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Killer Star

By Chelsea Atchley All Rights Reserved ©

Scifi / Fantasy


Pirates and Demons and Stars oh my! All Emily Ryder ever wanted was to become a Starmaker. To work with the Star Queen on the Moon is considered one of the highest honors in the Universe. The only problem is that Emily’s planet has been cut off from contact with the rest of the universe for over fifteen years. After the death of their Goddess, the Star Queen’s sister, the land has been poisoned by the Shadow Man and placed in exile. But this won’t stop her, she is fiercely determined to navigate the chaos of the planet with her childhood friend, Darvey to find a portal to the Moon no matter what. Even if it means having to befriend a crazed group of teenage Pirates led by the enigmatic Captain Tobey, fight off demons, and navigate an entire planet on their overly complicated road trip. Buckle up Hooligans, the star systems are about to have their worlds rocked!

Chapter 1: Deus Ex Machina


In the beginning, in a place far beyond the stars, there was the Mother and the Mother drifted among the infinite black space singing her soft song. Alas, the Mother was alone in the dark. To guide her through the space, she crafted the beautiful twinkling lights called stars, but after some time that was not enough. Then, she created the cosmos, brilliant displays of light and color to keep her company. But that was not enough. The Mother created music, and sang her soft song with new life but the universe still seemed empty. Her instruments were not enough, so she drew upon her harp and crafted into existence the gods. Her fingers drifted along the strings, each striking out a different tune that breathed life into a different being.

The twelve gods, fresh as babes, immediately fell into a deep slumber and the Mother began to work on different ways to entertain her children. She crafted a sun to help guide them and give them a sense of direction. With a huff of her breath, she let the stardust from her fingers flow out and form twelve separate planets. In her being she knew that this was good.

While the gods slumbered on galaxies of green, crimson, gold, and purple, something stole into the cosmic nursery on wings of black sin. The Mother sensed its presence and realizing it was not her creation, gave a large war cry. It retreated to the edges of the universe, just barely out of her sight and waited.

Each night, the Mother smiled down at the dormant gods and whispered soft promises to each one. The first six she had created were already large spirits, full in form and ready to burst forth. The last six were smaller and were in a deeper sleep. Even though there was an evil that lurked in the corners of their heaven, the Mother and her children were content with their paradise.

Each of the twelve gods dreamt of the planets they wished to form of both lava fields and icy tundra. Two of the gods, two sisters who slept side by side, dreamt of the planets they would form in unison: one a star planet filled with light, the other an unnatural beauty of roaming blues and forestry.

When it was time, the Mother awakened them, and oh how they leapt for joy! Each god squealed and bellowed and trampled with their own unique voice, eternally grateful for the life that the Mother had bestowed upon them. They called her Mother Universe, for she was their Universe. In the no longer dark space, they laughed and sang with her. Yet each god felt a calling to them from the empty planets begging for creation.

Mother Universe was left all by herself, but she was happy for her children and their search for happiness. With her golden harp, she sang songs out to them and observed their creations.

While the gods kept to themselves, the sisters wanted their planets to be in sync. Their wish was for their children to love one another as they loved each other. The other gods, finished with their work, hung onto clouds of stardust and watched their work. One of the sisters had a white planet lit up with starlight and large white mountains of ivory and silver. The other created the most beautiful, but biological planet, with rolling mountains of green, seas of blue, and endless skies with clouds. A large bridge was built between the two planets and lit up with stars to light the way for their children to visit each other.

Yet the god of nature, who had put all of her love within the planet, wanted more children than the ones she had already made. She wanted smaller beings to exist, with a conscience like themselves, who would not obey her every word.

“Why would you make children like that?” The gods cried out in shock, including her sister. “Your children are fine, do not give them children who could turn on you!” But her love for such little beings made her ignore them, and it scared the other gods. They all turned their cheeks at her scoffing, and she retreated to her children to fall into an unnatural way of existence.

Time passed and the planets all began to thrive healthily, especially the one with the little beings. With their god, they would visit the pale children on the star planet next to them and all was well. Each night, Mother Universe would emerge from behind the sun and sing her song where all the beasts and beings from all the planets would pause and listen.

But the thing that lingered at the edge of the universe saw this and wanted to destroy. It would put terror and fear on all the planets, creating nightmarish creatures to trouble the children of the gods.

