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The Little Boy Who Lived On A Shooting Star

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I once met a little boy
Who lived on a shooting star,
And as I approached him
I noticed that something was wrong.
His wispy, mud-colored eyebrows were pushed together,
His eyes were clenched shut,
And he was franticly murmuring indistinct words to himself.

All of a sudden,
He stopped mumbling,
Lifted his head
And, eyes still shut said:
“Hello. I am blind and know not who you are
But open your ears and you shall know who I am”

And so, I opened my ears
And listened,
And listened,
And listened,
But all I could hear
Was the gentle hum of silence.

Eventually I heard a noise
It started off as a whisper
Then escalated,
Like a wave that starts off moving slowly
Only to crash at the shoreline.
And before long,
My ears were ringing with the desperate cries
Of people wishing on the star
That lay beneath my cold, bare feet.
And with every wish,
The little boy
With the unkempt, mouse-colored hair,
And eyes the size of dinner plates
That saw nothing but felt all,
Cringed and cried out:
“NO! You are beautiful!”
And his words slowly melted from exasperation
Into despondency.

“I wish I didn’t have so many freckles”
“NO! You are beautiful!”
“I wish he liked me”
“NO! You are beautiful!”
“I wish my eyes were a different color”
“NO! You are beautiful!”
“I wish my hair was straight”
“No! You are beautiful!”
“I wish my nose wasn’t so big”
“No! You are beautiful.”
“I wish I was thinner”
“No. You are beautiful.”
“I wish I was popular”
“No. You are beautiful.”

The little boy turned his head towards me,
And his eyes, the size of dinner plates
That saw nothing but felt all,
Were filled with gloom

“Long, long ago,” he said
“I was a different person.
My brothers, sisters and I
Had the power
To grant wishes.
But with time,
That power corrupted us,
Blackening our once pure souls,
As we grew superficial and conceited.
We used our power
To indulge in our every desire,
And as we grew more and more beautiful
Our hearts grew more and more ugly.”

“As punishment for our vanity,
We were robbed of our sense of sight,
So I no longer have anything but memories to remind me
Of what a sunset looks like,
Of the radiant glow of the moon,
And of how the colors of a rainbow blend together.
Eternal youth has been thrust upon us,
To forever remind me
Of how staying young was once my greatest desire,
But now I yearn for nothing more
Than the humble honor of old age.
My siblings and I lost the power to grant wishes,
And were instead forced to listed to the wishes of others for all of time,
Unable to change anything.
For I yell: “You are beautiful!”
But I know that nobody can hear me,
No matter how loudly I shout,
Because the sound of their never-ending wishes
Drowns out the sound
Of my pleas.”

“And I am no longer capable of crying
Because all of my tears
Have run down my cheeks long ago,
Leaving my empty and dry.”

“So I ask you for one thing:
When you return to Earth,
Promise me that you shall tell people my story.
Tell them of the little boy
Who lives on a shooting star,
And his brothers and sisters
Who live on birthday candles,
And dandelion seeds,
And wishbones,
And fallen eyelashes,
And coins tossed into fountains.”

“And tell people that they are beautiful
For I cling to the hope that they might listen to you
Because they do not listen to me.”

“And promise me
That no matter what people tell you
No matter what you tell yourself
You shall always remember
That you are beautiful, too.”

And then I uttered the first and last words I would ever say
To the little boy who lived on a shooting star,
With eyes the size of dinner plates
That saw nothing but felt all,
“But, how could you possibly know this, for are you not blind?”

And the little boy with the unkempt mouse-colored hair,
And eyes as wide as dinner plates
That saw nothing but felt all,
Looked at me and said:
“Oh, if only you could see what I see.”

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

PaigeStreet This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 26, 2012 at 3:49 am:
This story is beautiful and amazing. I am  caught of gaurd with your creative angle and lucid wisdom. Wow.
zoekibbelaar This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 24, 2012 at 4:47 pm :
THANK YOU! :) all of your comments mean so much to me!
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