Analaura had never been completely satisfied with her name.
She thought it was too exquisite for her, too regal-sounding. In reality, the young girl is not of royal blood, nor is she sophisticated by her own standards. Analaura sees herself as a simple girl living in England in the 21st century, working a job at a coffee shop and living what she knows as a normal life. She reads books almost daily whenever she has time to relax, mostly prejudiced towards fantasy stories. Science fiction and historical fiction are interesting to her, but most of them don't quite capture her attention like fantasy does, with the exception of one certain historical fiction story.
The first historical fiction book that Analaura had picked up discussed the Greek Zodiac Signs in personified forms. She found it very odd that even though the book was in the historical fiction section in her local library, it was about astrology, which she thought of as more of science fiction.
After questioning one of her good librarian friends, who was an elderly woman whom she had gotten to know well over the years, Analaura was told that the book being in the historical fiction section was no mistake. The Zodiac Signs did indeed exist in personified form, even generally having the form of humans. They had not visited the Earth in quite a long time, the elderly librarian said, but she remembered when they had. With a wistful sparkle in her eyes, the woman verbally recalled Aquarius, whom she had a lovely friendship with back in the 1950's.
"The young lady was absolutely lovely, very smart and kind. She had gorgeous hair, bright blue with sea green ends. Her eyes were pretty too, she had heterochromia: one blue eye and one green. We used to talk a lot about our own races with one another. I believe we learned a lot from one another."
"Races?" Analaura questioned.
"Ah, yes, the Zodiac Signs are a race all their own, dear. They do have the appearance of humans, with the exception of their hair color and symbols that they have inscribed on different parts of their bodies, but they can use magic, and they often used it to protect the Earth from what we would call aliens. Although I suppose the Zodiac Signs would be considered aliens to us too in a way."
Analaura trusted the old woman's words, but she couldn't help but ask: "If the Zodiac Signs exist in personified form, why have I never seen them?"
At this the librarian lowered her head a bit and closed her eyes, a sad expression on her face. "For whatever reason, they left this old place quite a while ago. I believe, if memory serves, they left for their home planet Patromia around 1979. Haven't seen them since, love. It's a shame really, they were such good-hearted folks…"
"And no one knows why they left?" Analaura was fully engrossed in this story by now; it was so fascinating and she wanted to know as much as possible. She dared to think it might be more interesting to her than any fantasy story she had read as of yet, which was out of the ordinary, considering it was historical fiction.
"I'm sure they left for a good reason. But to answer your question, I'm afraid not. There was no public warning, they just up and left."
"It must have been a very important matter then," Analaura proposed. "Something they had to tend to right away."
"Yes, but that certainly doesn't explain why they've been gone for so long," the librarian countered. "Anyhow, dear, I'm sorry to end the conversation this way. It has been a fun one for sure, but the library is closing in about 10 minutes. You should pack up your things and be on your way."
"Alright," Analaura agreed, standing up from the chair she had been sitting in and picking up her book bag. "Before I leave, may I check out this book?" She held up the book that she had come to question the elderly woman about, having held it in her hands this entire time.
"Of course, love," the librarian said, smiling as she took Analaura's library card from her hand opposite the one clutching the book.
Ever since that day, Analaura had been fascinated with the idea that the Zodiac Signs were real, tangible beings that had actually walked this Earth. She had done extensive research and saw that what her librarian friend had told her was true; there were old news articles and Wikipedia pages about each of the Signs and what they did as a group. Analaura's Zodiac Sign was Virgo, so she had researched on Virgo the most. The first thing she noticed was that Virgo looked a lot like her: medium-length hair, bangs with a middle part, brown eyes, tanned skin, hourglass figure. Was that a coincidence? She had no idea, but it made her quite proud to have similar features to a being that was a part of a race that had saved the Earth multiple times.
The door jangles as a customer comes in. Analaura stops organizing the shelves at the back of the store to go to the counter and help the customer. Immediately upon seeing the woman, Analaura senses a sort of familiarity, even though she is certain she has never met this person before. The woman standing before the counter is wearing a green hoodie with the hood covering her hair, navy blue jeans, and is the same height as Analaura herself. She has brown eyes, and tan skin…
Analaura's eyes widen as the woman pushes her hood back to reveal dark royal blue hair with bangs parted in the middle, revealing on her forehead the symbol for Virgo. The woman notices Analaura's look of recognition, and she smiles brightly and says with a noticeable English accent, "Nice to meet you, Analaura. We're back."