The Choosings—Part 1

Submitted into Contest #55 in response to: Write a story about an old family secret surfacing generations later.... view prompt

312 comments

Drama Fantasy

I sigh as I pluck my red sharpie from the magnetic holder stuck to my fridge. I bite the cap off and cross off today on my calendar.

My eyes wander a box over, twenty-four hours from today. It’s the day I turn fourteen. It’s also the day of the Choosings.

I have mixed feelings about my birthday. Not my birthday, exactly—I love my birthday. The thing I have mixed feelings about is the day it falls on—Mitzi 1st, the first day of the new year.

The day where there’s a new Chosen One.

I decide my feelings of the Choosings override my excitement of my birthday. I hate Mitzi 1st. It’s a day of suffering. 

My gaze travels over my bedroom. I have a room, a giant bed, my own fridge, TV, trampoline…all the typical perks of being a princess. Another perk: being excused from the Choosings.

Eighty years ago, when my great-grandfather was crowned king of Oacarro on his twentieth birthday—the day his father died—it started. The Choosings. See, the moon spirits used to have no actual power, but eighty years ago, their celestial capabilities returned mysteriously. The young King Klein said that in order to appease them, every year, one person must be chosen to become a moon spirit slave.

 One person may not seem like a lot, but Oacarro was a small planet. There was one tiny continent that contained the entire population of our planet—a thousand or so citizens. For the past eighty years, every Mitzi 1st, there was a lottery that everybody was forced to enter. The prize? Being sent the moon to be granted an immortal life—of slavery.

I dramatically flop on my bed. Ugh.

I don’t have anything to fear, even.

When my dad was younger, his sister was chosen to go to the moon. He was heartbroken and, afterwards, passed a law that the royal family didn’t have to enter.

Our people protested, but the king was mighty, so they didn’t do anything.

I’m the teen Princess Juniper, so I’m living rich, but I’m not happy. My only family is my dad, King Klein III, and my great-grandfather on his deathbed.

Also, while I don’t have to take place in the Choosings, I’m still affected. The guilt carries me everywhere that I’m excluded from an awful lottery. I obviously don’t want to be the Chosen One, but…. 

This may seem crazy, but I want to enter the lottery.

It’s so unfair that just because I’m royalty, I don’t have to enter. It’s unfair and also stupid and I’m sure most of the general population hates me for that privilege—even though they’ve never met me or ever seen me.

I’ve never been allowed to leave the castle or the Royal Gardens. I’m definitely not allowed to go to where the Choosings take place—which I hate. My dad treats me like some little kid, trying to protect me from the ‘harsh world’—ugh.

R-I-D-I-C-U-L-O-U-S.

This year, I’m determined to go to the festival (yup, it’s called a festival. Actually, it is a festival—in honor of my birthday and the new year. Just, at this festival, people are picked to leave Oacarro forever).

I need to experience it. Feel the pain of these people. I can’t stay cooped up in my fancy-schmancy room forever—I have to act like a citizen so I can be a proper queen.

I’m smiling as I curl up in my bed. Tomorrow’s an awful day, and that day will continue annually for a long, long time.

But, I think as I stare at the moon hanging in the inky-black sky, when I’m queen, these moon spirits aren’t getting their new slaves anymore.

My eyes travel down to the village below my castle. Just twenty years, guys. Twenty years until my dad retires and I can rule you. I can rule you, and I can stop these Choosings.

I’m starting to drift off to sleep. Just twenty years….


*


“SHUT UP!”

I hurl my alarm clock to the floor and smile as I sink back into my pillow. I’m so warm, so cozy, and have such an annoying alarm clock….

Then I remember.

Today.

It’s that day.

I moan and roll out of bed, joining my clock on the floor. I spend two seconds ‘making’ my bed then scurry over to my closet. A moment later, I’m dressed and my dark brown hair is twisted into a braid.

I run back up to my bed and jump on it, pressing my face up against the window above the princess bed (my dad thought he was sooo funny when he made a new size called ‘princess’. It’s basically a king bed, just bigger).

The festival is already getting set up below me. It’s like a carnival, so everyone can have a good time before they see who’s the Chosen One.

The sun is beaming in the sky, so a layer of sunlight covers everything I can see. There’s sunlight, yeah, but there sure isn’t sunshine.

Go figure. The sun knows what’s up.