When the thing attacked the planets of the sisters, causing turmoil and strife between the two, it tried to poison the earth of the planets with its blackness. With all the love in her heart, the god sacrificed herself in battle. Her star sister’s screams echoed throughout their plane of existence, and in sorrow she destroyed the bridge. Filled with wrath and blame towards her sister’s children and little beings, she condemned the planet. The tears that fell from her face gave the planet a great flood that drowned many of the creatures on it, and shooting stars were sent as a reminder that she was watching.

Mother Universe, enraged at the death of her children, chased after the thing into the depths of the space that were untouched, streaking the skies with orange and black with her fury. When she had gone, the emptiness of their world came closing in for with her disappearance, the gods realized that were left alone.

The remaining gods lived their own lives, and shunned their sister’s planet. In the still of darkness, Mother Universe still sang to her children at night of how their perfect heaven would someday still be. Yet, with bitter hearts and rejection, the gods turned away and her songs were lost. It is said that those who listen with the purest of hearts can still hear the Mother’s love crooning in the distance with sadness and love for her lost children…

Chapter 1: Deus Ex Machina

The threat of sleep pushing her eyelids closed was near. Emily could feel her eyelids impulsively flutter, and she briefly contemplated whether she should fall asleep or not. Her body decided for her and her head softly thumped onto the soft grass of the hill she rested on. She softly mouthed the words of her favorite part of the story.


A wet tongue went to her ear as a fawn nibbled at her to wake up. It rubbed its head against hers and continued to beg for attention. A soft groan escaped her lips as she lifted her head up and felt the wind tousle her short hair. The fawn continued to nudge up against her and she patted it away.

“I’m up, I’m up.” Her arms were weak from sleep as she lifted herself up off her stomach. She gazed out at the rolling green hills that seemed to ripple as the wind flew through it. The small clusters of deer out in the fields grazed lazily and wobbled contentedly about, mirroring the fat clouds above them. A small huff escaped her. With a lazy stretch of her arms above her head, she briefly stroked the back of her neck, feeling the nick where Aunt Mimi had cut too closely. As her eyes adjusted to the beautiful pastoral scene around her, she thought of how different the land must have looked back then.

Back when she had made it…

Sighing, she bent down to pick up the small silver novel and gingerly stuffed it into her trusty hammerspace. Blindly she groped around inside the black messenger bag and felt her fingers brush up against a cold silver whistle. After blowing it three times and watching the deer scatter back towards the pens, she lazily began to walk back up the hill. The fawn pranced next to her as they walked ahead of the lumbering, fat deer through the sea of grass. Emily stared out at the wide-open space where small pink and white flowers dotted the hills here and there with the occasional drinking pond. In the distance, a tall black shadow was throwing a red ball in the air, high up almost out of sight, then catching it with ease. A small smile formed up on her lips.

She awkwardly ran down the hill, her boots softly thumping through the grass that tickled the tops of her knees. With the warm wind kissing her cheeks, she tried to sneak up on him where at the last second she tried to tackle him, but with very little luck. He was much bigger than her and only took a slight step forward as she flew backwards giggling.

“Darvey! Darvey!” She panted and grabbed the strap of her bag as it gripped her heavy chest tightly. His green eyes pondered her face for a fraction of a second before he looked behind her to where the fawn waited at the top of the hill for her.

“You shouldn’t leave the deer alone.”

She pouted and huffed. “Where are they going to go? They’re smart enough to know where home is...” She looked back at the fawn who perked its ears up. With a shooing motion, she gave the fawn a pout and snapped her fingers. Eventually a mother deer perked its head from the hill and the fawn eagerly followed it. His gaze had now flickered over to her.

“You seem to be filled with extra melancholy today, why for?”

She stared at the empty fields and began to speak, but couldn’t form the words in her head to convey herself properly. She blinked, looked at her feet, then him. A light smirk came upon his face, and he looked up at the sky as he launched his red ball once more. “You’ve been reading your legends again, haven’t you?”

Embarrassed, she nodded and continued to let her hands fumble with the strap. A few moments of silence passed by and he caught the returning ball.

“Oh! Hey, Aunt Mimi is making pound cake!” Emily perked up.

“I thought she was making bread,” he countered.

“I don’t know, I guess she’s in a good mood today.”

