A Poem By A Star (No, Literally)

Submitted into Contest #51 in response to: Write a story that begins and ends with someone looking up at the stars.... view prompt

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Fantasy Science Fiction Funny

Author’s note: This story has the same characters as my first short story, Rebel Prince. This isn’t a part two, so you’ll understand it just fine on it’s own, but you might want to read Rebel Prince first to gain better understanding and enjoy this more!


I stared up at the stars. They were so beautiful, so peaceful, so awe-insp—


“ACK!” I hollered as my dog, Maya, jerked forward. Therefore, her leash jerked forward. Meaning my hand jerked forward, followed by my body.


“What was that for, Maya?” I groaned as I wiped the mud off my knees and hands. Falling into a puddle wasn’t the best start to an 11 pm walk of the royal dog.


Yeah, I said ‘royal dog’.


Nope, I wasn’t a super important dog sitter.


Yeah, earlier I said ‘my dog’.


Yeah…I was the stupid prince.


My name is Jax Conner. I’m just your typical teenage guy who happens to be the crowned prince of Tyala—a town on the continent South Hayling. Which is on the planet Ash, for you people who don’t know geography. 


Recently, I had discovered I had a power—super rare (and hated) in the modern world. I figured out I had telekinesis by saving this rebel 8-year-old, Arava. She wasn’t from around here—she had a power, liked it, and didn’t know who I was. 


Over the past week, I had been learning how to be more…rebellious. Plus, Arava helped train me in my power, too—the young girl might’ve had invisibility, but mastering one power gives you pretty good knowledge on other powers.


So, I was walking Maya in the middle of Lyon Forest. I wasn’t supposed to be out this late (even though I’m 14, my stupid curfew is 10), so I was training in being rebellious. I also wasn’t supposed to use my power (not that anybody knew I had one, yet—I wanted to master telekinesis then see the look on King Aster, my dad’s, face), so…using it was training for my power AND more training for being a rebel.


Sadly…Maya was kind of trashing my plans.


(Much like she trashed my jeans with the mud.)


“Oh, come on, girl?” I complained, bending down to scratch the puppy. “I don’t want to go back to the castle to clean up, buuut I don’t exactly want to stay muddy, either.”


She barked.


“I’ll wash off in a river. Good idea!”


We resumed walking through the forest.


*****


Lyon Forest was gorgeous, especially in the fall. A blanket of colorful leaves coated the rolling hills, with hundreds of trees spaced out among them. There were quite a few brooks flowing through the 50-acre forest, so it would be easy to find a river to wash off in.


Soon enough, Maya and I stumbled upon a stream. 


It was a couple feet wide, crystal-clear water gurgling over a bed of pebbles. I walked up to it, barely acknowledging the glowing teenager across the stream. I started to wash my kne—


What?!


A glowing teenager?!


*****


It was seriously comical—one of those situations you’d see in a movie or show. When there’s something completely out of the ordinary, and the main character pays no mind before finally seeing it a second later. I’ve seen it at least 20 times on TV, and now it was happening to me.


I did a double-take. Yep, there was a glowing teenage girl.


“Uh, hi!” I squeaked.


I know, I know, very poetic. But excuse me, I’m not a good people-person when meeting strange girls, who are, in fact, shimmering. 


She got up. “Hi?”


The girl I had just met wore light gold athletic shorts, with a white tank-top and a gold belt. She had midnight-black hair that was easily 2 feet long, meaning it stopped near the bottom of her back. She had tan skin with big, shining green eyes. A golden halo of light surrounded her. Oh, and she was floating a couple inches off the ground, did I mention that?


“Who are you?” I asked. “And, uh, why are you glowing?”


She frowned. “My name’s Asteria. Which means star. That should answer your questions.”


“You’re a diva?” I was really confused. “Pop star?”


Asteria snorted and flipped her hair. “Not at all.”


“Thank you so much for explaining,” I smiled, my voice thick with sarcasm. “it’s really helpful. Oh, and my name’s Jax.” She nodded, and we stood (well, she hovered) in silence for a couple moments. “Uh…” I racked my brain for conversation starters then remembered the super-obvious one:


“Who the heck are you?”


