16 comments

Nov 29, 2020

Fantasy Fiction Teens & Young Adult

“But for me, the comet brings no fear. No, I glaze joyfully. At this bright star, having traced it’s parabola, With inexpressible speed, through immeasurable space seems suddenly to have stopped like an arrow piercing the Earth. Stopped for me.”


The skies were beautifully clear, the sort of night one could only see in their wildest dreams. Stars dripped down from the clouds, while others shot across the sky. Shiori cuddled up against the wool blanket she had brought with her outside, barely large enough to fit over her whole body. A small pillow lay under her resting head, her dark hair sprawled out above it. Despite the wide array of space in front of her, Shiori’s eyes focused solely on one star. 


“Rumi,” she whispered, turning her head away from the shining ball of brightness. “Rumi. I’m so sorry.”


Her head had fallen off the pillow and onto the wild, itchy grass, as her hair began to tangle up in the falling leaves. She couldn’t bear to look at the star anymore. Not her star. 


They say that on this night the two star crossed lovers Orihime and Hikoboshi can see each other from across the Milky Way, and even then only when there’s good weather and clear skies. Shiori glanced up again, looking towards the moon, with it’s faint halo and crystalline round shape. Slowly, she lifted up her pointer finger and traced around the outline of a rabbit on its surface. 


“Remember, Shiori,” the voice rang through her head, a memory from long ago. A voice that drifted through her memories often, but was never truly gone. Her grandmother’s voice. “The moon rabbit will always be there, in the sky. It will always be with you.”


The image of the rabbit was stuck in Shiori’s mind now, but it still didn’t bring her to sleep, nor did it allow her to forget what she needed to remember. Memories are painful, that way - only gone when we don’t want them to be, she thought. Only gone when the world dictated so. 


Rumi’s star still shined bright, but Shiori ignored it, instead directing her eyes away from the moon and onto the whole sky. It looked almost like a chunk of lapis lazuli, speckled with pyrite stars and lazurite space in between them. It was no wonder to Shiori that the stone was compared to the heavens by the ancient Egyptians, even if she had never seen the Egyptian horizon. But, of course, it was just another reminder, each and every night of what she had lost. 


Rumi. The only one who stayed by her side. The last one to leave. 


She was gone, and yet, still, she was the only one left. The others still whispered to her in the dead of night when she needed them most, but Rumi was gone, placed in the stars for eternity just like the moon rabbit. 


She would never be back. 


None of them would ever be back. 


A faint breeze came over Shiori, blowing the baby blue wool blanket she was clutching close to her away. Firmly, she held onto it, though the wind fought hard against her. The blanket held no special significance other than the necessity for it on such a windy day, though Shiori felt a strong attachment to it in the moment. Perhaps she just needed something to hold onto. 


From the corner of her eye, Rumi’s star glistened, taunting Shiori. Look at me, it seemed to say. It's me, Ori. Just look at me.


But Shiori wouldn’t listen to her own mind, tempting her with false perceptions of reality. Rumi may well be in the sky, but there was no way for her to communicate with those below her. She was just as gone as the rest of them. Even worse, Shiori could see her every time she looked up at night. She could see her twinkle through the atmosphere, see her illuminate the sky. Once, she even looked through a telescope, hoping to maybe catch a glimpse of her bright blue eyes, but all she could see was the pure white of the stars. 


She was gone. Gone forever.


Forever lost into the void that was the sky.


Shiori remembered the exact moment when it happened. It was about a year ago now, when the two girls were both around seventeen. They had been looking at the stars, of course. Even then, Rumi’s eyes were on the stars. They never wavered. 


Never wavered once, not when the wind whipped against her long black hair tied up neatly in a hairband. Not when the sea below them splashed onto the docks, or when the clouds parted in the sky, revealing the moon. Full, just like tonight. Not when the car’s engine moaned and groaned from across the street, or when it backed up right into her shoes, black like her hair. She only turned away to look at Shiori as she called her name, desperately calling her name, grabbing her wrist, trying to get her away from the dock. 


And then their eyes met - lapis blue of the sky and silver like the stars, met right before she fell. “Ori,” she had said, her wrist slipping down from the harsh pull of gravity. “Ori…”


And that was it. She was gone. Gone, like the wind that had blown against her hair, like the sea that had splashed up against them, like her blue eyes, blue like the sky, lost in the halo of the stars. 


Gone.


But before she was gone, her eyes switched silver, just like Shiori’s own. Just for a moment, before she fell, they reflected something - either the stars above or her own eyes from the moment she and Rumi’s met, but silver, nonetheless. As silver as pyrite is gold - false, fake, not legitimate, but still looking the same. And pyrite was what the Egyptians thought of when they saw the stars, after all. The same stars that Rumi wouldn’t take her eyes off of. Not until it was too late. 


And then, somehow, Shiori looked up, following her glance as she fell. At this point, the sky had turned a sort of navy blue, not like the azure eyes Shiori knew so well. But those silver orbs had moved, and somehow, just somehow, they were above her now, twinkling seamlessly in the sky. She had made it into the stars. 


It seemed impossible, but Rumi was known for the impossible. If anyone were to make it up above into the sky, it would be Rumi, with her head in the clouds and her eyes on the horizon. She was the most nonchalant person she knew, yet simultaneously the most passionate about the things she cared about, as well. And there was always her obsession with the stars. It seemed only natural. 


So many people had left Shiori. Her grandmother just the year before, and her friends would each follow suit, either moving away or drifting apart. Rumi was the only one who stayed. She would never leave. And now, selfishly, Shiori realized that she never could. 


