Underneath the Stars – Short Story

Before reading this, you should know I wrote this as a beginning to another story but it didn’t fit. However I loved it no less and wanted to share it. I think there are a lot of people being treated unfairly today. This takes place back in the 1930’s of New Mexico, and shows the love and bravery that is on the other side of discrimination. I wish I was a stronger writer so I could tell you exactly how I saw this in my mind but I hope it makes a clear impression.

Underneath the Stars

The sky exploded with color. New Mexico was lit from the dust of a thousand shades of pink in the middle of the night. The Milky Way was my favorite thing to watch at the edge of these mountains. I would climb a mountain too, if only to stand a chance at getting some of that dust on my fingertips so I could carry it to a canvas. If I could ever have one.

The night carried whispers in the wind, giving me goosebumps. These moments always had messages for me, as if someone was talking to me without using words, and I knew everything it had to say. The desert air was cool and crisp at night.

I tried to search for a face in those stars, something familiar I could hold on to. I picked a few in a constellation and the sly smile of the moon, and brought them into my mind to find whenever I needed a familiar face to feel at home with, wherever I go.

“GRETA!” I heard my mother scream and I quickly gathered my blankets in my hands and ran towards the house.

“Sorry Mama, the sky was so clear, I couldn’t resist.” I said in broken Spanish.

She looks at me cross, wether it’s for disobeying her or not being fluent in her native tongue, I’m not sure. Quickly I do an awkward curtsey and run for my room when I hit my fathers legs. My body hits the floor and I look up at him shrugging and smiling.     

“What are you doing, Greta?” He asks me.

“I was watching the stars, Papa.” I say. He looks at me and then back to my mother and shrugs. I turn my head to look at her and she has already gathered a blanket in her arms with a lantern.

“Well we should all see the stars at least once as a family.” She says kindly.

A sunlight bursts through my chest in the middle of the night and my entire body is warm. I quickly gather to my feet and hold my parents hands as we walk out into the desert together. The dust is cool on my feet as I walk barefooted. My parents set up a place to watch the stars and we all lay beneath them. I’m the first to speak.

“I made a face in the stars, so I could always find a familiar face.”

“You did?” My mother asks.

“Why would you need a face in the sky Greta?” My father asks.

“I don’t know, I just feel like it would come in handy one day. For there always to be someone no matter where I am.” I say.

“And during the day?”

“There’s more than enough people in daylight.” I say.

Later that night I heard my parents talking. I had felt so awesome underneath the stars with them, like the universe was blooming through my veins and I was a part of the night sky. We laughed, we talked and I felt safe for a moment but I still had the feeling that something threatening was headed our way. I crept through my bedroom to the side of the kitchen to listen to what they had to say.

“She’s not depressed because depression is the loss of fire in your life, she has energy and life.” My mother says.

“I know your worried but you don’t need to figure her out. She’s on another level, in another realm. She’s intuitive, a genius. We have her hidden all they way out here and she can still pick up on the attacks that have been happening recently.”

“I know but-”

“Listen to her talk. Really listen to here the next time she talks and you think it’s nonsense. There are patterns, she doesn’t realize she’s doing it but she’s naturally made to survive, even though she doesn’t know what she’s surviving.” My father says.

“So what are you saying she is?” My mother asks.

“I have no idea, but I don’t think she’s completely human.”

“Okay, I’m going to bed. Enough of your conspiracies.” She chides.

“Very well, Evelyn. But there is nothing to worry about our daughter is fine.”

“Of course she’s fine! She’s exceptional, I’m just worried not everyone will see that in her. They won’t get past the bizarre expressions of the truth she loves.”

“Greta will become one of the most respected women to ever walk this earth, I promise you.”

“How can you say such a thing?”

“Because I know all things.”

I turn back against the wall, I don’t understand their whole conversation or what it means but I do have mixed feelings about it. I tip toe back to bed and tuck myself into the blankets. I watched the shadows dance on my walls from the tree by my window sill. The trees tell me it will be okay, and I trust them.

A few hours later, I awake to screaming. I cough awake as a thick dark smog makes it’s way into my bedroom. I run out of my room to find men in white standing over my parents, screaming at them. I try to find my voice and I can’t. I feel locked into a dream where you can’t run.

My father starts speaking in Spanish. “Get out of here, I love you. Get out of here, I love you.”

My mother joins in. “We will always be with you. I love you.”

The man dressed in white speaks in English. “Stop begging!” He says.

Somehow I understand the danger. That I can’t save my parents, and my body won’t let me anyways..

“Run, Mija!” Are my fathers last words and my feet are moving before he can finish his sentence.

I run so quick I feel like I’m flying. The moment I feel dread creep in, I see the face in the stars, the familiar face that urged me to keep running. I didn’t look back. Looking back meant surrender to a terrorist. Every muscle pushing through gravity became as light as feathers and I floated quickly through the desert.

All of the sudden I reached a concave in the desert ridges. Catching my breath I hid myself from the terrorist. My parents were dead, I knew that. And it was confirmed when a random burst of wind rushed by my side, and uncovered a stone. It was light pink, and see through, a rose crystal. I grabbed it quickly. It was a present from my parents no doubt, one that I would some day understand. When I reached safety I would learn what this stone meant, and I readied myself for the signs that would follow as guides from my parent wherever they went. I knew they would find me.

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