“Let’s go then.” He launched the ball in the air once more, then turned to her, slung his arm around her thin shoulders and led her towards the leaning purple Victorian house far off in the distance. She turned around and began to speak. “What about the ball…”

“Don’t worry about it.” As he spoke, the ball came flying back and instead of bouncing, it landed with a soft plop and didn’t move. She blinked a few times at this oddity. He had always done odd things like this, not too odd, but definitely eyebrow raising ever since her Aunt had taken him in when she was only four years old.



“How old are you?”


She pouted and rolled her eyes.

“Yeah, but how old? You’ve never said a number and when it’s your birthday we just give you a cake with one candle. I-“

He sighed and took his hand off her shoulder. For a brief moment she wondered if she had offended him. But that was impossible, the two were so close with one another.

“Old.” He then playfully hit the back of her head and she growled. “So respect your damn elders.” Thrusting his hands into his pockets, he began to walk ahead. Before catching up with him to tag team on the sweets Aunt Mimi was making, she took one last look at the fields behind her. The wind teased her hair once more, and its soft caress made her melancholic…for something…but for what?

The Mother…the gods…I wish I had been there.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

“And I told that young hussy, if you’ll pardon that word dearies that she can go and kiss my opal brooch.” Aunt Mimi spoke about her ill interactions in the town to them tirelessly whilst pouring tea for Darvey and patting Emily’s head who obediently sat at the foot of her plush green armchair. Her frail body was draped in a black shawl with yellow polka dots and her thick black hair was tied back into a perfect bun. She winked at Darvey who awkwardly stood out in the doll-like tea room with his tall rebel demeanor. “Well of course, my ‘opal brooch’ isn’t quite what I said, but dearest Emily shouldn’t hear such words.” She cackled as Emily flinched, slightly upset that even though she was fifteen she was still being treated like some toddler.

“Where’s my present?” Emily’s mouth went dry and her heart skipped a beat. Aunt Mimi slurped the tea loudly and let her black hawk eyes fall downwards. “From out in the fields?” Emily looked up at her and nodded. She dug into her bag and searched for a few awkward moments, then pulled out a dark green stone. Aunt Mimi snatched it, and put the small thing close to her face. After a few minutes of close examination, she oohed. “Oh Emily! You shouldn’t have! That’s pure jade! Oh those fields always surprise me!” She rubbed it softly and pressed it to her cheek. “Oh give me a hug.” Emily stiffened up and gave an awkward hug, her eyes meeting Darvey who flicked out a pinkie as he quietly sipped his tea.

“Oh I should just go ahead and make us matching rings, hmmm, doesn’t that sound nice?” She chuckled and placed it into her apron pocket. Emily cautiously sat back down by her feet and took a large chunk out of the pound cake. Aunt Mimi slurped loudly at the tea and pointed at Darvey, who quickly sat up.

“Darvey, when you have a chance please talk with Morrison about how the barn seems to be creaking all the time.”

“Yes’m. But I can fix it for you, it’s no trouble.”

“No, no, no. no.” She shook her head at each no. “I don’t want you children near that place filled with creaky nails and venereal diseases.” Darvey and Emily shared a look and smirked at each other. Emily reached for her own teacup and closed her eyes as the charming steam of chamomile pressed against her face.


“Yes dear.”

“Tell me again about how Mom and Dad met.”

Aunt Mimi gave a hard look, but Emily merely countered with her large puppy dog eyes face. The elderly woman adjusted herself, loudly clattered her teacup onto the table to the side of her, and grabbed her crocheting materials. She gruffly responded with, “How many times do I have to tell you?”

“Pleeeeaaaassse?” Aunt Mimi glared down at the eager face.

“Make dinner tonight and I will.”

Emily nodded in agreement. The woman sighed and adjusted herself in the armchair.

“Your father, my son, was a soldier at that bridge. And your mother was a star madge. Now don’t get too lost in the past, you’ll lose your head.”

Emily sadly looked at her tea.

“Now go upstairs and read your Trig-a-whooey book like a good school girl.” Aunt Mimi gave a sharp eye to the black and white striped knee highs Emily wore with her boots and shorts. “And wearing all those stripes like that won’t get you anywhere.”

She stood up and excused herself and climbed up the spiral stairs by the large grandfather clock.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *



“Watch after her. She’s too easily influenced.”


Auntie M muttered something about pirates and broken teacups as she sipped at her tea once more and went full force into the work of a brand new blue scarf. The clocks about them ticked away and the sun was lazily climbing across the sky. Clomping footsteps were heard and the front door opened with a bang. A rough man with dirty blonde hair stepped in, covered in dirt and sniffing loudly.