I groaned and burst out of my room, hitching a ride on the railing. When I was five, I learned that sliding down railings wasn’t just for princesses in movies—I learned how to do it, and now, the stairs are being dissed.

I smile as I enter our giant kitchen. Our cook, Lucillia, is already making—“Waffles and berries?”

The older woman chuckles at me as she finishes washing the blueberries and raspberries. “Yes. Don’t you like them, Juniper?” 

“Yeah,” I breathe. “Thanks.”

When she finishes, I snarf up the food and race out of the kitchen, into the carpeted ‘lobby’ of the castle. A second later, my cowboy boots are snug on my feet, and I’m out the door.

The Royal Gardens surround the castle with acres of bright green grass, moist soil, and enough fresh followers to fill fifty flower floats.

I glance around as I start walking towards the gate. My heart is racing. I’ve been in the gardens plenty times before, but I’ve literally never—I repeat, never—left the castle walls.

My dad is stupid.

I’m almost there. The gates are just ten yards away. Once I’m through them, I’m free to go to that sucky festival. Just five yards away. Just three. Just one—

“Juniper?”

I jump and crash into a bush. Ouch.

My eyes are still shut, but I feel myself being lifted from the shrubbery. When I’m back on my feet, I wince as my eyes blink open.

King Klein III is towering over me, his mouth twisted into something that I would call not just a frown, but a negative-grin. Yup, a -grin adorns his face.

“Dad…?” I squeak. “Um….”

I gulp and wilt a little under his shadow. “Why are you here?”

“Why are you here?” 

“Uh…I’m taking a stroll in the garden.”

“No, you're trying to stealthily get to the festival.”

“I’m not saying I agree to that, but…how did you know I was here?”

“Lucillia told me you were sneaking out of the castle.”

“She told you I was going to the festival?!” Seriously, Lucillia?!

“No. You just did.”

Dang it. Why didn’t I just play it cool? “I’m going,” I say, my blue eyes flitting up to meet my father’s harsh gaze. “I need to.”

“What you need to do,” he rumbled, “is stay here.”

“No.”

He purses his lips. “Juniper, you aren’t going.”

“No,” I repeat, a little louder. “Nope, I am G-O-I-N-G.”

I send him one more look and start to march to the doors. But since I’m still glaring over my shoulder, I walk smack into the hard sheet of wood.

“Ow,” I complain as I rub my head.

The next thing I know, my dad picks me up and starts strutting back towards the castle. I kick and scream like I’m being kidnapped, but nobody in the castle bats and eye as my dad carries me up to my room. I go limp in his arms—I literally can’t do anything.

Finally, I’m back in my room. My dad gives me a knowing look. “Juniper, you’re not going to the Choosings.”

I shake my head, and as he starts to leave, I shake it more furiously and yell, “I’M SHAKING MY HEAD TO SAY NO! ALSO, MY HEAD IS A MAGIC 8 BALL! AND YOU KNOW WHAT JUST POPPED UP?! ‘TRY AGAIN LATER’!”

I slam my door and collapse on my bed again. What I said is true—I’m definitely going to try again later. But I’ll bet ten bucks that dear ol’ dad stationed some guards outside the door so I can’t leave.

I groan for the second time this morning, open my door, and tromp down the hallway. Down the hall is my great-grandfather's room—he’s one-hundred years old and lies on his bed all day, a nurse sitting by his side.

I knock and a female voice called, “Come in!”

I press my weight against the door and it opens, revealing a large bed, an even bigger room, and King Klein (well, he isn’t king anymore) passed out on the bed. A young lady is monitoring something; everybody knows that the old king will die soon, so there’s always somebody here to watch over my GG.

“You can go,” I say politely to the girl.

She ducks a quick bow, says, “Of course, Princess”, and walls out of the room. The door clicks shut behind her.

“Hi, GG,” I say quietly as I approach the bed. I check on and meet with my great-grandfather at least a couple times a day. “Are you awake?”

I glance down at his resting figure. It’s like his wrinkles have wrinkles. “Okay, I’ll leave.”

“No,” he whispers. “Stay. Listen…”

Apparently, he’s awake, and he says—

“You want to have a conversation?” I blink. “Isn’t that what we normally do?”

“Yes,” his hoarse voice says, “but this is a very important conversation.”