It was all her fault. All her fault that Rumi was gone, all her fault that she’d never get a proper funeral, all her fault that she was stuck in the night sky. If only she had gotten to her fast enough, all would be well. But she didn’t, and therefore, it wasn’t.


“I’m so sorry, Rumi,” she whispered again, letting tears fall down her cheeks and into her hair and pillow beneath her. “I’m so, so, sorry. You don’t deserve this.”


Finally, Shiori’s eyes landed on the star once again. The star that had dictated her life for so long, the star that had once been her closest friend. The star that was trapped behind an atmosphere, just like the moon rabbit, forced to watch over Shiori for all of eternity. 


Always there, but forever gone.


They say that on this night the two star crossed lovers Orihime and Hikoboshi can see each other from across the Milky Way, and even then only when there’s good weather and clear skies.


Silently, the star - Rumi’s star - leapt across the lapis blue horizon. 


(Author's Note: Hey guys! I really enjoyed writing this story, because despite it being a myth retelling, it's still very vague, not very direct in its approach, and not a myth I was previously very familiar with, like most I end up writing. I have some other ideas for stories this week, too, and my online school was hacked, so I have a lot of time on my hands. Also, all Japanese name puns were entirely intentional in the making of this story. Oh, and also, someone commented that the author's notes at the end of these stories somewhat take away from the stories - what do you all think, should I stop writing them? Write them only in the comments? Any other suggestions? Well, thanks for reading! Happy Thanksgiving!)

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16 comments

Yolanda Wu
02:24 Dec 16, 2020

Wow, once again I love this story and how you incorporated the Japanese myth into it. I didn't know what it was until I read the comments, and how they were two star-crossed lovers who live on opposite sides of the Milky Way and can only see each other when the sky is clear, it sounds really similar to the story of The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl from Chinese mythology which is fascinating. How you described their love like the stars was so poetic and just beautiful. Your myth-retellings are always the best. Amazing work, Maya!

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Maya W.
02:28 Dec 16, 2020

Haha, that's the same myth but in Chinese! I saw that in my research. Thank you!

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Yolanda Wu
02:31 Dec 16, 2020

Yeah, it's really fascinating how there are crossovers in different cultures - albeit Japanese and Chinese culture share a lot of similarities.

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Zilla Babbitt
15:30 Dec 01, 2020

This is lovely, Maya. I'm about to respond to your comment on my story, but I thought I should read your story first :) I love this. It's sweet and pure and beautiful, like stars, I guess. I think the main problem of this story is that there's a lot of "realization" and "thinking" and that kind of thing, and less "story." Like, you could have a part where she stands up, starts to sing, climbs a tree, does something other than sit and have the story move along with her thoughts and realizing things about herself. Hope that makes sense. Lo...

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Maya W.
17:43 Dec 01, 2020

Thanks, Zilla! Yeah, I get that. I might edit it more, but I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out now, so I'll try to implement that in the next story I write! The myth here is the Japanese legend of Orihime and Hikoboshi - the two star-crossed lovers who live on either sides of the milky way and can only see each other when there are clear skies on one night a year. The idea is that Rumi and Shiori can only see each other from other sides of the universe after Rumi died and was put in the stars.

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05:18 Dec 01, 2020

I can tell you’ve grown as a writer, having read your past stories and this recent one in the same day. The descriptions are perfectly balanced. Not too much, not too little, with the same beauty that you always manage to convey. The names are lovely, too — no surprise there. I’m not familiar with the myth and will definitely check that out when I can. As for the author’s note at the end, that’s your choice. I personally prefer writing dedications and stuff in the story itself, with other stuff in the comments section. Some criti...

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Maya W.
10:11 Dec 01, 2020

Thank you! I'll implement those as soon as I can!

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Sophia Thorne
17:27 Nov 29, 2020

Really enjoyed this story, it was a pleasure to read:) I was/am not familiar with this myth, but I'll def go and do some research about it. I'd heard about the moon rabbit before but that thats all. Also Rumi is the name of my dog (lol) :) Beautiful descriptions, some of my favourites: "Stars dripped down from the clouds" and "Gone, like the wind that had blown against her hair, like the sea that had splashed up against them, like her blue eyes, blue like the sky, lost in the halo of the stars." I think the author note could be written in...

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Maya W.
18:51 Nov 29, 2020

Rumi is a great name, so I'm not surprised that you used it, lol. And yeah, that seem to be the general contentious of the comments, so I'll probably end up doing that unless anyone says that they prefer it in the story. Personally, I prefer putting it in the story, though I'm not really sure why. I'll go read your story now!

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Sophia Thorne
19:16 Nov 29, 2020

Rumi, a great name for a crazy dog. And at the end of the day, it's your story so do what you're comfortable with doing. It's your choice after all :) Thank you again for reading my story :)

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Maya W.
19:20 Nov 29, 2020

Of course!

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Aveena Bordeaux
04:18 Nov 29, 2020

Awesome! You have got some great descriptions and the imagery throughout the story is fantastic :D plus the names are wonderful, too. Something teeny I noticed - They say that one this night the two star crossed lovers Orihime and Hikoboshi can see each other from across the Milky Way, and even then only when there’s good weather and clear skies. Did you mean, "on this night" instead of "one this night"? Besides that, you did great! As for the author's note it's purely opinion. I've seen several people put them in. Personally, ...

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Maya W.
12:41 Nov 29, 2020

Thank you Joy! I'll fix that right now. And thanks for letting me know your opinion on the author's note, I'll wait to hear some other people's before I publish my next story.

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Hi Maya! Excellent story, loved the names! Keep writing:)

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Maya W.
02:48 Dec 11, 2020

Thank you!

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