“Now really Morrison! Oh the rug and the air are just polluted now!”

He took off a glove and rubbed his hand through his hair. He said nothing but glared at Darvey, who merely smirked with a joyful grin but his eyes were spiteful.

“Hey Auntie…your new well is built.”

“Ah thank you Morri. When you get a chance please fix up the barn, oh but that can wait. Let me get you some fresh tea to have while you’re in the bath.” She rose and shuffled to the kitchen, while Morrison stared at Darvey. After a few moments he walked towards the spiral stairs and began to ascend.

“Don’t you dare.”

He stopped at the sixth step and let his head draw towards Darvey who had moved from the small couch to the foot of the stairs.


“Don’t you dare.” Darvey’s smile was gone and was replaced with an aggressive stance and frown. He was like a guard dog that had sensed a fox at the edges of the hen house.

“Don’t know what you’re talking about.” He clomped on upwards.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Emily threw her bag onto her white bed and held herself steady as she tore off one boot, then the other. She stared at the etchings on the wall she had drawn with Darvey as a child. Planets with looping flowers intertwining, connecting them all as shooting stars whizzed past. And in the far left corner was the Star Queen Astra. A beautiful, tall being copied from the sketches found inside her poetry books: a pale pointed face, flowing blonde hair, and piercing light blue eyes. Queen of the Moon they called her. From the information given to her either from literature, or schoolbooks, or what the elders remembered, it was a beautiful white planet with pale pink beaches and light blue skies. The snow there was rumored to not be cold, but actually really warm and fluffy like clouds!

She smiled at the thought of it, but the most vitally important part of the planet (at least to her) was The Starmakers. Knighted by the Star Queen herself, they were created to help her birth, sustain, and then destroy the stars in the cosmos. Before the war, apparently the Star Queen would even choose special ones on Fell (her own planet!) to help assist in the creation of special star related matters like comets and shooting stars.

More than anything in the world, Emily wanted to become a starmaker. Her mother was a star madge so it only made sense to follow in her birthright.

A star madge…That means she was in charge of a division of starmakers...

But the only problem was that the bridge had been destroyed, and there was no other method of getting over there. Queen Astra had made sure of it, and this miffed Emily. She made a sideways face and began to pick up some papers that the breeze had played with while she was gone.

Gotta remember to not leave the window open so much…

She heard heavy footsteps and looked up as Morrison stopped at the threshold of her room.


“Oh! Hi Mori!”

He looked around her room passively then dug into his pockets and held out a scarred and dirty hand.

“Found this for you. Not sure what it is but it’s shaped like a star.”

Emily held her hand out underneath the fist and a small blue gem fell heavily on her palm. She gasped as she realized it was a whale tear.

“But! But whales haven’t lived here in forever!”

Morrison nodded and then shuffled down the dark corridor to the lavender bathroom, shutting it loudly. She stood there feeling rather pleased that she had made such progress with the hired handyman that lived in the house with them. He had come to them about three years ago and so far this was the longest conversation the two had had.

Emily eagerly pulled out her metallic kaleidoscope and added the crystal to the collection. She placed her small eye in the opening and turned the silver dial on the side, watching the colors fall and slide about on the glass. She smiled and stared out her open window.

“I want to be a Starmaker. Oh Mother Universe…please let me become one. Pleeeaaaase…” Suddenly Darvey’s giggle came from the door and without looking she took a pencil off her desk, threw it behind it her and into his face.

“It’s hilarious how much you want to become one.” She glared furiously and placed the kaleidoscope back into its case. Stomping to her bed she threw back her dark blue comforter and curled up in it away from him. His presence was still lingering in the doorway and embarrassment was washing over her. Although she didn’t hear his footsteps, she could feel him sitting down on the floor next to her bed.

“Why do you want to be one so badly?” She stared at the blackness around her before saying, “You know why.”

“It confuses me.” Closing her eyes, she felt anxiety come nearer.

“I want to…to be someone…to matter,” she whispered. “To prove that I can do something great…that I am important. Greater than either of them…”

Silence filled the air before Darvey stood back up and this time she heard him step away. She flew back the covers to say something but he was gone. Her pained gaze fell to her white ceiling scarred with etchings of stars, twining vines, and planets peeking back at her. The melancholy was overwhelming.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Dinner went by quickly with the sounds of silverware clinking and beverages being eagerly swallowed. Afterwards Darvey went to take a bath, Morrison went to the barn, and Aunt Mimi went to her radio, dialing it to the station where an ecstatic older man wailed about the lies heretics told of the creator of their planet.

