Right… Zara. She managed to get a weak hold on some water, making it as sharp as she could with how fuzzy her mind was, and brought it over to where she thought the oull was. Rearing it back, the small water spine got thrust forward, finding its target to be right in front of it. Or more specifically, the target's eye. There was an enraged yell of pain and Kraken slipped into the darkness. 

 

)0( 

 

When she woke up, she was lying in a bed, somewhere she didn't recognize. She must have said something out loud because someone was giving an answer for her confusion. 

 

“Apparently, eyes are really important to connections between the Void and his servants. After you stabbed that crazy lady’s eye, some invisible tether broke and the black sun got sucked into another dimension or something. Anyway, we won, the sun is white, our mother is gigantic, and our immense power has been divided in between the Starlings. So. Yeah. I'm very glad nost got solved.” 

 

“Phoenix! Stop swearing!” 

 

“You've never heard a bad word in your life, how do you know if I'm swearing!” 

 

“I get a specific feeling whenever you do.” 

 

“What does that mean?” Kraken fell back asleep listening to their voices, soft and harsh. 

 

A winged girl and an antlered girl watched as Lans tended to a noirette in a bed, carefully. 

 

“Hey Phoenix?” 

 

“Yeah?” Said girl looked up questingly.

 

“How about I try and heal your old lady friend, Madame Marge?”   

 

-End- 

Written by Heather Mi.

70% of people sign their dog’s name on their greeting cards. I am one of these people.

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