“I’m Asteria,” she said, “as I already told you. And I’m a star spirit.”


“Woah.” My eyes grew wide. “They exist?”


“Duh.”


I bowed. “My pleasure to meet you, Miss.”


She laughed and yanked my head up from over the stream. “Don’t bow to me, stupid. I’m 16–not super important. I’m from a newly created star.”


“That sounds pretty important.”


“Well, I won’t stop you if you want to bow again.”


I grinned at her. “So…why are you on Ash?”


“I needed to get clean,” Asteria groaned. She started splashing the water on her body again. “cuz I’m really dirty.”


“Yeah,” I said plainly, “those typically go together. Wait, don’t they have showers where you live?”


She splashed me. “HELLLOOOO?! I live on a STAR. A ball of flames. No, Jax, there are no showers, baths, or water at all. I don’t need water to live—I’m immortal until the star, aka me, dies—but I do need it to get clean.”


“Why couldn’t you go to the nearest planet?” I had figured out that she wasn’t the Nus (our solar system, the Twix’s, star), because the Nus had definitely been around longer than 16 years.


“I’m starting to think you don’t want me here.”


Asteria looked offended, so I put my hands up in defeat. “No, no, this is cool. I’m just super confused.”


“What’s to be confused about?” Asteria threw her hands up. “I’m a star spirit. I came to Ash to wash off.”


“Last question, I swear: how the heck did you get dirty in the first place?!” Seriously, how did the essence of a burning ball of magma get unclean?


“Light pollution, duh.”


“What?”


“I thought you said no more questions after the ‘how’d you get dirty’ one.”


“Too bad. How are you dirty from light pollution?!”


Asteria glared, but gritted her teeth and started to answer my millionth question. “The name answers itself. Light pollution is, quite literal, pollution for light. It makes us star spirits dirty, which is really annoying. Teleporting 6 trillion miles because all of you humans turn on lights at the same time drives me crazy.”


“Sorry,” I winced.


*Cue awkward silence*


“So, uh, what?” 


“What what?” Asteria squinted at me.


“I dunno. Are we going to talk about anything else?”


Asteria shrugged. “Do you have any more questions? You seem to have a question dispenser.”


I laughed. “Nope. But let me get this straight: you, Asteria, are the 16-year-old spirit of a star. You came to the planet Ash to wash off, because light pollution made you dirty.”


“Exactly!” She beamed at me—quite literally, seeing she was glowing. 


Asteria washed off in the river a little more, then finally got up. “Well, I have to go soon. Thanks for talking to me, I guess. Ash is usually pretty boring.”


“You’re welcome?” I shrugged. “Thanks for answering my questions.”


“Oh, and before I go…” Asteria started digging around in her pocket. Finally, she pulled out a folded up piece of paper. She pressed it into my hand. “That’s my first poem. I think it's pretty good, but I’m obviously biased. Read it when you get home and tell me what you think of it.”


“Okay!” I said. “Well…bye! It was nice meeting you!”


“Byeeee!” Asteria called as I walked off, poem in one hand and Maya’s leash in the other.


*****


I snuck into the castle, took Maya off her leash, and scurried up to my room (which was the size of two gyms). Once there, I collapsed on my king bed.


My bed was pressed against the wall, where huge windows stretched above it. There weren’t any shades, because I liked to wake up with the Nus and I didn’t need them for privacy reasons. I was on the 11th floor of the castle—nobody could see me or anything.


I took out the poem (I had tucked it in my pocket) and unfolded it. The note read,


YAKTHON 

By: Asteria Johnson


Windows are clear


Or else they’d be doors


I’ve never seen


A cat that snores.


If you have a corkboard


You might wants some tacks


Don’t you dare be racist 


Or I’ll call you a yak.


I snorted. True poetry.


Then I remembered I was supposed to give my friend feedback. I glanced out my window and stared at the starry night beyond.


“This was awesome, Asteria,” I grinned.


