A/N: A short children's story I've written as part of my thesis to be built into a website.

Star on a Hill

"Goodnight," his mother says, shutting the door quietly behind her. Cody, seemingly fast asleep, peeks over the covers. He counts 1... 2... 3... 4... 5... to himself before deciding that the coast is clear, jumping out of his bed, and tip-toeing to his window. He leans on the windowsill, resting his chin in the palm of his hand. Staring at the crescent moon, he notes to himself that mice must have nibbled on it again. Cody then looks over to the one hill the small town of Sirius has. He sees the star sitting atop, nods to himself, and runs to his desk to continue planning his journey. Cody pulls out his homemade map of the town of Sirius that leads him to the mountain with the floating star he had been watching for months. He draws the last two places to complete his map: the river and the mountain itself. Knowing his parents' plan to go out for dinner the next night and being left without a babysitter, Tomorrow, he decides.

As night falls, Cody begins to pack his backpack in preparation for his quest. Flashlight, map, and juice box. When the clock strikes ten o'clock, Cody quickly jumps into his bed. As expected, his mother peeks in his room to check if he's asleep.

Cody counts to five after his mother closes the door, grabs his hat and backpack, and opens his window, a slight breeze ruffling his hair. He climbs up and through the window, landing in the damp grass outside.

He passes shops, a playground, and...What's that? Cody wonders, hearing a sound nearby. He walks forward slowly, unsure of what may jump out. "Hoo! Hoo!" Cody takes out his flashlight, glancing around. He looks up to see an owl perched on a branch. Relieved, he shuts off the flashlight, waves to the owl, and continues down the path. As Cody approaches the small bridge that crosses the river, he looks up. Almost there! He thinks, looking at the star just ahead, on top of the hill. A brush of air accompanied by a whoosh sound makes Cody turn. Noticing nothing, he trots along across the bridge. At the foot of the hill, Cody hears yet another whoosh. Yet, with a quick glance around, Cody continues up the hill.

Approaching the top, he sees the bright star glowing and sparkling. Cody drops his bag and runs over to it. Upon reaching the star, however, it dawns on him that it is much too high as he peers up at it from underneath. Feeling helpless, Cody gazes at the star hovering just feet above him. If only, he thinks.

"Give up," drawls a voice out of the darkness. Cody looks around, startled. "Give up, you can't reach it," the voice taunts.

Cody squints into the direction the voice appears to be coming from. Perched on a branch, the owl Cody recognizes from earlier peeks his head into the wispy beam of moonlight.

"I can easily reach it," he flutters. "But you? You can't."

Cody, eager to prove the owl wrong, tiptoes, stretching his arm as far as he can.

If Only, Cody thinks again, if only I could —

A feeling of weightlessness suddenly washes over him. He immediately glances around to see what had lifted him. Observing nothing nearby, Cody looks down to his feet, finding himself to be levitating off the ground.

He then looks up towards the star, stretching his arm out, and feels himself rising higher and higher. Bursting with happiness, Cody grasps the star. As he steadily inches closer to the ground, he holds onto the star carefully as if it were the China he helps his mother set out for tea. After giving the star a big hug, Cody picks up his bag and heads back home.

Cody climbs through his window, quietly shutting it. Still holding onto the star, he rests his bag down next to his bed. As Cody jumps into his bed and sets the star down carefully on his pillow, he promises himself he'll always take care of it, before drifting off to sleep