one night, the stars went missing. no one knew how it happened but one night the stars were home in the sky and the next they were gone, leaving the sky blackened and blue.
the world went into momentary chaos. riots reddened the streets and everyone thought the end of days were nigh, but no end came and eventually everything went back to its comforting illusion of normal.
but i couldn’t just ignore this heinous crime. the stars were gone and it was my job to find them. everyone laughed at me when i told them my plan to bring the stars back. they said ‘the stars are gone. get over it.’
but how could i? the stars were my friends and without them in the sky, i was alone.
i took my telescope and i went to my favourite spot, high in the mountains to investigate the crime. i would sleep all day and stay up all night looking at the sky trying to find any clues, but there were none.
i felt my heart getting emptier every night and soon it was empty like the sky. as i made my way down the mountain, i saw a girl sitting in a tree looking up at the empty sky.
something about her made me feel less lonely so i hid behind a tree and watched her for hours. eventually, as the sun (the only star left untouched) began to rise, the girl climbed out of the tree as quietly as she could as to not disturb any of the forest creatures who were just waking up.
i followed her more as she made her way down the mountain. she never saw me and i couldn’t take my eyes off of her. her skin was soft like autumn and her hair was as dark as the night sky. she looked like the forest and she seemed just as gentle.
she stopped at the edge of the forest and turned her head as if she were listening for something. i didn’t move and i didn’t breathe. i was standing behind a tree but i slid myself further down until my face for pressed against the cold, wet earth.
i listened to her walk up the mountain again and then back down until i couldn’t hear her footsteps anymore. i stood up again- now with mud on my face- and saw that the girl was gone. the cold from the ground began to sink into to me and i felt alone again.
‘why are you following me?’ a sweet voice from above asked. i looked up and the girl was standing on a branch of the tree i was hiding behind. her face was more beautiful than i could imagine. stars surrounded her black eyes like glitter.
i didn’t know what to say so i lied, ‘i wasn’t following you. i was taking a nap.’ ‘you’ve been following me since i started walking down the mountain. don’t lie. you’re a bad liar.’ ‘you don’t know me. how would know i’m a bad liar?’
she floated down from the branch and stood in front of me, ‘some friends told me.’ a small gasp escaped my lips and my mind went black. she was the most beautiful person i had ever seen in my life. my quest was forgotten and i had no idea why i was even there; in the forest with a strange girl in front of me.
she smiled and softly licked her lips, ‘i like you. you aren’t as loud like the others.’ she took my hand and led me up the mountain again until we reached an old tree with many winding branches. there was a small door and we went inside.
it was small but bigger than what it seemed on the outside. there was a hammock in the corner and a fireplace opposite it. this was her home and i was welcomed into it. i stood in the middle while she took off her sweater and tossed it in the hammock. she reached inside the hammock and pulled out a little, black box.
‘can i show you something?’ she stood closer to me this time, i could feel her breath on my face and the scent that lingered reminded me of summer. i nodded and followed her to a room hidden behind her hammock.
the room was dark and she reached for my hand to lead me through this unfamiliar place. ‘close your eyes, please.’ the room was already so dark that they might as well have been closed, but i closed them anyway.
she let go of my hand for just a moment and i listened to the soft scraping of her removing the lid from the box. when she was done, she reached for my hand again and i felt complete. she whispered in my ear, ‘before you look, promise you won’t tell.’
i nodded even though i knew she couldn’t see. she squeezed my hand and i took that as a signal to open my eyes. the once dark room was now full of stars. shooting and glimmering and safe.
i wanted to be angry at the girl who stole the stars, but i was glad that my friends were safe. and the stars that surrounded the girl’s eyes, left her face and joined the others.
‘i took them because everyone else took them for granted. i’ll put them back eventually but right now i’m enjoying their company. they talk about you, you know. you were the only one that cared.’ ‘clearly you cared more.’
she kissed my cheek and i knew i had fallen. it was quick and it was dangerous, but i had fallen in love with the girl who stole the stars.