All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
My World in Pieces
On the planet Stoikheion, meaning elements in Greek, about 52 million miles away from the Milky Way galaxy, children are born every day. Children don’t get officially named until the New Year’s Eve of their eighth year. This is because that special New Year’s is when they get their power sign. They are usually named in relation to their power, so children are known as a four digit number for the first eight years of their life. Finally, when the New Year's Eve of their eighth year arrives, all the little children line up to get their names and their power signs.
There are only four power signs on planet Stoikheion: air, water, fire, and earth. Each child is born with the potential to one of the four elemental magics. Citizens of Stoikheion come around with a special light called the jubi. These special citizens are called Chekrs. All the little eight year olds hold out the underside of their wrists waiting eagerly for a Chekr to come around with the jubi. This light reveals the child's power sign. Every child will get one power sign that they will learn to use and master. But, every one hundred years, a girl is found with all four elemental powers. This child’s powers is found just like every other eight year olds powers, with the jubi, but when found, she is dragged into another room and shortly thereafter becomes the Queen of Stoikheion.
Every queen lives for their one hundred year reign, and then dies, for another queen must be found. Queens are extremely closely guarded so as to avoid death before their rein is over. If this were to happen, the planet wouldn’t be ruled until the next Queen is found and the planet will all into chaos. They are also very hard to kill in general. Since they can use all the elemental magics against the person or persons, they are more powerful than any other being on the planet. The Queens know all there is to know about self defense and the defending of others.
On January 1st after a Queen is found, she presents herself to the people of the planet from the third highest balcony of Aheras Castle facing east. She announces her name, shows her power signs, and tells everyone gathered in the square what she plans to do for the planet. This speech usually includes something along the lines of, “As your new Queen, I will defend our planet to the best of my ability and will keep peace with the other planets around us.”
Then the Queen goes into defense training for the whole first year of her reign; meaning that for one whole year, there are technically two Queens. The old Queen keeps the planet in shape until the new one returns and the old Queen’s life ends. After the training, the Queen will know everything there is to know about defense, for they study the previous warriors and ninjas of the galaxy night after night, and learn from their mistakes. Every year, there are more warriors and ninjas recruited, and even more retires so there are more mistakes to learn from, hence every year the defense gets stronger and stronger.
“Debra? Where are you?” asked Laon. Laon was a very tall, about six foot four, and very muscular man. He had short, chestnut brown hair that always seemed to look spiky and unkempt even though he brushed it every morning. He was wearing dark jeans that looked extremely worn out at the knees and dark brown tennis shoes tied in a double knot. His shirt was green, brown, white, and yellow plaid, short sleeve button-up. He also looked very tan in the evening glow.
“Over here sweetie. Behind the third bush, up about four feet,” replied Debra in a hushed tone. She was a little on the short side, for being twenty-four, but was more beautiful than most. She had not-quite-waist-length, dark brown, naturally wavy, very thick hair that fell beautifully over her shoulders. She was wearing a black short sleeve t-shirt, and black skinny jeans with knee high, zip-up, black leather boots with a two inch heel so sneaking around was easier. She had good skin, never got any acne, but she never seemed to be able to tan. She always looked so pale! She even tried a spray tan once and it didn’t last any more than a couple of days.
Laon shuffles around in the twilight to find his girlfriend, squatting behind a cluster of bushes on a very small ledge sticking out from a huge rock formation. He pushes some of the bushes aside while grabbing his lover’s hands and pulls her slowly closer and closer until she gently comes off the ledge to land safely into his arms.
“I know you’re not supposed to be seen, dear, but couldn’t you find a less dangerous place to hide?” Laon asked as he put her down, “We are in the middle of nowhere; you don’t have to be that obscure.”
“I don’t want to take any chances. I shouldn’t be here and neither should you, but we can’t help how we feel. If only they hadn’t had that stupid law placed about off-planet relationships. My planet isn’t that crazy about inter-planet dating, but it is more dangerous there than here because it isn’t a law where I come from, yet people keep getting caught and warned, but who knows how long that system will last.”
As Laon got down on one knee and put Debra’s hands in his, he spoke softly, “Who cares about the stupid law? The government can’t tell us who not to date? I don’t want to be a rebel to my planet or anything, but I love you dearly.” He pauses as he takes out an elegant ring with a gold band and an emerald clover surrounded by diamonds in the center. He opens the box, hears Debra gasp, smiles, and goes on, “Debra M. Tralin, will you please marry me?”
