Author’s Note: Hi! I know this didn’t really need a part two, but I really wanted to expand and actually get into the horoscope aspect. I (much like Elsie) don’t believe in horoscopes, so there was a lot of research involved. If you actually know about astrology and stuff like that, please tell me; it's really interesting and I want to learn more about it. And this story gives me "Navy" vibes AKA my first Reedsy story. (If you were here for June 24th, then round of applause for you, but I hated it so lets pretend it doesn't exist) Also, I'm not sure if there's enough dialogue in here to fit the prompt. Any ways, here’s the actual story that you came here to read.
The Astrological Base
By Ana Govindasamy
Trigger Warnings/Disclaimers: Car Accident and Stabbing References
I wake up and I have a searing pain in my side. It’s sticky and warm. Blood.
I feel in my pocket and my knife is gone.
My eyes open and I see a giant night sky, sprinkled with stars, like a planetarium.
“Ah. Leo. You’re here.” A voice pierces the silence. “Leo.” The name ring bells. But it didn’t feel like my name.
I feel someone help me to feet.
“That’s your name?” A voice that I presume to be mine floats through the air. It doesn’t feel like my voice. It’s...confident. It’s...headstrong. I can’t tell if I like it or not.
“Yup. Well...not my actual name. It used to be Luka. But...here it’s Pisces. What's yours?”
“Elsie. But more importantly, where is here?” I say. Straight to the point. It’s weird. I’m not usually like that. Why am I so defiant all of a sudden?
“The Astrological Base.”
“The what?” That was way blunter than I’m used to. But I think it’s growing on me.
“The Astrological Base. It’s where us horoscopes come and basically predict stuff for people of our horoscopes.”
“…But I never believed in horoscopes.”
“Neither. I was the polar opposite of a Pisces. Then, my horoscope basically led me to my death and here I am.”
“How’d you die?”
“This is gonna sound cliché…but I kinda…got ran over while trying to help this little kid on crutches cross the road.”
I start sniggering and I don’t know why. That was nice of him. So why am I laughing?
“No, no keep laughing.” I can’t tell if he’s being passive aggressive or not.
“Sorry, I- “
“No. You’re relapsing back to quiet-girl-Elsie. Laugh. It’ll help build you up.”
“Since most of us were the polar opposite of our horoscopes, when we come to the Astrological Base, we end up relapsing into our original personas in the first few months of coming here. If you fully relapse, you leave here, go to whatever afterlife you believe in and…we get a new Leo.”
I nod. I’m the replacement Leo. I wonder how the past Leo died.
“So, how’d you die?” He asks as he leads me to a glittering, purple and silver table.
“…I got into a fight and my opponent stabbed me. But I’m pretty sure I killed her first, which is nice.” I say, motioning to the giant gash in my side.
“…Ah…” He seems half disgusted with me.
And past me would agree with him.
“Leo! Hi! I'm Aries. Or Mimi.” A woman calls out to me. The table has been divided into 12 sectors, and hers has the Aries constellation.
“Hi Aries!” Pisces calls out to her, “This is Leo. Or Elsie.”
“Hey Aries!” I say.
“How are you?” She asks, as Pisces goes to sit back down next to her.
“Good as I can for being killed minutes ago. Is this my seat?” I ask and motion to the sector with the Leo constellation.
“Yup. Next to Virgo and Cancer.”
“What do I actually do?” I’m itching to get into it. I have close to no idea what is happening, but this sounds fun as hell.
“It’s a pretty chill job. So, I hate it. But you write the daily horoscopes and just decide how you should act.”
“Is that it?”
“Yup. Pretty simple right?”
“Where do we sleep?” I ask. I can’t tell if my laziness is me relapsing or not.
“Over there.” She says, pointing to a room behind me, still within the confines of my Leo sector.
“You’re how old? Thirteen?” She asks
“Close enough. Fourteen.”
“It’ll prompt you for your age when you get in. But our last Leo was thirteen so you might be fine as it is.”
“Thanks.” I silently get up and walk over to the door. I’m panicking and I don’t know why. Then a searing pain shoots through my head like a knife. And I would know what that feels like.
“Ay. Steady Leo. You relapsed didn't you?” Pisces asks.
He rushes to help me up again, but I brush him off and shut the door as quickly as possible.
“Oh, God,” I’m talking to myself now, “what is happening. No. I can’t be dreaming. That pain was real. So how did I get here? Horoscopes aren’t legit are they? I…”
I’d opened my eyes for the first time since slamming the door. My eyes were subsequently assaulted by reds, oranges and golds. On every single surface.
“What the hell?” I ask myself, “How am I meant to sleep with all this? I hate bright colours. God, I’m getting a headache already. Why. Why am I even here? My death wasn’t even that Leo-ish. And I’m sure there are more Leo-ish Leos out there who could do this better than me.”
And the magical astrology sword is back at my skull again.
“Ah damn!” I’m clutching my head.
Then Pisces walks in.
“Leo. You’re relapsing.”
"I know. I don't care. It's a good thing."
"You're coming back now..."
"Oh. Well then. How do I actually die and leave here?"
"Why would I tell you that, Leo? You're a great person."
Pisces takes my hand and leads me up to the table again.
"She relapsed for a second. But she's alright now."
"No. It's not. Why am I here?" I ask.
"Because you are Leo." Aries tells me.
"I'm not. I'm Elsie. The nerd."
"You might've been in the past. You are one of us now." She says, handing me a pen.
I put the pen to paper. Silver ink flows across the weathered parchment like liquid starlight.
"See. It comes naturally to you." Pisces says.
"Easy, right?" Aries chimes in.
But they didn't know what I was writing.
I was re-writing Leos as a whole.