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Zodiac

She’s a quiet girl, that one. She’s one of… y’know… one of them. One of those girls, the kind that wouldn’t give any boy a second glance. She’s one of those girls, the ones that smile straight at the sun because they can, the ones that could scare away the rain if they so chose. She’s the girl who tucks her hair behind her ears so that the edges flick up around the corners of her lips, shiny as maraschino cherries.


So you wouldn’t know where she goes every night. You could guess, I mean, who knows what that kind of girl does in her free-time. But you wouldn’t guess that she slips out onto her roof. You wouldn’t guess that she smiles at the moon like she smiles at the sun and whispers, I’m here. You wouldn’t guess that the very stars come down to dance with her.


But they do.


Just one star, I should mention. A very special star by the name of Shaula. The stinger of Scorpius. She is Minamref. And Karik karik. A star of many names, she likes to think to herself as she smoothes her gossamer gown and powders her nose with stardust. Of course, our girl here doesn’t care about that. She doesn’t care that this star has burned her sisters. Scattered them away like dust because she was too bright for them. She dances with Shaula, the starkiller, and she twirls her across the tiles. Tell me stories, the girl whispers. Tell me stories about the stars.


Shaula presses her forehead to the girl’s and whispers the secrets of the stars. She tells her of how the stars come alive and dance when no one is looking. She tells her of the Ballet of Queens, when Helios dared anyone to try and dance with her. It was me, Shaula whispers. I danced with the Sun and kissed her goodnight. She tells her of all the stories she knows, all the centuries of tales that have been called up to the heavens. But the girl wants more than just stories.


“If you’d like, love,” Shaula says softly. “You can come with me and make them up yourself.”


“Yes,” The girls breathes and her fingertips shimmer when she runs them along the cheek of her star. “Yes, I want to go with you. Please. Take me with you.”


And Shaula does. She reaches into the girl’s chest and steals her heart away. She wraps the threads of dripping rubies into a bow and presses a kiss to the still-beating gem. Her lips stain an even darker red. The girl is motionless on the roof, the hole in her chest leaking across the dance floor. But when Shaula kisses her heart, the new star stands and leaves her old puppet behind. She holds the hand of the stinger, the starkiller, and they dance up to the heavens together.


When the police find the girl’s body in the morning, well, who would be surprised? They know the signs. They know what happens when they find a girl with her heart missing from her chest but gifted with a kiss. It’s a tragedy sure, but…


Well, that girl always did love the sun. No one is shocked to find that she wanted to be one herself.






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