“Motha Uni-verse is tha one and ONLY creator of this here world! The ON-LY ONE!” Emily went to her room and changed into a bumblebee shirt and decided against socks for the evening.

The wind sighed about the house, grateful for all the open windows to fly about through. Emily went to the cramped kitchen and poured herself some milk and looked about at all the plants growing from the ceiling to the floor. Darvey had been very passionate about having plants in the household, and since it was the only thing he really ever asked for, Aunt Mimi had obliged. She sipped silently and gazed to the front living room window. A faint light was shining from the barn. She followed it, stepping across the white washed porch and down the steps to the soft dirt of the earth. A blue moon illuminated the fields with its eerie light. Emily glanced up and pondered it. It usually came once a year, some saying it was the people of the star planet celebrating Queen Astra. Others said it was the Queen herself remembering her fallen sister. The religious fanatics said it was Mother Universe shaming them. She tiptoed silently and felt the grass blades tickle her ankles, as if reaching to say hello. She reached the large wooden doors and peeked around it.

Morrison was wearing a welder’s mask, gloves, and apron working on some metallic contraption. The fire from his torch sparked blue and without missing a beat he turned his face towards her tilting slightly. She blinked at him a few times then stepped into the light a bit clearly. He continued to weld without having to even look back down at his work. She shuffled her naked feet and felt extremely awkward having bothered him with her presence.

She shyly held out her half-drunk glass of milk and softly said,

“Would you like some milk?” The torch turned off abruptly. The mask came off slowly and he stared at her with his cold dark eyes.

“Excuse me?”


Dang it. I just wanted to be nice and now I made this so awkward. And we were doing so well earlier!

He stared for a moment then grabbed the glass roughly, his gloves brushing against her fingers. She pulled back suddenly and rubbed her thumb against the rest of her fingers. He drank it while looking at her and she turned to face the project.



“Morri, how old are you?” He turned to gather more metal rods about five feet in length from a large pile behind him.

“Why do you ask?” Emily liked it when he spoke to her with such a gentle voice even though his mannerisms were gruff. She twisted and turned with her hands behind her back.

“Ah, I don’t know. Darvey wouldn’t tell me his age and now I’m just curious is all.” He stopped moving at the sound of Darvey’s name but continued. Emily didn’t notice.


Emily perked up, a bit shocked at how young he was but how old he acted.


“Why, that too old for you?

“Wha-huh no.” She stared at the illuminated white ground and blinked back towards the house.

“Sorry to bother you.”


He went back to his work and Emily awkwardly shuffled away. When her footsteps hit the dirt outside, he tilted his head as if listening to something, some slight whisper. Even through the noise of his work, of building a new pen for the fawns, he could hear the words as if someone was speaking directly into his ear like a soft lover.

It’s time. It’s time…

Do what you were told…to do…it’s time…

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Prancing back to the house, she smiled softly at the sight of Aunt Mimi leaned back in her giant lounger with her mouth agape and head thrown back. She climbed up the stairs two at a time and ran head on into a white t-shirt.

“Girl you trying to kill me?”

“Ah, sorry Darvey.”

He rolled his eyes and pushed past her.

“What’s the hurry?”

His head disappeared down the stairs as he yelled back about something outside. Emily shrugged and went to complete her night time bathroom ritual.

After brushing her teeth, washing her face and neck, stretching, eating a lollipop, and prayers to Mother Universe (puh-lease let me be a starmaker someday!), she leaned back on the floor of her room against her white bed. The white billowy curtains by the window swayed slightly from the wind’s last end of the day efforts. The blue moon peeked just barely at her from the edge of the window. She pulled a small black box out from underneath the bed and caressed each photograph of her fallen parents. Even though it was a black and white photograph, she could still look at the scene vividly as if it was taken just yesterday. The tall man with the same dark curled hair as hers had his arm around a petite woman with long hair who had a delicate hand on his chest. Both were staring at something just to the left out of frame, as if at the last second something had caught their attention.

She became so enthralled that she barely heard Morrison walking back into the house and to his room. She then switched on her music player, a small red thing with a baby horn like the phonograph in Aunt’s room. She liked the haunting notes and swayed to it. She then lay on her stomach and began to doodle pictures of her in the stars, catching and sprinkling them across the sky.