And it was probably just my imagination, but I was almost certain that the nearest star smiled back.

July 23, 2020 13:29

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99 comments

Kathleen March
23:27 Jul 25, 2020

I like thisfor YA readers. Magical. Just don't forget the possessive is its, but the contracted erb is it's.

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23:28 Jul 25, 2020

Oh, thanks! I’m a grammar nerd but I ALWAYS trip up on it’s and its. Actually, I think this time it was a typo, but thanks a lot!

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Elle R.
15:32 Jul 25, 2020

this was super cute!! i loved the humorous, light energy throughout the entire story. i also liked the ending <3 i guess my only note of criticism is that you sometimes rely on "telling" things instead of "showing" them. great job on this story, though! <3

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17:02 Jul 25, 2020

Thank you!!!

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Laiba M
18:14 Aug 24, 2020

Love it, Aerin! Especially the end haha :) Keep up the great work!

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Thanks!

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Laiba M
13:20 Aug 30, 2020

No problem!!

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Pragya Rathore
19:23 Aug 21, 2020

This story is so funny! I loved how you continued 'Rebel Prince'. I wish I could learn how to write as humorously as you! By the way, I adore Rick Riordan, and to be honest, your style reminds me of him! I read in one of your comments that he's your idol, so you're obviously going on the right path! Great job, but please make this into a series :) My favorite line was: "Sadly…Maya was kind of trashing my plans. (Much like she trashed my jeans with the mud.)" I love how much angst and frustration your protagonist has: like in all coming-of-ag...

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Wow, thank you so much!!! Yup, Rick Riordan is my idol, and I try to make my short stories humorous (although, because some stories require different things, some stories are quick and funny and others more emotional with a couple jokes) ! Thank youuuuuu! Yeah, I’ll totally check out your story!

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Pragya Rathore
19:40 Aug 21, 2020

You're most welcome :) I find your sense of humor refreshing :) That's so kind of you!

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Derrick Kakooza
14:13 Aug 02, 2020

Wow, this is amazing Aerin (I'm reading it again before diving into my thesis report).

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I’m so glad you liked it! Thanks so much!

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Charles Stucker
07:11 Aug 02, 2020

I'm gazing forward at the screen, but not really seeing what's so puzzling. Sometimes I feel like Asteria- my poetic soul is unappreciated. No wait, she gets false positive feedback from her prince. This one is not as good as part 1. In part 1 you have high stakes- if discovered, the prince faces banishment. Now, he's almost a rebel without a clue. He takes his dog for a late walk, meets a star, and reads some horrible poetry, then compliments the poet. The plot does nothing for me. But it could and the way to fix the failing illustr...

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Thanks for the feedback! Yeah, that’s the thing: this was kind of intentional. This story was chill, wit no high stakes or anything. It was just a funny conversation between a star and Jax. Thanks! ~A

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Sofie Barnet E.K
04:09 Aug 01, 2020

This was a great lighthearted story. I can see the work you put in the world building. Besides the character Asteria seemed to be so full of life. I liked her a lot. And the descriptions were quite vivid. Great work Aerin B. 🌈. :)

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Thank you soooo much!!! 🤗🤗🤗

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Ranya Navarez
15:52 Jul 31, 2020

Well, this was super fun to read, Aerin! I loved it! Especially the dialogue and characterization! DANG! Also, sidenote: how did we come up with the same name "Tyala" for part of an alien race? I came up with Tyala the planet months ago before I ever wrote "Alone No Longer" or even learned you had come up with the same name for a town on the alien planet of Ash. How on earth did that coincidence happen?!?!?! And the planet of Tyala in "Alone No Longer" is actually going to play an extremely major role in my three trilogies, so.... how?

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15:58 Jul 31, 2020

Thanks so much! Woah, seriously?! That’s bizarre. You came up with Tyala, too? Haha. I swear I never read your story, by the way—actually, I came up with the name ‘Tyala’ for a ridiculous town because it was based off of somebody in my grade I hate, Tyler. 🤣🤣🤣 And, wow, that is a HUGE coincidence! I’m going to go check out your story ‘Alone No Longer’ now...

