The Stars are Falling
Jenny is content trying to survive university and sneaking glances at her housemate, Dale, in between hours spent watching the night sky. When the first meteor streaks through the night, landing close enough to shake the house, however, everything changes.
What’s left in the crater isn’t a lump of rock from outer space, but something that looks like a man. Soon after, the killing begins. Anyone who gets in their way is disintegrated with an all-consuming light so hot nothing remains.
Hundreds more descend from the heavens, bleaching the night sky, shaking the ground. They want to eliminate all threats to Earth, starting with the biggest one: the human race.
Jenny and Dale know a way to do both: save Earth and stop the human race from being wiped out. They just have to stay alive long enough to convince the falling stars to spare the human race.
“Some of the stars are special,” my mother said, and she leaned in close. “Some of the stars aren’t distant worlds in the sky filled with different lands and places we’ve never been. Some of them are there for a reason.” Her voice dipped down into a whisper, as though she was sharing some great secret that only we were allowed to know. I leaned up to listen closer. “Those stars are our protectors. They shine down on us as they watch the world below, looking like the ones we know, but hiding what they are. When they light up the night, they’re smiling on us, happy with how things are. They love nothing more than to see everyone happy and taking care of each other. But sometimes, when the world is sad, the stars stop shining.”
Back up to the ceiling she stared, sitting up so straight it was like she was rising to be with them. I wriggled out of the blankets when she didn’t continue. Up onto her lap I clambered, settling in her arms and gazing up at my night sky. Her arms were warm when they wound around my waist, holding me close.
“What happens when they stop shining?” I asked, desperate to hear the rest of the story.
“When they stop shining, they fall,” she said. “If the stars are sad, they come to Earth. They fall and fall, so very far, and they come here to fix things. It hasn’t happened in a very long time, but when they come, they fix what’s gone wrong. And then, when the world is happy again, they rise, rocketing up into the sky, back to their place in the stars, where they watch and smile on us once more.”
Excited by thoughts of meeting the stars, I asked, “How do they fix things?”
My mother smiled again and gave me a quick kiss on the cheek. She ushered me off her knee and back under the blankets before she continued. “The same way anyone fixes a problem. By finding out what’s wrong and making it go away.”
With a deep breath, she finished the story and turned her gaze back to me. Tucking in the blankets around me, she wished me sweet dreams and told me to go to sleep.
When she reached the door and turned back to me, a last goodnight on her lips, I asked, “Mummy, will I ever see the stars fall?”
Her smile disappeared, turning into a deep frown, and when she spoke, a desperate edge tinted each word. “I hope not.”
Michelle has been reading and writing her whole life. Her earliest memory of books was when she was five and decided to try and teach her fish how to read, by putting her Beatrix Potter books in the fish tank with them. Since then her love of books has grown, and now she is writing her own and looking forward to seeing them on her shelves, though they won’t be going anywhere near the fish tank.
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