Starlight, star bright.

Sorsha looked up at the clear, star sprinkled sky. Not a cloud to be seen, just the diamond twinkle of millions of tiny jewels. As she watched, one of the precious pinpoints of light began to plummet towards the frost covered field in which she knelt

Although only sixteen years old, it took the girl a moment to struggle to her feet. The biting cold left her bones aching and her flesh shivering, but she had no choice. Winter was the best time to look for stars fallen from the sky. If she found enough, she could sell them at the next market and make enough coin to buy bread and pay the rent on the hovel that even she, desperate as she was, refused to call home.

She pulled her threadbare shawl around her cotton clad shoulders and began to trudge towards the spot where the star might hit. Of course she knew the star merchants sold her gatherings for far more than they paid her, but what else could she do? Alone in this world, there was no one to feed her or put a roof over her head. There was no one to speak out for her and no one who would employ her because of her disability. Cursed they called her, damned and devil’s spawn. Tears formed their own stars in her sad grey eyes.

Wiping them away, Sorsha looked down at her withered arm and shortened right leg. A sigh escaped her. To be as other girls would be wonderful. Normality meant having a job, finding a husband and perhaps children. Shoulders hunched against the cold, she pushed the thoughts into the darkness where they belonged.

A glimmer of blue light sparkled in the near distance and she limped towards it as fast as she could. The glow lit up her face as she gazed down at the fallen star, where it lay on the stiff grass. Then the colour changed from the usual blue, to a rosy red and from that to a glorious gold. Sorsha’s heart leapt in her throat – a wishing star- she’d found a wishing star!

The fingers of her good hand flexed, as she stooped to pick up the prize of all prizes but then she paused, her fingertips mere centimeters away from the star gem. Yes, it was well know the rare and wonderful wishing stars were supposed to grant favours, but they weren’t always what you thought you wanted.

Sorsha straightened up. What did she wish for? Wealth, health and a life free from pain. To be able to walk the streets of her village without having stones and curses thrown at her. To never again see the sign people directed at her to ward off evil. To be treated as a human being instead of a species of mad dog. Was that so much to ask?

Her thoughts turned hot when she remembered how badly she’d been treated by those who should’ve shown compassion for her plight. She glanced down at the wishing star again. It now pulsed blue once more and driving away her doubts, the girl snatched it up.

At once her crippled body was suffused with a sense of peace and well being she’d never known before. Her awkward limbs felt light as air, when her feet left the ground. Up and up she rose towards the firmament, changing all the while. Her body fragmented into a million particles of light, then coalesced into one glittering ball of depthless beauty.

Even as she reached the heavens and joined her fellow stars, she was still Sorsha, but no longer a crippled and loveless child; she had become a queen of the heavens, far above the muck and reek of humankind. Never again would she know deprivation or the scorn of her so-called fellow creatures. She was a celestial beauty, far above and far away from all that had brought her down.

*

The following dawn two farmhands, on their way to work, found the huddled body. They stood and stared, until one of them turned the corpse over. For the first time ever, pity filled them when they recognised the pinched little face.

‘Ah well,’ one of them said, ‘she’s at peace now.’ He looked at his silent companion. ‘You wait here with her, I’ll go fetch the undertaker.’ He shook his head. ‘Most like they’ll bury her where she lies, they won’t want her in the churchyard alongside normal folk.’

High above, hidden by the growing daylight, the star called Sorsha danced and twirled with her new brothers and sisters, rejoicing in her freedom.

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4 Responses to “Starlight, star bright.”

  1. Just lovely! 😀

    Like

  2. Thanks for all the likes, Guys. 😀

    Like

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