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Breathless: Discovering the Light

Haley G

A poem by Star

A shining light,
The breathless sight,
In the night.
The city below,
As people flow,
In the darkness of the night.
Pure of heart,
Hope and faith,
On silent wings I take flight.
It is magic.
It is true.
Is this real?
What is it to you?
There is no doubt,
That I said,
And I flew.
Feelings of joy,
Wash over me.
Fill my heart with all that is good.
Set aside all hatred.
With the moon, the stars and the sun,
The heavens above,
Small clouds below.
Midnight is near.
I am here.
On wings I fly.
I touch the sky.
I shall never come down.
You can't keep me on the ground.
Wings not yet broken.
I am untouched.
And the sight,
It just
Pulls me in,
I lose my breath,
But soar.
This is…
Most of all,
This is truly,



You know that dream where you're flying? It wasn't a dream. This is it. You're in it. Except, you're not flying. You're falling. Falling faster and faster toward the ground. You are positive that in about point seven seconds you will be a pancake on the pavement. Back broken, cold and dead.

Well, after those point seven seconds are up, you're still falling. You never reach the ground because a second later you wake up and realize that it was all a dream. Or was it? You may never know, or will you?

Now, let's get serious.

My name is Sara Carlson. I'm a fourteen-year-old girl with long hair the color of burnished gold and teal-blue eyes. I'm five and a half feet tall and a bit boney. I get straight A's in school, or at least I used to.

Ever since my real fourteenth birthday, which is August 14, by the way, my life has changed forever. I'm no longer the normal, artistic girl from Illinois who loves to collect rocks and take photos of birds and sunsets, among other things. No, I'm something else. Special. Not that I asked for it. It's amazing, but as they say, "With great power comes great responsibility."

It's true, you know. Sometimes I wish I never discovered my abilities. I wish I could go back in time to before I put on the necklace, but I can't. This is my life now. My story. I'm Sara Carlson, but you can call me Star.

Part 1: Oh, She's a Little Run-Away


What could a girl want more than anything else for her birthday? An iPod, a pony, a guitar, a laptop computer, maybe, but would she expect a pair of wings? I didn't think so. No girl would actually expect to get wings or powers for her birthday. It just happened like puberty (but most people actually expect that).

I live in a world you may not understand. Okay, so maybe you do and I just fail at using movie quotes to explain my life. It's a world filled with hate and danger. A world where no one is safe from anything. The world needs help, and it isn't my job to help it. I'm no hero, believe me. I'm just a teen girl struggling to use her abilities with a mission to save my world. Which apparently, isn't Earth. So maybe I will be a hero, someday.
There has never actually been super heroes. Only average everyday heroes such as fire fighters and police officers. Even just a regular person can be a hero. Many teachers and politicians say, "You can make a difference! You can do it!" And maybe you can. It's just that my planet needs more than the average person can give, so I have to do what I have to do to find these extraordinary people. People like me.