He shifts in his bed and reaches over to his nightstand. I wonder what he’s doing as his shaky old hand opens the drawer. He pulls out an old-fashioned brass key.

He rolls over to the other side of the bed, where his other nightstand is. “Juniper, would you mind…could you pull this out from the wall?”

I nod and grasp the wooden piece of furniture, pulling it a foot from the wall. I watch GG in wonder as he pats the side of the table that’s been pressed up against the wall. 

I notice a keyhole in the wood and guide my great-grandfather’s hand towards it. He smiles and slides his key in the slot.

Once the key is turned, a hatch pops open. In it, built into the nightstand, was a small hollow. It looks really, really old—spiderwebs are weaved into the nooks and crannies.

There’s one thing in the hatch.

A glowing green-blue ball.

My eyes are probably stretched as wide as they can go as King Klein reaches his hand in and slowly, very slowly, pulls out the ball. It’s around the size of a ping-pong ball, illuminated a neon-ocean color from the inside.

“What is that?” 

GG smiles and presses it into my hand. It’s very dense but extremely light—it makes my head hurt just thinking about it. Also, the ball just felt like it was radiated power—a feeling I can’t quite describe. I examine the ball more. “Seriously…what is this?”  

He frowns and takes it back. “Something that has caused awful things.” 

I’m shocked to hear the change in his voice. Suddenly, my GG’s cringe whispers are replaced by a smooth, young voice. I think the ball is radiating power—and my gramps is being affected by it.

“Whuh…”

“Sit.” He pats the side of his bed. “I have a lot to explain.”

I do, and GG sighs and starts his story.

“When my father died, and I became king…people were angry. I was barely an adult and already ruling a nation of over a thousand people. The general population was bigger than it is now—it’s smaller today because of the Choosings. Because of what I did.

“People were getting out of hand. They weren’t respecting the royal power. I was young and stupid, but that doesn’t excuse what I did. See, I was traveling all around the continent, trying to calm down the people, when I stumbled upon a cave. And inside, I found this.” He pointed to the ball.

“The moon spirits have their powers because of a set of these balls. They had one, but one fell to Oacarro a long time ago. Their power was lost until I found the ball. With the matching set, they’d get their full power back.

“At the next full moon, I had a talk with a moon spirit. I promised them powers and offered them slaves, if only they agreed to do one thing. They did agree. I gave them the ball, and their powers returned. They gave me a copy of the ball, with one small power: something to slow down aging. 

“They destroyed a continent. See, Oacarro used to have another continent—a long, long time ago. The moon spirits destroyed it, and the people of our nation grew so scared they listened to me. I was the solid in all the chaos, even though I caused the chaos. I was the good king, there to help his people—help them against what I caused. I said I could speak with the moon spirits—which I can, as anyone can during the full moon. They didn’t know and everybody listened.

“They agreed to the awful terms. Once a year, on Mitzi First, a tribute is chosen to become a slave for the moon spirits. In return, they don’t kill us all. I struck the deal, and it worked. But not the way I planned.

“Everyone was terrified and heartbroken. Tame, yes, but spirits broken. It caused me pain to see the suffering I had made happen. I can’t excuse my actions. I can’t rewind time. But that’s why I’m telling you this.”

I swallow as a glance at my great-grandfather. A lump of emotions is stuck in my throat. My GG, my beloved GG, did this. This family secret that I never knew about. Until now.

I want to be furious. And I partly am. But all that comes out is….

Why?” I sob. “Why, GG, are you telling me this?”

He smiles. “I’m about to die, and I can’t keep this from you any longer. Not like your father has. I don’t want to die in regret. Please, Juniper, forgive me.”

I think for a moment. Again, I want to hate my great-grandfather, but I can’t. I can’t hold him up to a mistake he made eighty years ago. He can’t fix this, but I can. “Okay.”

He smiles again. “This magic sphere is the only thing keeping me alive. We need to stop this awful yearly tradition, Juniper. I can’t. But you can.”

He hands me the ball, his voice back to normal—slow and hoarse. “When you leave, I’ll die, as I should’ve ten years ago. This ball has some of the magic as the original set has—it could complete it, but it can also cancel it out if you put all three together. You know what you need to do, correct?” 

I take a deep breath. “Yeah.”

