1. One

I stared up at the glistening expanse above me, watching the singelings slowly move about the cavern ceilings. I felt the wind blow through my hair, listening to the sound it made as it bounced off the walls of West Ridden. I loved to sit outside at night and listen to the sounds of insects and animals that you couldn't hear during the day.

“Lux, come inside you’ll catch a cold” my mother exclaimed, ushering me back inside of our living quarters in the north hall. Locking the door behind her, she turned to face me and pointed a short stubby finger at me.

“what were you doing up so late? you should be more careful, a iron mask could have caught you!” she said worriedly. “Plus you know first term starts tomorrow, you should be in bed.” School. I had forgotten that my seventh year started tomorrow and today was officially the last day of break. My last night of freedom.

“I know, but…” I began, “haven't you ever wondered?”

“Wondered what?” she asked.

“What stars look like?” I questioned.

“No. Because that's the kind of thinking that made your father leave in the first place” she stated , “Now off to bed with you.” My father was supposed to be some kind of archaeologist, obsessed with folklore, always off chasing legends and stories centuries old. My mother always said that his recklessness would catch up to him and she was right. One night when I was three years old he left and never came back. Not exactly the kind of guy you could look up to. I left the living room and made my way down the hall towards my bedroom. Laying down on my bed I buddyscreened my best friend jessica. She accepted my request and  turned on the holocam on my watch, projecting our conversation above my bed.

“Hey Lux, can’t sleep?”, Jess sat on her bed, clad in shorts and a baggy t-shirt.

“Not really” I answered honestly, “you?”

“Same” she replied, “what’s up?”

“I’m pretty anxious.” I said truthfully

“About what?”, she asked.

“Everything. Classes, teachers, friends, grades.” I responded.

“Hey, don’t sweat it, everything will be fine.” she assured me. I tended to over worry about these kinds of things.

“Thanks” I replied. “I got to go, night Jess.”

“Night Lux.” she replied sleepily, “ and don’t worry, I promise everything will be fine.” I saw her icon disappear from my screen and I set my watch on the bedside table, then slowly drifted off to sleep. If only we had know just how wrong she was.

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