A shadow fell across the page and she turned around slightly to see if it was Darvey again to mock her pictures. A heavy hand fell on her back and another to her neck. She was flipped around as something suffocated her. A hand flailed out and she tried to grab for the box but couldn’t reach it.

“Auntie.” She strained out the word slowly as a hand pushed her arm back and another hand went there.

“Darvey.” She squeaked it out with more urgency as terror gripped her body. She began to whimper as a hand covered her mouth.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Darvey stood up straight as he was feeding the deer in their pens. Someone had to do it and Emily always complained about how they laughed at her. The real reason he had come outside was to talk with Morrison…but he had disappeared. He raised an eyebrow and listened to the wind…but it had stopped. The deer perked up their large ears, all of them pausing. They then went back to their corn and sugar mixture. He furrowed his brow, letting the last of the feed spill from his fingers. His body was becoming tenser and he held his breath. The light from Emily’s room and the living room shone brightly as well as the barn…

A small growl escaped from his lips.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Emily tried to grab or move something around her but reached nothing. She waved about helplessly and felt his hot breath on the side of her neck. His body was massive and she couldn’t push it off. She fumbled about and he grabbed her neck. In shock she grew still and her chest tightened.

She couldn’t really meet his gaze for she was in his shadow, thus she began to hyperventilate.

“Emily.” She shriveled under his voice.

“You’ve always been a good girl, haven’t you?”

Without thinking, she tried to bring her knees up in defense, but her legs were not working the way she wanted them to do.

“Darvvghh-“ It felt as if her body was being wrapped up in metallic coils belonging to some massive snake that was slowly constricting tighter and tighter. Her mind was going blank with fear.


The blue moon winked at her from its shadowy perch.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Darvey threw open the door to the barn and flipped the fluorescent lights on. He went to the table with tools laid out and surveyed his options.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

The piano song on from the player was up-tempo and at a crescendo, merely adding to her panic. Her homemade star wallpapering stared back at her and she began to cry and used her arms to push his face away. A hand grabbed her wrist and held it above her to the floor as another rough one touched her stomach. At that instant she remembered what Darvey had taught her after some of the kids in town tried to hold her down and throw sand in her face.

The head-butt sent searing pain into her forehead that sprinkled out against her face and Morrison gritted his teeth. She managed to flip onto her stomach and make a few crawling motions before a hand shot out grabbing the back of her knee. Her chin slapped the wooden floor as she reached for the tall lamp. It crashed beside her sending light flying about as he pulled her back screaming.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Darvey let the axe fall with perfect execution on his back. The thud severed tendons within his hip bone and he let out a groan on top of her. Her face was wild with shock as Darvey let the axe rise, then come back to embrace his shoulder blade. Blood freckled her face. It shattered and he flew away from her small body. He began to crawl towards the hallway and Darvey’s eyes never left his struggle. He managed to get to the door of his room and Darvey in four, quick large steps met with him again.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Emily gasped continuously as she saw Darvey’s shadow on the wall of the hallway in front of her door raise and drop the axe. She heard squishy noises mixed with loud bangs as he butchered Morrison. As she closed and opened her eyes she thought she saw the shadow of a something emerging from Morrison’s body giving an unholy screech. A black mass that seemed to be darker than the shadows around her that met with the axe and fought in slithering motions. She welcomed the blackness that seemed to crawl from her toes to her gaze.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Darvey wiped the blood away from his cheek, only smearing it to form a red ribbon across his mouth. He threw the axe across his shoulders and held on to it, staring at the bloodied mass. Where was she during all this? He thought as he walked towards the window at the end of the hall. It gazed upon the grass fields that were so endless, seemed to envelop the sky itself. He threw the axe out the window then went back to Emily.

She had curled up on her side and was shivering. He noticed a few speckles of blood had landed on her forehead. He went to his knees and lifted her into his arms. At first she began to push back with mewling noises but accepted his soft embrace when he whispered that it was him. He picked her up and took her to the bathroom. He sat her down in the bathtub, still wet from his own bath, and her legs stuck out on top of the side. She blinked a few times.

He went back into her room, took notice of her struggle, and then searched through her closet. He grabbed her grey hoodie with a large blue star on it and went through her dresser, finding a pair of dark blue pajama pants.