“Go, Juniper. And remember—your father’s laws only take action after a month. Lastly, remember the exact wording of your father’s law….” he smiles for the millionth time. “Now go.”

“But…you’ll die,” I choke out.

The sides of his mouth raise even more. “I say, go.”

Tears stream down my face as I race out of the room. I glance at a clock as I dart down the hallway—at nine a.m. the Choosing will happen. Fifteen minutes to get to the festival to make things right. 

My shoes are still on, and I wouldn’t have stopped anyway. I start to sprint to the festival, racing against time.

I look over my shoulder.

I’m racing against guards, too.

I’m running, sprinting, dashing—I need to get there in time.

My feet pound and carry me the mile there—

And finally, I’m at the festival.

I sprint past the guy who tells me to tell him my name—sorry, buddy, I’m not entering the lottery. I can’t, after all.

The games and booths are deserted and I jog past it all, to the courtyard square. Everybody in our town—the whole continent—is gathered in front of a stage.

There’s a lady, holding a large bowl. She’s about to pick.

“WAIT!” I yell.

Everybody freezes and I run around the crown and up to the stage. “Wait,” I repeat to the lady. “Don’t draw the unlucky winner yet.”

“Princess Juniper?” her eyes dart up to mine. She’s a plump woman dressed in a pink jumpsuit, with short brown hair.

“Yeah,” I say, breathing heavily from my run.

“Why are you here, Miss? You’re not allowed to enter.” She picks up a template resting on the stage and points to the bottom. There, my dad’s law is typed up: ɴᴏʙᴏᴅʏ ɪɴ ᴛʜᴇ ʀᴏʏᴀʟ ғᴀᴍɪʟʏ ɪs ᴘᴇʀᴍɪᴛᴛᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ᴇɴᴛᴇʀ ᴛʜᴇ ʟᴏᴛᴛᴇʀʏ.

I smile, remembering what GG said: ‘Lastly, remember the exact wording of your father’s law…’ “I know. But there’s something else I can do.”

I plant my feet on the stage and glance over at the giant crowd. Everybody I’ll be queen of in twenty years. They all have petrified expressions—wondering what I’m doing but still terrified they’ll be picked.

I see the guards and my father arrived in the back of the crowd. They start to push through, but they’re too late.

I glance at the lady, then at the crowd, then all the guards.

I stare directly into my father’s dark brown eyes as I announce the hardest, but rightest decision I’ve ever made:

“I volunteer to serve the moon spirits.”

August 21, 2020 20:42

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312 comments

20:48 Aug 21, 2020

Hi, guys! Like usual, a couple things: 1. Okay, I know the name Juniper is weird. I just hope it isn’t TOO weird. 🌲 2. This is literally 3,000 words, so I hope I didn’t bore you guys to death!😅 3. If you catch any mistakes, please let me know!😃 4. I know her volunteering was kinda predictable, but work with me here 😂 5. I know Jax Conner is also the prince of an imaginary planet with magic, and I’ve got to stop doi the whole royalty-on-another-planet thing, but WHATEVER 😋 6. That was...KINDA a cliffhanger. Part 2 should come out...

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Lulu Lemon
20:39 Sep 02, 2020

1. No!! I really liked the name. I have never heard it before but I really liked it! 2. 3000 words! Wow, that's a LOT! Great job! You didn't bore me at all, I wanted more not less! 3. I didn't see any mistakes... 4. It wasn't predictable for me! I did not know that that was what's going to happen. 5. Its ok! I use my favorite names over and over again as well. 6. I read part 2 and I am waiting for part 3!!!! 7. I really liked it! It is one of my favorite stories on Reedsy! You did a great job with making the story and the dialogue flo...

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20:41 Sep 02, 2020

Thank you soooo much! Aw, upvotes? Thank you!

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Lulu Lemon
20:49 Sep 02, 2020

No problem!! Your welcome! I just did a bunch!

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20:53 Sep 02, 2020

Thank youuu!

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Niveeidha Palani
05:35 Aug 22, 2020

Hi Aerin! I NEED A SEQUEL NOW. Just kidding. Seriously though. Now let me just reply to all the points you wrote above. 1. The name "Juniper" isn't weird at all!! I love it! It's so creative, and somehow, soo satisfying...😶 2. Whoa, 3000 words? Sweet! I didn't realize the word count actually, I was too engrossed in the story! 👏👏👏👏 3. Hmm, let me see. So far, not really many mistakes, at least as far as I can see. I do see a couple of grammatical errors, but that's all. 👱‍♀️👱‍♀️ 4. Yep, kinda predictable but it was written in a wa...

