Sonia Huang, Grade 8
It was too bright to sleep.
The blinds were broken and moonlight glistened off the raindrops that still stuck to my window. No clouds were in sight. Away from the city, the stars were alive again.
They told me stars were fiery balls of gas, but could that be?
Nothing could shine so bright, so beautifully.
My father called them crystal angels, hung in the sky like a decoration. My mother said they were more than that, she told me they were there to watch over us, protect us from whatever was outside of space.
I wondered if they were actually alive, beings, far more graceful and significant than humans. How else could they radiate so dazzlingly?
Counting was hard.
There were too many, I couldn’t keep up. What if the stars were a race, as we humans were? There were billions and billions of us, there must be even more of them. Such beaming lights must dominate the universe, to shine through the black spaces that I could point out between one another.
There was one that moved.
No flashing red and blue lights, it wasn’t an airplane. Good thing too, those always ruined the view at night. At first, it only seemed to shift in tiny steps. It began to speed up, rushing forward a white beam tailing behind.
Drifting down, it touched the tip of our neighbour’s roof. The light expanded, I could almost feel the heat emit from the center, the very force of the thing shaking the street, not that anybody else had noticed; they were fast asleep. Or maybe it was my heart, which threw itself from one place to another in my ribcage, beating in excitement and anticipation.
My eyes stung for a moment, until the light faded slightly.
The light had a face.
They said shooting stars were flaming meteors, hurtling into the earth’s atmosphere.
It couldn’t be just that though. Why else would this shooting star land on my neighbour’s roof? It tiptoed across the gutter on the side and brushed itself off, as if it had merely taken a small tumble in the playground. It bent its knees, arms stretched out.
The head snapped in my direction.
It stared at me. I stared back.
Then it smiled and winked my way.
They were wrong.
Stars were much more than objects of astronomy. They were our guardians, ones that never did get that gratitude they deserved. Stars didn’t come to our planet only to crash onto the surface and disintegrate. They came down for special reasons, ones I don’t know yet.
But I do hope that one would grant my wish as they fall.
The sky was blending into an orange and a pink. The one star that stayed with me throughout the day had come to join me once more. I stepped away from the window sill and repeated my wish.
Come down and take me away.