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Gift From the Fallen Star
Once the universe was empty. It was nothing, not even a single star or planet to dominate the empty void. It was a place where nothing happened, where nothing lived.
But then something happened. A single star was formed, giving it's feeble light out to the darkness. It shone all alone, with nothing to shine it's light upon.
The star shone for many years without company, soon becoming sad and alone. For the star was a woman, the first thing to live in this empty place, and she yearned for more. Her name was Uvashi.
After centuries of solitude, she found that she could do more than just shine. She could create things, and soon she was creating planets and other stars, black holes and whole universes. She created galaxies and meteors, and far more, to occupy the endless void she inhabited.
But what was most incredible was the creatures she created. Tiny things that she set upon a blue and green planet, which she christened "Earth". And as she watched these creatures flourish, something amazing happened. New stars formed, and they were unlike the ones that Uvashi made. They were like her, beautiful beings. There were 9 of them, and they were born one at a time, every time one of the creatures on Earth found new feelings.
Now Uvashi shared her light and life to the creatures that needed it, and her light was joined by those of her brothers and sisters.
For millions of years, they watched over the creatures of Earth, and made sure that balance and order was always retained, no matter how fleeting. And they saw many things as the Earth grew slowly older; things that they knew they should not influence.
Time passed, and they saw the creatures discover new things, make friends, show compassion and generosity, and help others out of kindness. But they also witnessed cruel acts driven by selfishness and greed, people who killed themselves, those who sold drugs, those that murdered, and hearts broken by people who didn't care.
The stars, despite knowing not to get involved, surveyed the humans for years, wishing that they were allowed to use their powers to change the course of the human's life's. And after another thousand years, they watched as humans discovered the use of oil, gas and other harmful substances. They discovered electricity, and created many inventions.
The stars watched as animals suffered, as whole species died due to the lack of human respect to nature. They watched as the Earth they had looked after for so long, that they had grown to love, slowly died.
And soon Uvashi became sad and depressed, as she watched the world fall to pieces. She was weary after millennials of existence, all for the creatures she had created to let it all go to waste, to treat it so carelessly. They knew not how fortunate they were for their existence, or how they would have no second chance to rebuild the world. And as they continued to commit terrible deeds and slowly began to lose their gentle selves, Uvashi's glow faded, until she hardly shined at all. She grew weak, and hopeless, and did the one thing all the stars had never thought possible.
The other stars did not cry at their loss. They had shed far too many tears over the years as they watched the humans lose the ones they loved. But they did mourn for their sister. Instead of letting themselves succumb to their emotions, they continued to reside over the Earth, to protect it from the dangers of space. They looked after Uvashi's creation, and to show their feelings for her, they did something that most humans would think of as simple, and silly. But the stars knew that Uvashi would have appreciated it.
They sent a single blossom to the Earth, one nearly as beautiful as Uvashi had been herself. And along with it, they each gave a wish for the well-being of the Earth.
And the flower carried these wishes, down to Earth, where they hoped that a human would find it. A rare type of human, one who still cared for the world.
"Would you care to show your work to the class, Ada?" Miss Davidson asked, raising a thin eyebrow.
Ada looked up from the paper she had been absently colouring on. The words were hardly legible now.
"Um- no?" She offered, hastily tucking the paper into her book so her teacher couldn't see the drawings. But this was typical Ada. Every time she attempted to hand in a piece of work without drawings, she got a little bored, and it was soon covered in drawings. She couldn't help it. Sometimes she didn't even know she was doing it.
Miss Davidson sighed wearily. She had trouble getting Ada to do anything without adding her own "unique" touch to it.
"Alright, but I expect you to write that out again and hand it in tomorrow. I won't tolerate this behaviour for much longer. You have got to start taking responsibility."
"Ok, Miss." Ada hung her head, feeling her face burn as everyone stared at her.
She spent the next half hour of the lesson imagining things, crazy ideas for a story she was writing. Secretly Ada wished she could be more like her character; strong, brave, independent. Always going on daring adventures without hesitation and getting admiration for her courage.
Her character had actually been made based on the person who she wanted to be, and the adventures her character went on she experienced as if actually going on them.
Which, of course, she wasn't.
Ada was the sort of person who preferred her own fantasy land to real life. She was forever conjuring new scenarios in her head and she found it much more entertaining than the life that was expected of her.
Because she wasn't a character in a story. She wasn't ever going to go on some amazing quest, or get admired, or even have a friend. She was forced to endure normal life, normal work, normal miseries of a teenage girl without a father.
The bell rang after what seemed an age. Ada packed up her books and hoisted her school bag onto her back. She then made her way from the school, out through the gate and began her long and extremely boring journey home. She had no friends to walk with and she never took the bus, preferring solitude to the hustle of the bus. Of course, she didn't actually like being alone, but she had no friends and the bus was just too depressing for her, the way everyone seemed to have someone else there for them. So she walked.