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12:20 Aug 22, 2020

Woooow, thanks for allllll that...responses? Anyways, I’m gonna respond in order... 1. Hehe... 2. Yay! My stories typically tease the limit so I’m glad it wasn’t boring. 3. Okay, thanks! 4. Niiiiice 5. Haha! 6. Well, Part 2 WIIIILL be out this week! Probably in a couple days ;) 7. Thanks!! 8. Yup, I saw, thanks! 9. THANK YOU!!! 10. Oh, no problem—I have millions of juiceboxes and donuts because I have an endless dispenser. Mmm, those cookies are SOOO GOOD! Oh, and bonus, pretzels! Thank you ;)

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Niveeidha Palani
02:59 Aug 23, 2020

Hahahah I'm glad to hear a sequel coming up! PS - You're about 50+ points ahead but someone keeps on downvoting them...I'm not sure why you're like six or seven points less. :( No problem for the cookies and pretzels. I felt like I had added too much sugar in the cookies. :D

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12:04 Aug 23, 2020

Yay, thanks for th points! I’m sorry to hear about the downvoting, but I can’t really do anything about it;). Hehe...

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Niveeidha Palani
12:13 Aug 23, 2020

Yeah, of course we can't do anything about it... No problem, if it's no bother, do you mind upvoting me a little too? 🤩

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Eric Mock
04:25 Sep 05, 2020

Very creative, and I like the name Juniper too! Noticed a few typos, but other than that nothing major. Going to check out part 2!

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Thank you!!

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22:32 Aug 21, 2020

Hi, guys! I’ve put this in the comment section of a different story a couple weeks ago, but I’m putting it here again so more people can see it! Here’s a random list of ways to cure any author’s enemy: ₩Ɽł₮ɆⱤ’₴ ฿ⱠØ₵₭!!! *screaming* Anyways, some of these are tried and tested, some I made up like a second ago. Enjoy! 𝐖𝐀𝐘𝐒 𝐓𝐎 𝐂𝐔𝐑𝐄 𝐖𝐑𝐈𝐓𝐄𝐑’𝐒 𝐁𝐋𝐎𝐂𝐊: 1. 𝙼𝚊𝚔𝚎 𝚜𝚘𝚖𝚎𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚋𝚊𝚍 𝚑𝚊𝚙𝚙𝚎𝚗 𝚝𝚘 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚌𝚑𝚊𝚛𝚊𝚌𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚜. 𝚂𝚖𝚊𝚕𝚕 𝚘𝚛 𝚍𝚛𝚊𝚜𝚝𝚒𝚌! 2. 𝙷𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚊𝚛𝚎 𝚏𝚒𝚟𝚎 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚍𝚜: 𝚗𝚘𝚘𝚍𝚕𝚎, 𝚙𝚞𝚛𝚙𝚕𝚎 𝚜𝚝𝚛𝚊𝚒𝚗𝚎𝚛, 𝚋𝚘𝚞𝚗𝚌𝚢 𝚋𝚊𝚕𝚕, 𝚃𝚑𝚘𝚖𝚊𝚜 𝙹𝚎𝚏𝚏𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚘𝚗, 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚄𝙶𝙷. 𝙽𝚘𝚠, 𝚠𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚕𝚎𝚏𝚝 𝚘𝚏𝚏 𝚒𝚗 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚠𝚛...

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21:23 Sep 01, 2020

Thank you for this! I tried some and they helped a bunch!

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21:24 Sep 01, 2020

😄😄😄

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Amany Sayed
19:04 Aug 23, 2020

Hey! Here to give a fun fact! Did you know that only 27% of the entire country of Japan is able to be lived in? The other 73% is covered in mountains and forests. This makes Japan one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Don't know if you saw in my bio that I'm researching Japan, but yeah, that's where this came from. Have a great day!

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19:11 Aug 23, 2020

Coooool! Ima put THAT in my bio now! You too ;)

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Amany Sayed
19:13 Aug 23, 2020

:)

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00:55 Sep 16, 2020

So cool!

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23:48 Aug 26, 2020

BTW, the donuts and juice boxes were delicious!

