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The Star Crosser
Wasn’t there any other way? Couldn’t there be another solution? Why did this time have to result in death? Why were they waiting so long to decide whatever they wanted? It was like his life didn’t matter to them.
Kat sat at the edge of the porch, her dead brother in her arms. His blank face stared hauntingly up at her. She sobbed and held him, waiting for the Koal Brothers to make their decision. The older of the brothers, Riven, donned a black cloak, his clothes resembling leather. He had let his hood slip to reveal his blue and black hair, his glowing gray eyes staring into the depths of his own world at the moment. His brother, Sky, had the same expression. His hair was black, his green eyes staring around him in boredom.
Kat wasn’t sure what they’d done… what they were going to do. She had been babysitting her little brother, Simon, while her parents went to a business meeting for her father. The sun had been setting when Kat had called for her brother to come in. She had come out to the porch to find him on the ground, and the Koal Brothers standing where they stood now.
Since her family had moved to the small town, she had heard of the legend of the Koal Brothers. They took something of yours, and, if you wanted it back, you had to give something of yourself. Usually, they took lives, and in return, got servitude… money… or nothing if they didn’t find anything they liked.
Whatever they got was put to good… or bad use, whichever was necessary first. No one knew what they did with what they took. Everyone was just careful to not get caught by them. That, Kat had not known about the Koal Brothers.
Their decision tonight was one that took the longest. Unknown to Kat, Riven was seeing something he’d never seen before. Riven was the one who accepted the payments, for he was more warm than his brother and much more of a quick learner; it was Sky who got to the do the dirty work, the taking. Riven was seeing the undiscovered talent in Kat as she held her small sibling. She’d had recognized them on the spot, so clearly she’d believed the town stories and was knowledgeable.
“How old are you, Kat?” asked Riven, coming out of his trance.
“F-fifteen,” she whimpered, her eyes on Simon. “Can’t you bring him back?”
Sky sighed. “Yes, we can,” he said, not bothering to hide his annoyance. “If you could give us something in return.”
She looked up at him. “What do you want?” What could they possibly want from her?
“You,” said Riven. Sky was bewildered once he saw the admiring look on his brother’s face. He was looking at the small girl, and wondered what he saw in her.
Kat was just as confused. “Me?”
“Riven, what did you see?” Sky asked. “What could she possibly give us?”
“You can’t see it?” Riven asked in reply. “Clearly, when she is changed, she’ll have insurmountable power. The Karsilian’s power is not lost. It’s in her blood.”
Kat looked up at the brothers, understanding absolutely nothing. She’d only gotten the gist of it; she had something they wanted, and she could use it to bring her nine-year-old brother back.
“How could it possibly be in her blood? She can’t be her descendent, if thatâ€˜s what you mean. Mora died, she’d been the last of the bloodline.”
“Obviously, she’d left us a small parting gift. And it’s in this girl.”
Both of the brothers looked at Kat with appraising eyes. They marveled at the possibilities while Kat sobbed over her brother. She couldn’t understand what was taking so long. Why didn’t they just take what they wanted, and bring her brother back? She could only imagine the sorrow that would come across her parents when they came home. It would come to being Kat’s fault, for not keeping a better eye on her little brother. She wouldn’t be able to stand their accusing eyes, being the source of their pain.
The Koal brothers seemed to have known what she was thinking. “We can give your parents their son back of course,” Riven repeated quietly.
“Then why don’t you?” Kat replied, not meeting their gaze.
“Because you have to make the choice”
“What?” Sky asked incredulously. “Since when do the humans decide?”
“She isn’t an ordinary human, Sky. Didn’t I just say that Mora’s power is in her blood? Don’t you ever listen? It’s like… some sort of anomaly that occurred when she was born. Maybe Mora stopped by before she died.”
Kat looked up at them, now confused about what they were saying. Who or what was Mora? What anomaly? There was nothing so special about her. Kat was sometimes a klutz and was usually shy among other kids her age. No one at the new school picked on her, because no one noticed her. Simon, on the other hand, was very outgoing and was good at sports. He became very popular among the soccer players at his elementary school. Kat was a sophomore nobody but the computers of the school records knew existed.
“Kat,” Riven called to her. She looked up. “Would you be willing to come with us if we give you your brother back?”
“Come with you? Where?”
“That is for us to tell you. If we give life back to your brother, you’ll have to leave your family. It will be as if you never existed to them. They will only have a son… no other siblings.”
Kat looked down at her brother. He would be greatly missed. So many people would cry over this little boy. The only people who would be sad if Kat was gone would be no one, only she would feel the pain of leaving.
“Fine. I’ll come with you.”
The brothers motioned for her to come to them. As she stood, there was a great flash of green light across the sky and all around them. Nothing but bright green could be seen for one second, then everything came into view again. Simon was not on the porch.
“What did--?” Kat asked as Riven put his hand up. He went to the window of her house, Kat followed and looked through it with him.
From the window, one would be able to see the whole living room. The television was on the wall, with a black couch facing it. A small wooden coffee table was in the center of the room. A board game was on it, the pieces and cards laid around it. A young girl unrecognizable to Kat was playing it, with Simon.
“Who is she?” Kat asked Riven.
“She is the babysitter,” he replied. “The Carrington’s never had a fifteen-year-old daughter. They still went to their business meeting, but called the neighborhood sitter to sit for them. The girl has baby-sat for almost all the children who live on this street.”
“So… if I went in there, Simon won’t know who I am?” Kat asked.
“Not one clue. Like you never existed,” Sky replied when he came to stand behind them. “Can’t we leave now, Riven?”
“Where are we going?” asked Kat.
“To where we come from,” Riven answered. “To Karsiladon. There, you would fulfill your part of the bargain.”
Riven was excited, but kept himself quiet. He couldn’t believe he’d found her, found Mora’s prophesized Star Crosser. The being that she had left her power to. The one who would lead his people against the Dentelitri--the trolls, gargoyles, and evil phaeries that were plaguing his and Sky’s world. Mora’s incredible Karsilian power, hidden in this young girl, would finally bring the Dentelitri out. And bring Delcipher--the evil Dentelitri leader--to justice.
All that--the glory of victory and triumph--was now possible, through young fifteen-year-old Kat, the girl that no one noticed leave with the Koal Brothers.