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When she first emerged from the sea, she had no clue what was happening to her.
Her arms were clammy, her hands shaking, her fingers pruney. Water clogged her ears deep into her drums, but somehow, she could hear a faint voice from the land.
Tell the stars that we were here
Tell them that we left
Tell them that we love them still
Even if they’re bereft
The voice was quiet, though she couldn’t tell whether this was from her clogged ears or just the nature of the singer. It was wispy, like a murmur in the wind and the sea.
She blinked, finally opening her eyes after all this time. Her feet were rough and calloused, but it didn’t stop her from running, running away from the sea and towards the land. No thoughts were going through her head, none except a desire to hear the singing away from the sounding sea.
For the stars are gone today
None shooting across the sky
The stars got tired of listening
To our empty cries
“Hello?” She called out, hearing how crooked and dull her voice sounded. She wasn’t sure why it was so different from the last time she had heard it, nor when that even was.
We cried out our wishes loud and clear
We wanted to be heard
But the stars had no answers
They thought we were absurd
“Hello? Who are you?”
Yes, tell the stars that we were here
I want them to know
That even without my garden of flowers
Violets grow under the snow
“I’m Alette.” The voice was faint and wondrous, like a silent whisper. “Who are you, strange one?”
She frowned, not knowing what to say. “I have no name, to my knowledge,” she finally replied. “I’m sure I had one once, but I can’t seem to remember.”
Though she could not see the speaker, the voice seemed to frown as well. “Come closer,” said Alette. “I must see who you are. You could be a sign, you know. A sign from the sea.”
“A sign from the sea?” She paused, contemplating her words. “But, I couldn’t be. I’m just-”
“Ah,” Alette interrupted. “You do not know. That could be the sea’s way of warning me.”
She continued her run, but at a slower pace now, a way of hunting through the sand towards wherever the voice could be. Suddenly, the singing continued, a way of showing where she was, perhaps.
Tell the stars, yes please, just tell them
For it is not too late
If I wish to see them again
We just cannot express our hate
“I’m over here,” Alette added, interrupting her song. “By the bushes.”
She ran at full speed again, rushing over to the little bunches of leaves to the left, the leaves covering up a young woman, who turned around towards her with a bright smile. Her eyes were green, like the sea, her hair as blonde as the sand. “Hello, stranger,” she said, tilting her head to the side. “Or, spirit, as it seems.”
She frowned again, turning her own head towards Alette. “I am no spirit,” she said. “Or, at least, I don’t think I am.
Alette smiled again, a warm smile, the type a mother gives to her children. “Oh, my dear,” she said, calmly. “You just cannot see what was behind you, can you?”
She scrunched her eyebrows in confusion. “What do you mean?”
Alette nodded. “You have no name, you came when the skies were blank. You are clearly a spirit, and a sign from the sea at best. I know, it is hard to see, but it is the truth.”
She bit her pruned lip. “And how do you know this?”
“Because, what else could it be?” She paused, letting the whispers of song out again.
We’re anxious to see the stars again
To hear their calming voices
To let them listen and give answers
When they can’t avoid it
“Those who have no identity rarely pop out of nowhere.”
“No.” She sighed, looking ahead into the sky. It was blank, like Alette said. An empty blue canvas, ready to be splattered with stardust. “I have an identity. I just cannot find it.”
Alette smiled. “That may be true,” she said. “But I do believe you have come to me as a sign. Just look at the sky.” She thrust her arms open, her hair waving through the wind. “Do you not see? It is empty, strange spirit. And with no stars, what am I supposed to wish on?”
Alette began to sing again.
The stars don’t like our responses
They don’t listen to our pleas
So they shot across the sky
Trying to fight and flee
She frowned, taking in her words. “I do not believe that the stars have left because of you, Alette. Can a star even hear the voices it speaks to?”
Alette let out a long laugh. “Of course they can!” she said, her eyes glowing. “The stars hear everything. That’s how they shine at night.”
“Are you sure?” She looked up at the empty canvas of a sky again, closing her eyes. “Do you think they’d know my name?”
Alette nodded, glancing up at the sky once more. “Unless you’ve never seen them before, they should.”
“But…you think I’m a sign from them anyway, right? Or at least from the sea?” She kept her eyes glued on the sky.
“So, then, we should be helping each other. If I can find your stars, you can find my name, right?”
Alette scrunched her eyebrows, frowning as she turned her head to speak to the girl in front of her.
I miss those starry nights
I miss wishing upon my stars
I miss letting them guide me across the world
Even if it’s from afar
“I suppose that would make sense,” she admitted, after finishing the section of her song with a flourish. “But how would I know your name?”
She frowned. “I don’t know,” she finally said, tilting her head away from the sky. “I guess you’d just have to guess.”
But the stars have fled tonight
So I stare at the empty sky
I wish on the moon instead
Staring with my sunny eyes
“I suppose it could be anything, but since you are a spirit, it must be a flower name.” Alette bit her lip, pondering the question. “It could be Aster, for that means star, or Wisteria, for that symbolizes immortality, but neither of those seem quite right.”
She nodded, closing her eyes again as she turned her head towards the sky once more. “And what if I’m not a spirit?” She added. “It could be Ophelia, for I came from the sea.”
Alette laughed. “No, you are a spirit,” she said. “I know that much. How else would you have survived the ocean?”
She shrugged, watching Alette as she closed her eyes to begin to sing again.
I tell the moon with my shaky voice
With my silent cries
I tell it please, just tell the stars
Tell them, let it be my demise
“But Ophelia feels right, doesn’t it?” She said, reaching her arms out towards the empty sky. “More right than Aster or Wisteria or any other name.”
Alette paused, pointing at the sky again. “Look,” she whispered out.
She looked up, the clouds parting the sky to reveal the moon, a shining orb of light. One with cracks and crevices unlike the sun, but something celestial nonetheless. Something special.
Silently, Alette murmured a single name out, closing her eyes as she did so. “Ophirie,” she said, quietly. “A noisette rose. Meaning gold.”
She frowned again, her eyes still on the moon. “Why gold?” She asked. “Aren’t the stars silver?”
Alette nodded. “Not up close,” she said quietly. “They’re their own little suns.”
Silently, the clouds she didn’t know blanketed the sky opened up, revealing a dismal black canvas, sprinkled with stardust.
Alette smiled, opening her mouth to sing one final line.
Please, just tell the stars that we were here.