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23:59 Aug 26, 2020

Hehe;)

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23:47 Aug 26, 2020

Hi! I loved this story! Juniper is so creative with her words, like negative grin and GG. Also, yes, very similar to Hunger Games, but I looooooove Hunger Games so this is just super fun to read! Great job, as always! :)

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23:59 Aug 26, 2020

Thank you so much, Kylie!

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Amogh Kasat
05:18 Aug 23, 2020

It's awesome! 3000 words it's amazing. I am waiting for the part 2

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12:13 Aug 23, 2020

Thank you!!

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01:52 Aug 24, 2020

Hi, Amogh! Just so you know, Part 2 is posted if you wanna check it out ;) Bye! ~A

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Amogh Kasat
03:24 Aug 24, 2020

I will surely check it out

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Rayhan Hidayat
19:33 Aug 22, 2020

Ah this is like a beautiful high-fantasy version of the Hunger Games, I love it! :D Especially since it reminds of one of my stories that's also about a princess rebelling against her father. I read your bio and I ADORE both Last Airbender and Korra! I wonder if that's where you got the moon spirits idea from, hmm...

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19:38 Aug 22, 2020

Thaaanks! Yess I love them both! Actually, I didn’t get the idea from there—I’ve also used star spirits in a different story cuz I just love celestial (and pretty much any) spiritsM

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Rayhan Hidayat
19:41 Aug 22, 2020

Right, you did in the one where the star reads the poem! Okay, I get you :)

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19:42 Aug 22, 2020

😂

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01:53 Aug 24, 2020

Hi, Rayhan! Just so you know, Part 2 is posted if you wanna check it out ;) Bye! ~A

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Rayhan Hidayat
04:38 Aug 24, 2020

I left a comment! 🙂

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12:52 Aug 24, 2020

😄

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16:41 Aug 22, 2020

Wow, Aerin! I would never be able to write 3,000 words! This is crazy. You didn't bore me at all, and I loved the name Juniper! I have read The Hunger Games, so I know where you got your inspiration from and I loved it! There were some grammatical mistakes, but nothing too bad! Wonderful job! Keep writing and stay healthy, Your Reedsy Friend - Brooke

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16:53 Aug 22, 2020

Thank youuu!

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17:44 Aug 22, 2020

It's my pleasure!

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01:54 Aug 24, 2020

Hi, Brooke! Just so you know, Part 2 is posted if you wanna check it out ;) Bye! ~A

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13:03 Aug 24, 2020

I'll go read it!

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Well done Aerin B! I really enjoyed this story, and I’m very excited for part two. I also liked the part where Juniper yelled to her father saying something about a magic 8 ball. That was pretty funny, and I may have to steal that to use it in real life. Keep up the good work!

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16:52 Aug 22, 2020

Thanks! Haha, I like the Magic 8 ball part too ;)

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01:51 Aug 24, 2020

Hi, Lizzie! Just so you know, Part 2 is posted if you wanna check it out ;) Bye! ~A

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07:39 Aug 22, 2020

Wow! This was awesome! I can't believe it was 3000 words! I spotted a typo here: "they’re celestial capabilities returned mysteriously." It should be "their," not "they're." And I need a part 2 ASAP! When I thought of the moon spirits, I imagined them as peaceful and pure beings, not continent destroyers and bloodthirsty killers who need slaves! Overall, great story!

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12:20 Aug 22, 2020

Thank you!! Yup, I’ll fix that ;) thanks!

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14:32 Aug 22, 2020

You're welcome! :D

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01:50 Aug 24, 2020

Hi, Akshat! Just so you know, Part 2 is posted if you wanna check it out ;) Bye! ~A

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05:49 Aug 24, 2020

Oh! Alright, I'll check it out!

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Amany Sayed
21:21 Aug 21, 2020

Ooh, I really enjoyed this one! By the way, I knew you had a story even before you told me, I check your profile often :) Great work! And Juniper is actually not a weird name. I've heard it before. Actually, not that predictable. I didn't know it was going to happen. A little Hunger Games-y though 😂 (not necessarily a bad thing) I can tell you spent a good amount of time on this! I don't think I found one mistake. So, on to what I like if there isn't much to critique. I like that Juniper called her great Grandpa GG, Idk why, I just did. Tho...

