Chapter 1: Heavenly Gift
Somewhere in the Milky Way
The Starformer writhed as he tumbled through space, hoping only that he would live long enough to pass on his gift. He had weathered millions of years, but knew instinctively that his time had come. His long, sinuous form had once been bright green with vitality and had glowed golden with the power of starlight. No longer.
Even the brightest stars must fade.
Reaching out with his senses, feeling for one worthy and able to take up his cause. Among the star-speckled heavens, a single point of light caught his attention, drawing him on.
The Starformer smiled as he remembered the star, Sol by name. He had witnessed its birth and cultivated it into maturity. He had rejoiced as life had sprung up on one of its planets. He focused all of his energies on that speck and the life teeming around it.
Yes, he thought. That world will do. Thank you, my old friend.
Expending all of his remaining strength, he directed his course toward Sol and the blue, green marble that was its third planet.
Matt opened Tyson’s door just enough to see his dad and his little brother.
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. He remembered when daddy used to sing that to him.
Daddy guided Tyson’s finger to the open window. The stars twinkled just like the song.
A shooting star lit up the sky like a green firework.
“Hey, buddy, look at that!” said daddy. “That’s a bright one.”
Tyson cooed and clapped. “Little star, little star!”
The light disappeared quickly. Daddy hugged Tyson and tucked him in. He leaned over and kissed Tyson on the forehead. “Sweet dreams, Ty Guy.”
This was his chance. He had to say something now. Matt slid the door open a bit more so that it creaked. “Daddy, is it my turn now?”
Daddy turned toward the door with a smile. “Just a minute, Matt-Cat. I’m almost done with Ty—”
Daddy’s phone rang from his pocket, playing a song that didn’t sound anything like a lullaby, and he left the room. Matt stayed at the doorway, peering through the crack into his brother’s room.
For a full minute, the room stood quiet. A warm breeze blew in from the open window, casting creepy shadows across the floor.
The room lit up like the world’s biggest night-light, and a fast-moving object flew through the window, landing by Tyson’s bed. Tyson shot up and he threw off the covers. Both he and Matt fixed their eyes fixed on a strange green marble on the floor.
Both of them raced for the stone, which glowed like it had tiny fireflies trapped inside. Though Tyson was slower, he had the advantage of being much closer to the bed.
A grin spread across Tyson’s face as he picked up the marble, and lifted it toward his mouth.
His brother didn’t listen, but popped the marble in his mouth.
For a moment, Matt sat there, unsure of what to do. Tyson didn’t look like he was choking. Actually, he was giggling, louder and louder and clapping his hands. He knew that he’d never be able to explain to daddy that Tyson had swallowed a weird rock from the sky.
Tyson giggled louder, and Matt held a finger to his lips, trying to shush him. But before he could calm Tyson again, daddy returned, using his angry face. “Matt, what are you doing here? Tyson’s going to sleep.”
Daddy led him out of room. “Get to bed, Matt.”
Matt slunk off to his room and settled into his bed. Tears filled his eyes. He had plenty of things to feel bad about, but one thing bothered him the most.
He wanted that marble for himself.