My neck aches from looking up. A gentle breeze hits my skin. I grip Acelynn's hand tighter. The stars twinkle above us as if they are sending a message. They form wonderous constellations in the night sky. Acelynn yawns beside me and closes her eyes. I smile to myself and keep my eyes above the sky.
A bright streak races across the dark canvas, like a chariot on the battlefield. A shooting star. I close my eyes and whisper a wish, knowing that it won't come true. Opening my eyes, I notice Acelynn is fast asleep beside me. I scoop her up and walk towards the door. Inside the little shack, Mama is working. She is looking for a job. Mama is sitting on the couch, looking through the newspapers. I tiptoe to the only bedroom in our old house and gently lay Accelyn down.
"Celestial? Come over here", Mama croaks. I shuffle to where she sits and stands beside her. "Yes, Mama?"
"I am traveling to town early tomorrow and won't be back till night. You must take care of your sister."
I nod my head, "yes, Mama".
"Thank you, my bright star", Mama whispers, using her nickname for me.
I whisper goodnight and wander into the bedroom. Gingerly, I climb on the wooden bed and lie down, wrapping an arm around Accelyn. "Sweet dreams, little one", I whisper into her hear. Closing my eyes, I imagine the starry night.
My eyes flutter open. I sit up on the wooden bed and rub my sleepy eyes. Accelyn sleeps peacefully beside me. I walk into our miniature kitchen and open the pantry. There is a little bread and some slices of cheese. I make two petite sandwiches and place them on a cracked plate. Waling back into the bedroom, I wake up Accelyn. We rinse our mouths in the sink and eat our sandwiches.
"What will we do today, Celestial?", Accelyn asks between bites.
I swallow my sandwich. "I'm not sure yet, we can play inside".
Accelyn smiles and takes another bite.
After, eating Accelyn and I decide to play her favorite game. I tell her short stories and she acts them. Accelyn giggles. "Celestial, this is so-".
Accelyn shuts her mouth as my eyes widen. I immediately grab Accelyn's hand and drag her to the bedroom. Locking the door shut, we both roll under the wooden bed. Accelyn whimpers as I comfort her. The front door slams open and heavy footsteps stomp on the floor. "Check if anyone's there", a gruff voice says. "What do they want?", Accelyn whispers, her eyes full of apprehension. I squeeze her hand. "I don't know, maybe money?" Accelyn closes her eyes. This has never happened before. I whisper a small prayer to God. Keep us safe. Please.
Mama...mama please come home. My eyes fill with tears. Angry ones. The star...last night. My wish didn't come true. In fact, exactly the opposite happened. I knew I shouldn't have relied on some stupid miracles. Accelyn sniffles. "Celestial, I'm scared", she whispers. I embrace her. "Don't worry. I'm here". The Earth spin's on its axis. The stars decorate the black sky. How? How in the world did we end up here? What did we do to deserve this? Our family is lonely. Sad. Mama needs a job. Why are do people want to harm us? We don't deserve this...
I can hear men tearing down the walls. Searching through cupboards. Flinging our few precious items. Suddenly, I gasp. Oh no! Mama's bracelet. It's in the drawer a few feet away from the bed. It was the last thing Papa gave to Mama before he passed. "What?", Accelyn whispers. "The bracelet", I reply. "I need to go get it!" I squeeze my head out from under the bed and start to roll out. "Oof!". My body is stuck. "Accelyn, I can't get out", I cry, quietly. "It's okay, Celestial. I'll get it. My body's smaller.", Accelyn offers.
"NO!", I yell softly. It's too late. Accelyn rolls out and starts to tiptoe to the drawer. I shut my eyes tightly hoping, praying it would go well...CREAK. The wooden floorboard makes a hollow noise. Accelyn freezes. The stomping moves towards the bedroom. The door is shoved open and two large men with guns walk in. No! This can't be happening. I shove myself out and run towards Accelyn. "Don't hurt her", I plead. Where did they get guns from?! I put my body before hers. "Take me", I whisper. The men stare at us. One of them starts to laugh. "We'll take both", the other says. They point their guns at us. NO...
"Accelyn?", my voice echoes. I'm standing...in nothing. Black. Dark. Empty. It is a void of darkness. Never-ending. Why am I here? I rotate my head to look around. I see nothing. It's as if a black hole has swallowed me. Leaving me in its darkness. I'm afraid. Where's Accelyn? No. I won't let the darkness take me in. I need to get out. Deep breaths. In and out. I close my eyes and squeeze my elbows. Let me out. Let me free. Oh, starry night...let me go...
"Celestial!", Accelyn yells. I jolt upright and scream. "What's wrong?! Where did they go?!". I look around and see...the backyard? Accelyn laughs. "What are you talking about?". I look into her eyes. "What happened", I gasp. "You fell asleep while stargazing. Are you tired? Shall we go inside?", Accelyn replies. I stare at her for a minute and then break into laughter. 'No-I, haha, you see-", I whisper. "I just dreamed something weird". Accelyn smiles. "Okay then, Celestial.".
I drape my hand over Accelyn's shoulder and pull her in. "I love you", I whisper. "I love you more", she replies. We sit there, side by side, staring at the magnificent night sky. "A shooting star!", Adelynn yells in delight. I observe the streak race across the black sky. Thank you for granting my wish, to keep Accelyn safe. I never believed in miracles or wishes until now. I tilt my head back up to the sky. Only in the darkness, can you see the stars.