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01:51 Aug 24, 2020

Hi, Amany! Just so you know, Part 2 is posted if you wanna check it out ;) Bye! ~A

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Amany Sayed
21:21 Aug 21, 2020

Oooh, I'm first!

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21:44 Aug 21, 2020

Haha, yes you are 🙂

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21:42 Aug 21, 2020

Ah, cool. I check yours VERY often, LOL. Thanks! Yeah, I know Juniper is A name, it just isn’t super common. I’ve read it in a book but never met someone named Juniper. Hehe, yup, I can see how the ending plot (volunteer a tribute to do SOMETHING bad) is Hunger-Game-y! It’s funny because as soon as you read something with a particular plot, as soon as you read something else with a similar plot—even if it’s not that similar besides that—your mind jumps to something. Like, anytime I read ANY sort of story when somebody runs way—Clitché—my min...

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Amany Sayed
21:46 Aug 21, 2020

No, I don't think you understand, I check it VERY VERYYYY often...Mostly cause I don't want to miss your updates. Yeah, you're right, that is funny. Most of my fantasies are inspired by plot or title generators though, yours are 100% ORIGINAL. Seriously, great job. No problem!

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21:53 Aug 21, 2020

Oh, dang, I understand! I’ve added you, Celeste, Cara McCarthy and Sarah Freeman (my in-person friend, too) to my reading list, and I check your accounts a ton! Actually, I mostly check yours and Cara’s—cuz she posts stories super often and you have updates and new stories! Plus, I come over for the daily quote, so I end up checking your account at least 10 times a day, LOL! 😁 Honestly, I feel like stories based on generators are just as, I’d not more, original than, well, original! You take some generated sentences and turn them into an a...

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22:35 Aug 21, 2020

Hi Amany! I‘m back. A couple things: One—say thanks to Moon Shine for me for liking 3 stories... Two—yeah, sorry, I prob. can’t read any Watt pad stories. I suggest just sticking with Reedsy, because the people who wanna read the sequels are on HERE, anyway, LOL. Also, you can win money! ;) Yeeeah, that’s prettt much it. Bye!

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Amany Sayed
22:37 Aug 21, 2020

One. Um, who's that exactly? Two-Bu-But, what if Reo continues on there?!?! HOW WILL YOU READ IT! True, but prompts are sometimes really impossible. Bye

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20:16 Dec 14, 2020

This reminds me of Theseus and the Minotaur. People are sent to the labyrinth but Theseus can't go because he's a prince. He volunteers to go and defeats the minotaur. Kind of like that I guess... Juniper wants to either feel the risk of getting sent to the moon, or the wants to prevent others from having to be sent to the moon. I like this! So glad I found it after the sequel finally came out! :)

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Ohhhhh haha, you’re right! Thank you :D

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Allison Haynes
22:25 Aug 29, 2020

This story is so good! You are an amazing writer! I enjoyed every bit of your story!

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22:52 Aug 29, 2020

Wow, thank you!

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Allison Haynes
00:31 Aug 30, 2020

You welcome!

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Evelyn ⭐️
21:01 Aug 23, 2020

Hey Aerin! I did your quiz! It was awesome btw. Also great story! I can't believe you wrote 3000 words! You definitely didn't bore me.

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21:18 Aug 23, 2020

Thank you!!! P. S. Part 2 should be out today or early tomorrow ;)

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Evelyn ⭐️
21:19 Aug 23, 2020

Yay can't wait! Also can you see our answers?

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21:42 Aug 23, 2020

Yeah, I can. Once you submit, you can see other people’s answer too, but it’s anonymous.

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01:52 Aug 24, 2020

Hi, Evelyn! Just so you know, Part 2 is posted if you wanna check it out ;) Bye! ~A

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Evelyn ⭐️
17:07 Aug 24, 2020

Ok cool! I'll go do it! I love these!

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Jesna Anna S.
12:23 Aug 23, 2020

Aerin! Awesome! I did not count the words, I was so interested in reading the story honestly!

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12:38 Aug 23, 2020

Thanks!

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C.J Dunstall
06:23 Aug 23, 2020

Hey Aᥱrιᥒ B. 🌈, once again you have written a wondrous story. I really hope there will be a sequel. 1. juniper is an awesome name 2. that was an awesome story so nope not bored 3. I can't see any mistakes but I'm probably not the person to find them as they are plentiful in my stories. 4. just cause something is predictable doesn't mean it isn't good planning or whatever else it is called. can't really remember at the moment. 5. Jax is fine 6. yes. Yes, YES and umm YES!!! 7. ------ 8. Tried wouldn't work but unfo...

