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Children of the Sky This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Augustus’ sterling grey eyes seemed to glow in the moonlight. A slight breeze shifted his long, white hair and gently ran over his skin. It was the dead of night and Augustus was lying on a soft bed of grass with his back supported by a large Mondamion Tree; a rare tree native to the valley he lived near, which was easily a hundred times his size. He gazed up at the nearest moon, Zeus, which was the only of the three visible at this time of the year; the stars seemed to twinkle behind the great gold moon. Augustus thought about the bedtime stories his mother would tell him, stories of an entire separate world to his. A world called earth and inhabited by humans, a somewhat primitive species of offlings. He wondered what the man was like that his mother named him after. Augustus; it was a strange name and whenever people asked him of it he replied with, “it’s Roman.” Which would usually get him sour faces and teases by the other children his age. Roman; another strange name. The other people of his small town thought his mother was insane; but Augustus could feel the truth in his mother’s stories.

“I want to go there.” Augustus said looking up at the bright moon. “Go where sweetheart?” came his mother’s voice. “To earth.” Augustus replied as his mother slowly dropped to both of her knees next to her son. “It’s a beautiful place.” His mother said as she placed her hand on Augustus’ shoulder. “It is not at all perfect; but compared to this great sphere it is far more majestic.” She spoke as she looked at her son, who gazed up at the night sky with the eyes of a great adventurer. Her long blonde hair danced in the wind as she ran her hand through her son’s pure hair.

“Come now; you should be at rest.” Augustus’ mother said with a smile breaking the silence. Augustus nodded as he stood up; his mother did the same, she was much taller than her twelve year old son. The two then made their way back to their cottage like house.

“Mother, can you tell me another story?” Augustus asked his mother as she tucked him into bed; her hair shifted to aside as she tilted her head and hummed a beautiful tune. “Might you have anything particular in mind?” His mother asked as she ceased her humming. Augustus nodded as he said, “tell me more about Augustus.” His mother smiled as she drew her nose close to her sons and said, “he is a young boy who is loved by his mother.” She began to tickle her son; who squirmed around in his bed as he laughed. “You know what I meant, mother.” Augustus said as his mother stopped. “The man I named you after was a great Roman who was both powerful and courageous.” Augustus’ mother explained as she sat upright and placed her hands on her lap. “What is important is how you shape this great sphere and leave your name as Augustus in the hearts of our fellow offlings.” His mother said in a soft tone as she placed her hand on her son’s left cheek; as his eyes closed and he began to fall asleep she neared him and kissed him on the forehead.

Dream; I know you are the one who was chosen. Augustus’ mother thought as she leaned against the doorway to his room, gazing at her own flesh and blood resting peacefully. For one day all shall know of Augustus the righteous! His mother thought as her heart burned with passion.

The fresh air tingled the inside of Augustus’ nose. His eyes gazed at a small cat as it crept across the road in front of him. Augustus was walking to the market with the intent on buying some sweets for after dinner. His mother was at home tending the garden in front of his house. He was about halfway to the market when he was stopped by Dante and his goons.

“Where do ya’ think yer’ goin oddball?” Dante pestered Augustus as he crossed his arms and stepped in front of him.

“None of your business; get out of my way, tubby.” Augustus retorted as he shoved the taller boy aside with his left arm. Dante was taller than Augustus; but he was much fatter as well. He had a round face and always had his mouth stuffed with food. Augustus on the other hand was blessed with good looks and a natural physically fit body since he was born. Dante hated Augustus for those two reasons.

Dante cringed his eyebrows. “Your mother! She’s crazy; my mum and pa told me so!” Dante yelled after Augustus. Augustus stopped in his tracks, then spun around on his heels and made his way towards Dante and his four troops.

“You would do wise as to not speak ill of my mother.” Augustus said with a raised tone in his voice.

“And what if I don’t? Will you cry, you scrawny momma’s boy!” Dante blurted out as he and his friends began to laugh. That laughter; Augustus hated it. It was the most appalling thing to him; and plus these five boys didn’t look all that attractive when they laughed; not to say that they looked attractive at all. To Augustus these five resembled sneering pigs squealing and oinking as they flung there fat, tiny limbs about here and there.

Augustus walked up to Dante so that the two where face to face. “You’re worthless.” Augustus said as his eyes narrowed. He then turned around and was about to walk away; however Dante didn’t take well to this, somewhat, simple remark. Before Augustus new it he was face first in the dirt and then hoisted back up by two of Dante’s colleagues. They held Augustus up as Dante laid a firm fist into his stomach. Augustus’ eyes widened at the pain; but it was only temporary. In an instant Augustus, with narrow eyes, brought his knee up straight into Dante’s jaw hurling the oversized boy to the ground. With blinding speed Augustus had torn free from Dante’s goons grips’ and had laid two blows on each ones chest sending they too flying towards the ground. All five then took to their feet and ran the opposite direction. “Figures,” Augustus said to himself as he wiped the side of his mouth. “Cowards!” He yelled after the retreating boys. He then knelt down and began to collect the silver coins that fell out of his pockets during the commotion. After doing so he then continued his trek to the village market.

