Three Months Later
Hope’s words chorused through my ears as I pasted my stormy gray eyes, the eyes that were tired of weeping, with black eyeliner.
All I could think about was how my new cornoration dress was too scratchy.
I couldn’t think of her. No, not now. Hope couldn’t make me think about my sister.
In her own words, I needed to move on.
And if I cried one more time, I would ruin my makeup.
Was that the only reason though? No, I don’t think so.
“Astrid, you’ve seen with your own eyes what they’ve taken from us. They have ripped our elder trees, they have tortured out beautiful landscape and turned it into their own. This hideout won’t do anymore. We are fenced in this place, someone is sure to find us soon. You know how many of us have been murdered over this. But worst of all, you know how many Solstice Children are missing. Astrid, it’s time. What’s left of the Solstice Children, whatever it is, we need a leader. You are the heir. It’s your responsibility to lead us.
“Hope, I don’t think I’m-” I was cut off.
“Astrid, Eve would want this.”
I turned away. I hadn’t spoken her name since her funeral.
A tear slipped from one of Hope’s beautiful chestnut brown eyes.
“You know it wasn’t anyone’s fault. Hope, you know you shouldn’t blame yourself. Eve saved you, because that’s the type of person she is. She saves people. That courageous girl… it was he destiny to die. And we just need to remember her for what she was, not how she died. Hope, she would’ve died on the inside if she didn’t manage to save you. Her last spark of power wasn’t wasted on you. I know you literally don’t know who you are, or where you came from, but I need you to believe me.”
She looked up at me. “Spoken like the words of a true queen.”
I looked away once more. “I can’t do this.”
“You need to do this. And you know it. The pixies worked so hard to make it perfect…”
I sighed, “I am aware.”
I was lost in a moment of mind, “Yes?”
“Promise me you will become queen today?”
She pleaded with her eyes, and I thought back to three months past…
“But I will follow you, my dear sister, wherever you choose. We are a team. I swear to you, we will never be separated again. And I don’t break promises…”
I straightened up, and spoke through gritted teeth, “I don’t make any promises.”
Andromeda watched as vehicles dozed concrete over the blooms of Eclipses.
“I will take away their home, and everything they love.” she said to herself.
She remembered her father, and how many times he had failed to do what he wanted to do, how many times he failed in wiping out every. single. Solstice child in existence.
“I will live on his legacy.” Andromeda felt like shouting it to the world.
She thought back to many years ago, he childhood, torturing that excuse for a girl, Eve. She was a mistake, she was a problem.
And Andromeda was glad she was dead. A smile curled at the corner of her lips. She deserved every little thing she received in life.
“The Solstice Children will pay for their foolishness!” She shouted to the construction site. Her army repeated it with joy.
I stared into Atticus’ blue eyes. They always seemed to be tear stained these days.
The forest creaked, and branches split. The sky was a cloudy gray, and I knew it was about to rain.
It had been three months. Three months ago, Eve died. My Best friend was murdered. I vowed to myself that Equinox would pay for what they did to her. Three months ago, Atticus had convinced me to run away from our problems. We had headed into the forest. We hunted. And we survived. I knew we had to return soon.
But first, I wanted to do something.
“So… today I turn 14,” Atticus looked away from me.
“Happy Birthday.” I said, but my words had no taste to them. They were plain and simple.
I had to wait until the Summer Solstice to turn 14. I had never realized that Atticus was a few months older than I.
“D-do you ever wonder how things are in Eclipses?” I was making progress. But I was sure he would reply bitterly. I was correct.
“I bet you that Eclipses is destroyed by now, Iris.”
He still didn’t look at me. His eyes were clouded by grief, just like the sky.
“You know, Eve is in a better place,” I finally said it. I finally had the guts to let him know.
“Yeah, well I’m well aware.”
“They will regret what they did. I will play a part in that. I will make them regret the killing of the Queen, and of Eve.”
I sighed. Atticus seemed to be in another dimension.
“Just something to think about.” I spoke once more.
And with that, the sky let out all it’s tears.
And I was convinced those tears were for Eve Moonstreak.
“Hey, Hope. Collin’s sad eyes greeted me. He sat in a bush inside of our hideout. His eyes were stained with tears, and he made a meager attempt to wipe them with his jacket sleeve.
“Are you ready for the coronation?” I asked,
“It’s about time we had someone as strong as Astrid to lead us.”
I took that remark as a yes.
“I’ve been thinking…” I began,
“What is it now?” he snapped at me,
“It’s about time we assess the damage.”
“No. There is no possible way you can make me go back to that place. I only want to remember Eclipses for how beautiful it was. Not for how badly they destroyed it.”
“Please Collin. I’m begging you. There might be more of us out there, waiting to be saved.”
He sat there with his fingers laced for what seemed like forever.
“Fine. I’ll go. After the cornoration, though.”
Hope and Collin stood, watching me walk slowly down the stone trail. They would never expect what I planned to do.
No, nobody would expect it.
All the pixies lined up. My pixie looked me into the eyes.
“Astrid Moonstreak. Are you prepared for this position of queen of Eclipses? Do you promise to always have the needs of the Solstice Children in mind? Do you promise to be loyal, and only loyal to the Solstice Children? Do you promise to only use your power for peace, and not for recklessness?”
I looked her straight in the eyes.
I looked her straight in the eyes.
And I spoke two little, meaningful words, “I do.”
I turned around. They were expecting me to make my speech. My queenship required it.
Oh, I would make a speech alright.
“I have the best interest of the Solstice Children in mind. Remember that. I am leaving. you are plenty strong enough, do not fear. I will be here in spirit. Farewell. I shall return soon!”
“What are you doing?” Collin’s pixie looked fairly distressed.
Hope gasped. “Yes, Astrid, What ARE you doing?” she hissed.
“I shouldn’t have to repeat myself. I am going to Equinox.”
And with that, I vanished.
“Eve, my dear Eve. Awaken from your slumber.”