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12:15 Aug 23, 2020

Thank youuuuu!

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C.J Dunstall
22:51 Aug 23, 2020

welcommmme!

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01:56 Aug 24, 2020

Hi, C.j. ! Just so you know, Part 2 is posted if you wanna check it out ;) Bye! ~A

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C.J Dunstall
02:53 Aug 24, 2020

yay

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C.J Dunstall
06:24 Aug 23, 2020

Hey, do you think you can put the word out for me? I'm doing a writer of the week thing and I kinda need more than 2 people voting in order to have a proper result. -CJ

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12:18 Aug 23, 2020

Hey, C.j! I’d love to do your writer of the week thingy ;) A couple suggestions—I think you should make the poll a google forms and put the link everywhere, cuz that works for me ;). Another thing: we miiiight want to have 5 available contestants a week or something, because voters are bound to have preferences over the 3,000+ Reedsy-ers! Basically, I suggest you find 5-10 people who have over 500 comments and out them into a google form, then share the link so people can vote! Hope this helped! ~A

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C.J Dunstall
22:52 Aug 23, 2020

I would only on my laptop Forms didn't work. I tried to go into yours and it said page won't load

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23:23 Aug 23, 2020

Hmm, K

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Zilla Babbitt
14:46 Aug 23, 2020

Oh my word, that's hilarious. I had the same idea, of different variations. I was thinking (last Friday) that I could do like a "highlight of the moment" thing in my bio of a writer on Reedsy or a historical figure and include links and things. I wasn't going to do votes like you, because I already have a list, but I was going to do recommendations. I swear I didn't see this until just now :)

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15:46 Aug 23, 2020

🤣🤣🤣

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Zilla Babbitt
16:33 Aug 23, 2020

If you don't raise any objections, we can continue our separate ways, each doing our own "highlight" or "writer of the week". What do you say?

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C.J Dunstall
22:50 Aug 23, 2020

Yeah, that would be fine by me. Glad I have similar ideas to the top of the leaderboard :)

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Zilla Babbitt
23:28 Aug 23, 2020

Hey, great minds think alike! :)

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Rhondalise Mitza
03:49 Aug 23, 2020

Hey, hey, Aerin! Love your ventures into fantasy, my friend! I thought it was a good length. It was very much like The Hunger Games, which is okay because authors do have to borrow basic things from each other all the time, but some small things like the last line, for example, are veering kind of close to copying. Just remember, good authors steal, bad authors copy. And I know you aren't a bad author. You're doing so well, keep it up. :D

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12:08 Aug 23, 2020

Thanks! Yeah, here’s the dilemma. As I told a couple other people who were like, “This is like the hunger games!”, while it’s LIKE it, it really ISN’T it. The dilemma: there’s lot of clitchés going around, and also, plots that are kinda basic. Somebody volunteering for something bad honestly isn’t that original, which is why I don’t consider this that similar to the Hunger Games. After all, that main chunk of the book is her IN the Games, whereas this is this princess defying rules cuz she WANTS to go to the moon to do something. (Also, I t...

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Sarah 🖤💖
01:15 Aug 23, 2020

First up, congrats on being NUMBER SIX ON THE LEADER BOARD WHAT THE HECK! And number two, awesome story! I think Juniper is a cool name and a cool character! Keep writing, its the only thing keeping me sane in quarantine!

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02:28 Aug 23, 2020

Thaaaank you!!

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01:53 Aug 24, 2020

Hi, Sarah! Just so you know, Part 2 is posted if you wanna check it out ;) Bye! ~A

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David Dicaire
20:07 Aug 22, 2020

Hey, great job! I really liked it. I enjoyed the way you can make a word work. You have a very unique vocabulary that gives the story an added jolt. I think that you will be a great writer some day if you keep to it. You are very solid right now. The only think I am surprised is that there is no unicorn in the story. LOL. Take care, Princess Aerin B.

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20:17 Aug 22, 2020

Thank youuu! Haha, maybe I’ll add in a unicorn on the moon...LOL. Yay, I’m a princess! Thanks!

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