Augustus had a large smile as sweet aroma’s filled his nostrils. He loved visiting the market. Every now and then travelers would set up shop intent on selling foreign goods; Augustus’ eyes fell upon such a man who had an old rackety cart with shields and blades on top of it. The man had chainmail under a red and gold dyed tunic that had a design and wore a full on metal helmet. Augustus’ silver eyes widened as the man said, “you there, come closer.” Augustus raised an eyebrow questioningly as he pointed at himself. “Yes you with the white hair.” The man called out to Augustus, the towns people’s eyes fell upon Augustus. Augustus ignored the stares; he knew no one liked him or his mother. People where so rude to his mother that she couldn’t even show her face in public, Augustus himself was lucky that the only resentment they showed him were glares and silence.

“Is there something the matter, brave sir?” Augustus asked the man as he walked up to his cart. “No I just wanted to make sure my eyes weren’t fooling me; or that the slots in my helmet weren’t becoming filled with dirt.” The man stated. Augustus looked on puzzled. “Tell me; where you born with white hair?” The man asked, Augustus nodded in reply. “And correct me if I’m wrong; your eyes are silver?” The man asked once more, which Augustus nodded once more. “I see then. My boy, I will remember this day ‘til I have met my end. To think I have met a Child of the Sky.” The man said with an excited tone in his voice. Augustus looked puzzled. “Wait, what?” Augustus asked. Before the man could reply someone screamed, “There he is!” Augustus could already discern it as Dante’s father’s voice. Without hesitation Augustus took off down the dirt path back towards his house.

Waiting there in front of his cottage was a crowd of angry, yelling mothers as well as Dante and his goons. The five sat around wailing as they poked their injuries. “What’s going on?! Where is my mother?!” Augustus shouted; everyone grew silent. As Augustus moved through the crowd they backed off from him revealing his mother lying in the garden. “Mother!” Augustus shouted as he ran to her side. She had blood on her forehead and was obviously unconscious. “Who did this?!” Augustus shouted as he closed his eyes and flipped his mother over so she was facing him as he took her into his arms.

“We did!” Came Dante’s father, Lentro’s, voice; at his back where the angry mothers’ husbands. “You would dare raise your hand against a woman!!!” Augustus shouted as he softly placed his mother down then rose to his feet. “She’s no woman and you should be worried about yourself, boy!” Lentro shouted back as he and his men wielded clubs and pitchforks. Augustus spread his stance as he watched the men near him. I won’t let them hurt her any more than they have! Augustus shouted in his mind. “Aria and Augustus; I Lentro, as village elder, have found you two as a threat to the peace of our small town. Thus, you shall be sentenced to death by beating!” Lentro shouted as the crowd cheered enthusiastically.

“Well now we can’t have that. That boy is Sky Born; it is a crime to so much as raise your tone against his kind. Besides how could you all live with yourselves knowing you had killed an innocent young boy?” Came a voice from behind the crowd. It was the warrior from the market; Augustus could tell only by his helmet, for he had a full suite of armor that twinkled in the light and a different red tunic over it. He had a nimble looking sword strapped to his belt and a spade shaped shield dangling from one shoulder; in his hands he held a great axe that looked as if it could tear a man apart in a single strike.

“You’re preposterous; why would a Child of the Sky have been born here?!” Lentro shouted at the lone warrior.

“How would I know that? All I know is that that boy is Sky Born; also that if you don’t disperse now I would be very tempted to cut all of you down. The boy is right; how dare you raise your hand against a woman!” the warrior shouted back.

To this the women withdrew from the cottage; hurridly making their way past the warrior, who didn’t move an inch as they surged past him. Now it was just the men, who were actually surrounded. “You foreigner, how dare you- Before Lentro could finish the warrior shoved his way past him. Lentro fell to the ground and watched in shock as his fellow townsmen moved out of the man’s way.

The warrior knelt next to Augustus’ mother as he dug the blade of his axe into the dirt; he then withdrew his blade and shield and handed them to Augustus, who received the weapons with a raised eyebrow. “May I ask you to cover my back as I place your mother in your house?” The warrior asked; Augustus nodded with his eyes fixed on the townsmen who all watched on with curiosity. Within about a minute the warrior had exited Augustus’ house and took his axe back into his hands.

“Now then my boy; shall we teach these men some manners?” The warrior asked Augustus as the townsmen grew shocked. Augustus stared down Lentro, “that one’s mine.” Augustus said as a spark lit in his eyes, his silver eyes dug into the townsmen’s minds.

“Run!” cried a townsman; to that the entire group, including the town elder, ran as fast they could down the dirt path and towards the village. “Figures.” The warrior said as he lowered his axe and placed his hand on his hip. “Cowards!” Augustus shouted after the fleeing men.

“Thank you for your help.” Aria said to the warrior as Augustus placed a wet rag on her forehead; she lay nestled comfortly in her bed.

“It is included in a warriors’ creed to combat evil; do you have experiences like this often?” the man replied then asked.

“Well, I’ve never really been harassed like this before.” Aria replied as she placed her hand onto her forehead.

“I’m sorry mother; this was probably all my fault.” Augustus said with guilt in his eyes. His mother looked towards him as she placed her hand on his cheek and smiled at him; Augustus smiled back.

“Well, I wouldn’t consider this place safe anymore; it will only be a matter of time to which those men will strike again.” The warrior declared.

“Yes, it seems that you’re right.” Aria replied.

“By the way; what is your name honorable sir?” Augustus asked the warrior; completely ignoring the previous comments.

“It is Darius.” The warrior replied.

“I am Augustus; my mother’s name is Aria.” Augustus replied with a smile and bright eyes.

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