He laid them down by the tub and leveled himself so he could look into her eyes. She was silent and blinking at her knees. The shock was definitely there in her face and slowly spreading over her body.

“Emily…if you can hear me, I want you to change out of those clothes. There’s a brown paper bag underneath the sink all right? Put those clothes in there. Then take these clothes,” He lifted them up and pointed. “And put these on. Can you do that for me?” She swayed her head downward to the left, then pursed her lips.

“Whenever you want to, please do that okay?” He walked out and closed the door softly. He stared at the bloodied mess at the far end of the hallway and decided to take care of the body. Well…what was left of the body? The screeching black thing that had emerged had splattered into a black mess that blended in with the red blood. His footsteps made no noise as he walked downstairs to find something to hold it all together.

As he stepped into the living room he noticed that the radio had gone to static. Auntie M had her hands folded in her lap with a slightly bowed head and closed eyes. Her glasses were on the tip of her nose and were chilled with frost. Oh no…He got to her first… He stared at her blissfully dead body with a pout.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

At first she didn’t want to move, but as midnight approached she longed to get out her suddenly too tight, too itchy, too gross clothes. She shed them quickly, placing the warm baggy clothes over her shivering naked body. She put her bad clothes in the paper bag, even her socks and underwear. The feel of cotton against her was nice, and she drifted to sleep inside the bathtub.

When she awoke again, it was five in the morning, with the sun still sleeping. She tiptoed out, decided to bring the bag with her, and walked downstairs. She dropped the bag next to the bottom step, eyeing Aunt Mimi.

Wondering as to how she could just sleep the night away again in her clothes on the armchair, she stepped towards her but stopped when she heard the static. Auntie always, always turned the radio off.

Darvey stepped in from the kitchen with a fresh cup of tea, stopping in his tracks when he saw Emily.

“Wha…” She pointed at Auntie and her eyes were confused. He said nothing and continued to stir the tea. Emily walked up to her and touched her shoulder. Her body cracked from the strain, leaving lines across her face and hands; peacefully she crumbled to purple dust. The wind decided to pick it up, playing with it about the chair and rugs. Her glasses and clothing fell on top of the cushion with a soft thud.

Emily turned to Darvey with tears in her eyes. Her lower lip trembled and she sat down on the spiral rug. She put her head in her lap and let her hands enclose her in. The tinkling of the spoon against the teacup continued and she felt its warmth as Darvey sat it next to her. She bit her lower lip and whimpered.

Afterwards, they burned her clothes and watched the smoke ashes curl upwards into the sky. The deer paced about as they watched it as well.

“The deer aren’t laughing at me.” She smiled softly.

Darvey said nothing and stared forward.

“Where…did you…put…him?” Darvey shook his head.

“Not for you to know.” She nodded in agreement. He sighed and pulled her closer to him. She dug her toes into the soft dirt. Emily scraped Aunt Mimi’s ashes into a small green jar and laid it inside the small black box while Darvey went into town with the deer. They were going to “indefinitely” keep them at Mr. Wilson’s barn, for free of course; he had always wanted deer milk and would tell Aunt Mimi all the time it was all right to leave them with him.

Emily packed a few suitcases and put them inside her hammerspace, and decided to bring a picture of her parents, one that Aunt Mimi kept hidden under her bed and had only let Emily see once: the one where they stood by the Star Bridge with Dad’s arms wrapped around Mom, and hers wrapped around him, both staring at the camera with happy eyes. The back of the black and white photograph explained who they were, where they were, and the year.

Emily turned off the electrical generators, the fans, and the water well. She blinked a few times at the old house and its rooms. She then one by one brought the plants in the kitchen to the backyard. She began to plant them, hoping that they could survive on their own where the rain and dirt would feed them.

“Where are we going?” Darvey said as he began to help her.

She was silent and continued to move dirt about. She sighed heavily and looked up. She pointed.

“The sky?” He raised an eyebrow and looked at her puzzled.

“Yes,” She said as she began to dig a new hole with renewed energy.

“I was reading a book two weeks ago, about how Mother Universe didn’t destroy all the gateways…If we could find one…and I think it’s at the middle of the planet…Then we could get up there…and I can be a Starmaker.” She stared upward with a smile as the sky reflected itself in her dark brown eyes. Darvey stared at her and mumbled that it was impossible.

“Will you join me?”

“Eh. Sure, why not. What else have I got to do?”

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