The world is about to change...all because of the SuperNova.


2. 1

Lantana Astrell’s nose was bleeding - again. She loved almost everything about spring: the sixty- to eighty-degree weather, the burst of fragrant flowers, the endless chorus of birdsong. One of the few things that she didn’t like - the cause of her crimson-stained upper lip - was the pollen-induced allergies.

    Scowling, Lantana kept her head tipped back, hoping that there wasn’t blood on her shirt, and yanked a tissue out of her pocket. She rolled the tissue between her hands, forming a makeshift plug. She let her head drop and quickly shoved the plug into the streaming nostril. Once she was sure that the tissue was secure, Lantana scanned her well-worn Evanescence shirt and jean cutoffs for blood splatters. Finding none, she grabbed her book, brushed an ant off of it, and opened to the page that she’d been on before noticing the familiar wet trickle inside her left nostril.

    In Lantana’s small, pale ears, Metallica roared, filling her head with thoughts of “fuel”, “fire”, and “that which I desire”. Lantana’s peach-pale skin, normally cold to touch, was warmed by the gentle fingers of the sun. The rough bark of the oak tree pressed into Lantana’s back as she leaned against it, and busy ants frantically adjusted their paths to avoid her body.

    Lantana Astrell was beautiful in a way that was subtle and not overpowering, emphasized with makeup during the school day and left natural at home. Her golden-blonde hair, highlighted with streaks of cobalt blue, fell almost to her waist in not-quite-straight strands. Her skin was pale and barely kissed by sunlight, and her face sported just a couple of fading zits and the shadows of acne past. Her breasts were small, barely filling the 34B bra that she wore, and her waist and limbs were thin with the barest hint of muscle. Her nose and mouth were unremarkable.

    Of all of Lantana’s features, it was her eyes that drew the most attention. The outer rims of her irises were a dark blue, which faded into green. A ring of the lightest shade of this green circled her pupils. Often, her eyes appeared to glow, especially when hit with the right light.

    Lantana was a beautiful girl, but she didn’t always believe it.

    “Lanni, Lanni, Lanni!”

    Lantana pulled an earbud out and left it to hang loose as her little sister came running towards her, hands cupped around an unseen object.

    “What did you find, Lila-bear?”

    “Lookit, Lanni! It’s a pretty rock!” Lilac shoved her hands under her sister’s still-plugged nose.

    Sitting on the girl’s palm was a small rock rock that pulsed with a strange red light.

    “Lilac,” Lantana started, eyes wide. “Where did you find that?”

    Lilac stretched a tiny finger skywards. “It almost landed on my foot!”

    Lantana reached out and took the crimson-wreathed stone from her sister’s hand. The stone pulsed, the red was replaced with black, and Lantana felt, saw, and heard no more.

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