By the time she got home, it was beginning to get dark. Winter was coming.
"Hi. I'm home!" Ada called as she entered her house. Her customary greeting, one that was never usually answered. As she expected, silence was her answer as she dumped her schoolbag by the door and peered into the kitchen.
Her house was pretty small and grimy, given that her mum didn't earn much money in her job and refused to find a new one. Ever since her dad had died, her mum had been detached, acting strangely. She wasn't coping very well with the loss.
Ada noticed the note on the table, near illegible writing scrawled across it. She picked it up and read.
I am so sorry, but I am going out again tonight. I think this might be the one! Don't worry, I'll be back soon, but you are going to have to cook your own tea tonight. Be good,
Ada felt a twinge of irritation. Ever since her dad's death, her mum had been going out with different men. Ada had lost count of the number of nights her mum had left her for random men.
She had tried to convince herself it was a faze, something her mum was doing out of shock and grief. But now her mum had no excuse.
Ada ran up to her room and fell onto her bed. She rarely felt angry (being a good-natured girl in general) and now wasn't an exception. She just felt alone and betrayed.
After a few minutes she sighed and sat up. She should probably do something useful, like hoover or make her tea. But the truth was, she just didn't feel like it.
Instead, Ada sat down at her desk and continued to write her story. This was a way of relaxing her, and drawing her away from reality for a few precious moments.
She had written a whole chapter by the time she realised she was hungry. She left the desk and made her way downstairs. She was in the middle of finding ingredients when she realised that it was pretty bright outside. Strange. Hadn't it been dark just a few seconds before?
She left the ingredients on the table and completely forgot about them as she made her way to the door.
Ada nervously crept outside, wondering what she would find. Despite her fear, she couldn't help feeling a little bit excited. Would this be like all the adventures and stories she had conjured up? Would this be a life-changing event for her?
Of course it wasn't.
A single blossom glowed in the middle of the overgrown garden. Ada felt herself drawn to the beauty of it, to the way it shimmered in the darkness. It was just a flower, but it was like nothing she had ever seen before, and she found herself drifting closer.
What it was about the blossom that made her want to reach out for it she didn't know, but she did know that it was something she wanted to keep. As she knelt down and touched it, a flood of colour and images swarmed her mind. Taken aback, she whipped her hand from the blossom, which lay there innocently, giving it's eerie yet beautiful light out to the dark night.
Ada took a deep breath, and gently closed the blossom in her palms. This time she was prepared for the rush of images, and she closed her eyes to the scenes appearing in her mind.
A blonde mother, crying out as her child was taken away; a teenage boy with a nose ring beating someone up; a father reunited with his daughter; a home bombed; shots from guns taking lifes; a man proposing to an overjoyed woman; an abusive father yelling at his son; a bear trying to protect her cub from hunters who shot her down. At every image Ada felt emotions that weren't hers, felt the scenes before her as if they were hers. She didn't know any of these people, but she felt their joy, knew their pain. People from different countries, different backgrounds, even different times. She witnessed thousands of years in seconds.
Ada gasped and let the blossom fall to the ground. She felt scared. Some of the things she had seen were heartwarming, but most were terrifying, horrifyingly real. What she had just experienced had been the scariest thing that had ever happened to her.
And Ada suddenly realised that she had found this blossom for a reason. She had seen those images for a reason. She had experienced all of that for a reason.
Making up her mind, she gently enclosed the blossom in her jumper, careful not to touch it with her bare skin. She didn't want to see any of that again. Then she carried it back into the house and placed it in a draw in her room. Somehow she knew it wouldn't die there, like most flowers would. Because this one was different. This one was here for a reason.
Thousands of miles away, one of the stars saw all of this. She saw Ada come home, discover the flower and watch all of those scenes. The things that had all happened, recently or ages ago, things that the star herself had witnessed. Her name was Xera, and she had been among the first stars to form. She was one of the eldest, and therefore the wisest. She had seen the past, seen human capabilities, and had therefore predicted the future. This simple human girl no longer had a choice. She was the one to save humankind, and she would see it through to the end, because she was the rare sort of human who cared. And Xera also knew that Ada would even see it through if it killed her.
Which it surely would.
Because saving the world was no small task, and sacrifices would be made. A larger threat was at hand, and to overcome it more deaths would come.
Xera turned her head slightly, wondering whether to tell her brothers and sisters. Then her face split into a grin. No need to bother them with such small matters. She would deal with the girl herself.
Because if the girl succeeded, it meant that Xera could not have the power she was meant to have.
And Xera needed power.
Ada would fail. Ada would die.
Xera would make sure of it.