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15:59 Jul 31, 2020

Wait, I forgot, I already did! Oops...

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Ranya Navarez
16:10 Jul 31, 2020

Yep! That's where you asked me to check out your story! LOL!!!!

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Orenda .
09:08 Jul 31, 2020

Oohh such a cute story. i like the idea of showing stars in the form of humans..great job, Aerin!!

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Thank you!!!!

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Orenda .
12:46 Jul 31, 2020

Anytimeeee

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Courtney Stuart
03:04 Jul 31, 2020

this was such a cute story! i really liked the friendship you wrote between them, and it's been very interesting to see all of the world-building you've been working on! you also have a very strong a distinct voice within your writing, and i think that's a real great thing to have! :)

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★彡 🅣🅗🅐🅝🅚🅢 🅢🅞 🅜🅤🅒🅗!!! 彡★

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Roland Aucoin
13:08 Jul 30, 2020

cute story, Aerin. Lovely. Loved the teenage 'interplay' of conversation.

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Thx!

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Y N
03:50 Jul 30, 2020

I love Asteria's character! XDDDD Very cute story! Keep writing!

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Thanks! 😆

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Amber Shepherd
12:02 Jul 29, 2020

Really interesting idea! I'd love to know more about these star spirits - I wonder if other people in the kingdom know about them. Once again, really well written voice. Well done :)

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12:07 Jul 29, 2020

Thanks! The thing about the kingdom of Tyala is that they hate magic (duh) and kind of pretend it doesn’t exists (banishing all magic people). Star spirits are kind of a myth, so Jax knew what they were but no that they actually existed. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment, Amber!

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Amber Shepherd
13:49 Jul 29, 2020

Interesting! I really love the worldbuilding you've done for Tyala, you seem to know the place very well. And no problem! :)

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14:04 Jul 29, 2020

Thanks!

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Basil Boi
17:26 Jul 28, 2020

Cute!!! Liked it lots!! 🙃🙃💖

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18:03 Jul 28, 2020

Thanks!

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Tim Law
08:53 Jul 28, 2020

Ha! A Prince with a King bed! I loved your story Aerin B. 🌈 The star was so sassy 💫🔥

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10:03 Jul 28, 2020

Thank youuu! Yep, Asteria was sassy. It’s super fun to write sarcastic characters.

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Ranya Navarez
15:56 Jul 31, 2020

YESSSS!!!!! I love writing sassy and sarcastic characters! If you read "In the Face of Hope", Aerin, you'll enjoy the old man in it. I so enjoyed writing him!

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Haha, I’ll go read it now!!!!

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Ranya Navarez
16:11 Jul 31, 2020

Thank you!

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Miles Gatling
00:16 Jul 28, 2020

Good work!

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Thank you!

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Evgeniia Makeeva
21:41 Jul 24, 2020

The ending was super-cute I think! I like how the star glanced at him and how it could have been an object of his imagination. It is a very sweet story! Thank you :)

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22:11 Jul 24, 2020

Thank you!

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Harken Void
06:48 Jul 24, 2020

I liked the humor in this story and the concept of a dirty star but one thing bothered me: how can a star be polluted by light? A star emanates pure light on its own. Good luck with your book!

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11:20 Jul 24, 2020

Thank you! Yeah, while a star DOES give off its own light, it’s sort of a joke. Jax didn’t understand it either, but somehow, light pollution makes stars dirty. There’s not really an explanation, it just happens. Thank you aaaagain! —Aerin

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B. W.
23:22 Aug 16, 2020

still a 10/10 everything was still really good and amazing and some parts were even kind of cute you've done 3 stories with jax and his kind of story but is there maybe some chances that there will end up being a few other stories with him at some point again?

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Thanks! Yup, there’s gonna be more Jax stories, even after Jax Off Ash (part II). Glad you like em’!

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B. W.
00:00 Aug 17, 2020

no problem and yay i cant wait to see what else ya got for it

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