Well, back to the magic thing. My birthday was August 17th, but we decided to celebrate it on the Sunday, August 14th since both of my parents worked on Wednesdays. That night, at midnight, something really weird happened that caused my life to change. I know you probably won't believe is, but I'll tell you the story anyways.
It had been a wonderful birthday party. Strange things had been happening all day. I had heard voices when no one was saying anything. I had saw things when no one was there. I had felt chills and other foreboding feelings. To top it off, my head and back had been aching all day long.
At least my cake and presents were good. My favorite present was the new album of one of my favorite female vocalist. Too bad I didn't get a iPod touch. Everybody I knew at school seemed to have one of those. After all the guests left, I went up stairs to my room and put the new CD in my good old boom box. I also had received new art materials: a sketch pad, oil pastels and an array of drawing pencils. So, it was only quarter to seven and I sat a my desk and drew what ever I felt like drawing.
I drew a forested landscape like the one not far from our house. Actually, my back yard was by the forest. Behind the in-ground pool, swing set and shed, it was pretty much the woods. Last summer I discovered a narrow path behind the shed. But since we only moved here a few years ago, no one seemed to wonder what was back there. Except me.
I had walked the trail before, but not far enough. I only got as far as a small pond, which I used to go to draw by it frequently. It was my quiet, secret spot. I only told one other person about it, and that was my friend, Rose. But this summer I hadn't really gone to it much.
My drawing was starting to look better, but my hand was starting to cramp. I shaded in the lake in the picture. For some reason I drew a larger lake than in the clearing. I set my art supplies aside. It was about nine pm, so I took a shower, and the hot water felt good against my throbbing head and back since I had been sitting in my stuffy room for the last few hours.
I put my periwinkle and white cloud pajamas on. The top said "Angel" and had white wings and a halo on the word. I thought they were cute when I bought they last year, but now they seemed a bit childish. I considered spending some of my birthday cash on a new pair of PJ's when I'd next go shopping.
I went through the rest of my gifts and came across a silvery metal box. It had no branding on it or anything to let me know where it was from; it only had what looked like a compass without the letters for the four directions. I didn't remember receiving it; it must have been hidden under everything else. I unlatched it and inside of it was a lavender piece of satin. I unwrapped the cloth and inside it was a silver piece of jewelry. A pendant on a fine silver chain. It was so beautiful and detailed that I couldn't even begin to describe it.
The pendant was a distinct crystal shape of an eight-pointed star. It reminded me of the cardinal directions on a compass as did the engraving on the box. The stars four longest points were inscribed on a silver circle that was even thinner than the chain, and surrounded by an extremely delicate design of swirls. The star itself was a crystal only trapped on it edges. The backside of the pendant was almost identical to the front. The star crystal was clear, opalline and tinted blue. It was nothing like any gemstone I had even seen. In the center of the star, there was a faceted gem, like a blue opal with some shade of violet as well as other colors in it's fire. I always thought opals could only be cut in cabochons. Shows what I know about jewelry making. On the sides of the silver ring there were tiny faceted gems in various colors, all lined up with the points of the star. The part that held the pedant to the chain was also silver and had a small diamond on it. The whole pendant was not even two inches across.
I loved this necklace so much that whoever gave it to me deserved the biggest thank you of the year. This was the best gift I've even received, I decided. Better than any electronic device out there. There was something seemingly magical about this gift that made me want to jump for joy.
Some force made me drawn to it. I put it around my neck as I sat on my bed. A feeling washed over me, and soon I was in a deep sleep. In my dream, I was running in the dark forest. I came across a lake, and there was a light. I woke up and glanced over at my clock. It was nearly midnight.
Thoughtlessly, I got up and went down stairs. I put my shoes on and sneaked out the back door, silently. I made my way behind the shed and onto the path. It was very dark, but the moon was full. The sky was clear, and there was enough light to see. I started walking down the trail.
Then I heard something. It sounded like a twig snapping and a rustle in the bushes. I saw a dark shadow behind me, so I ran. I was drawing near the sound of running water when I almost tripped. What ever was chasing me, whether it was some man or a creature, was still chasing me. I kept on running as fast as I could, even though I'm not a very fast runner.
I passed the small pond that I used to visit. A frog croaked, but I kept on going. I ran on the part of the path that I had never been on. The trees I have never been past. It was unfamiliar ground and there were many obstacles. I jumped over a log just in time to catch the there was a fence coming up ahead of me. In my terror, I disregarded the KEEP OUT sign and climbed its rusty metal with haste. The path still continued after I passed two large oaks. Just a few seconds before I thought I saw a bunch houses beyond the fence. After I passed the two oaks, the path just seemed to wind on. Then I came upon a fork in the road, which made me feel like Alice from Alice in Wonderland, but there was no Cheshire cat to help me out.
To the left I saw a starry sky and the moon shining brightly through the trees. To the right it seemed pitch black which gave me the eerie sense that I shouldn't go down there. So I went to the left where there was more light so I wouldn't trip. I still had no idea where I was going and that was a scary thought.
I stopped in my tracks. Everything was silent, too silent. Nothing more than crickets chirping could be heard. It was obvious that the shadow had probably went to the right instead. I stepped quietly ahead, walking straight on the trail. The moon seemed higher in the sky now. I felt a tickle down my back.
I reached back there. I hadn't realized till now that I had brought my new tote bag mini-backpack with me. It was already packed with stuff, my stuff. I must have packed it when I was half-asleep. I wondered if my cell phone was in there in case I wanted to call 911 and report that I was being chased by a serial killer.
The tall marsh grass surrounding me started to shrink and more forest was up ahead. With my eye adjusted to the darkness, it wasn't hard to tell what was around me. I walked slowly but surely through the thick grass and back on the dirt road. It was kind of muddy. I didn't remember having any rain lately, but maybe marshes are just always muddy.
The trees around me seemed to be swallowed in darkness, but soon came the light of the moon. Up ahead was another, much larger clearing. I was sure of it, but I heard rushing water. Earlier I heard a trickle, but disregarded it. Here there was a rapid water flow. It was a large stream to my left causing the sound as it became into a waterfall that dropped off a cliff and continued into a lake below the cliff. I stood away from the edge of the cliff, avoiding any injuries that falling could cause.
Then I heard footsteps. The sense of relief and wonder retreated from my mind and I felt the watching eyes of the thing that was probably more creature than serial killer. It came running faster and stealthier, at a speed that convinced me that it couldn't be human. I heard a low growl, almost like a dog, coyote or wolf. I looked behind me and back into the forest and saw the red, glowing, inhuman eyes, and they were heading toward me. I sprinted off quicker than you could say "go", forgetting about the cliff ahead.
But the trail seemed to end. No solid ground to hold me. Only the night air, the stars and moon glowing above me. Was it was midnight, or after it? How should I know? Trust me- it was not the end of the world. The trail seemed to loop off in a long sharp turn, leading away from the cliff and down further. I had no time for that; I was running for my freaking life! The cliff seemed step. Even with the river below, I was willing to take my chance, and maybe, with some luck, land in the water and not on top of any sharp rocks. Then I would have some time to get away from those wolf-like creatures. If I made it.
Anything- and I mean anything was better than being chow for some mutts. I ran at a speed I have never ran before. Definition of running for your life. Then I sprinted off the ground while the creatures barked. I prayed that I would miss the rocks. I like rocks, but I don't want them to end my life.
I felt a jolt in me, like a pulse. My head felt...unexplainable. My spine tinkled. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up. I gripped one hand in a fist; the other was clenching my necklace. My back- my shoulder blades felt a sharp sting in them. I saw a flash of light. It was so weird. I felt an area of my body that I had never felt before. I looked down and noticed the river below. I was above it. Not dead on those rocks, not swimming with the current. I was floating above it.

Author's Note: The chapters of Part 1 are also featured on my website on the page titled "Breathless Book 1 Preview"