She nearly screams as she says, “Of course I will Laon. I love you too.” She holds out her left hand as Laon puts the ring on her finger. She leans in close and her lips touch Laon’s lightly, but just hard enough to hear the smacking sound she loved so much.
“The fact that our wedding will need to be secret and we still won’t see each other anymore than we do now doesn’t bother me. I’m getting married!” exclaimed Laon in the kind of tone that made people wonder if he was drunk. What he said, though, was true for Debra was from off-planet; neither of them should be together now.
There is a law on Stoikheion that prohibits inter-planet dating. Both of them, if found, could technically be thrown in jail for having a romantic picnic dinner date under the gorgeous moon and twinkling stars.
Even though they would have to be very stealthy, Debra and Laon were married the next month. Their wedding was on Laon’s home planet, Stoikheion, for Debra was much stealthier than he was. She snuck on the planet, found Laon in his handsome black and white tuxedo, and put on her own beautiful gown. The dress had one sleeve, the thicker tank kind, and was in white; on this planet, that was very different for a wedding, normal wedding colors on Stoikheion were vibrant green with a dark blue, but not quite navy or indigo. The dress had small green and pink roses on it with a sparkling fake diamond in the center of each one. It had a train of five feet, which was very short for this planet, for normal was about thirty feet. It also had a little white lace around the bottom.
One year later, after the wedding, Debra was going to have a child, two children actually; twins. She stayed mainly on her own planet in her own house because her belly proved to be a nuisance when trying to sneak away.
When she was seven months pregnant, she was really missing her husband, Laon, but knew that she couldn’t sneak over for a visit very easily, so she called Laon and asked him to come over. He was to arrive in November, just one month from her due date.
Debra waited impatiently for the next month, calling Laon every other night to make sure he was coming, and to just hear his voice; to her the sound of his voice was just as soothing as jets on her back in a hot tub or a nice massage on her back.
Finally the waiting was almost over and Laon was expected to arrive at her house in a couple of hours. She spent the whole time cleaning up her house and preparing his favorite meal: rolling hotdogs wrapped in bacon and filled with cheese with the side of spicy curly fries. The day was so beautiful outside that for the last half hour, Debra waited outside rocking gently back and forth in the rocking chair on her porch quietly enjoying a book.
Soon it became one hour of waiting, then one and half, then two. Debra didn’t understand why he wasn’t here yet, he wasn’t one to be late. She even called him that morning to make sure there were no last minute plan changes. But still she waited until the sun went down making it chilly outside and she was forced to retire to her living room couch. When she had been waiting for over four hours, she decided she needed to call him. Debra heard the ring one…two…three…and finally four times when the answering machine picked up. She couldn’t believe he wasn’t at his home or hers.
Maybe he just got a late start she thought hopefully, Just on his was here. Debra turned on the TV and soon fell silently asleep to the lull of the quiet voices…Laon never showed up.
Eight years later, two beautiful girls known as 1437 and 4892, are lining up with all the other kids from the orphanage to go to the Plaza in the middle of the town Neron on the planet Stoikheion.
“I can’t wait to learn what power I have,” exclaimed 4892 to 1437.
“Me either!” replied 1437 just as excitedly. “I hope ours are the same so we can stick together.”
“I couldn’t imagine a world without you 1437.” 4892 embraced her twin sister, holding on tightly, hoping she will be able to do it again and again, and again.
“All right children!” the orphanage owner Natalia shouted to get everyone quieted down before continuing, “We are going to start our walk to the Plaza. It will take about ten minutes, but we will get there in just enough time for everyone to find their spot in line and hold out your wrists to the Chekrs.” All the children started shouting and whooping while gathering into a clump around the door.
As everyone hustled out of the small, run down building with turquoise paint peeling of the splintered, gray wood, Natalia was trying her best to keep everything organized. This rotting building was the first home to many children. Sadly, kids all across Neron were constantly given up by their parents, not always necessarily orphaned, to this sad place called Happy Smiles All Around Orphanage. Even looking at the building from a mile away, you could tell the name didn’t seem to fit the building and facility much anymore.
“Single file please!” and “5672, don’t eat that!” were only a few of the things she had to repeatedly yell to keep the twenty eight-year-old children under control.
“I guess for now this is goodbye,” 1437 sadly murmured to her twin.
“I guess so.” The two girls hugged and as 1437 walked away to get into her place in line, she heard 4892 say “Good luck” in a choked up, about to cry, I love you sort of voice. Even though briefly parting her twin was upsetting, both girls couldn’t help the excitement trying to push its way to the surface within them mixed with curiosity about what power sign would show up on their wrists. The only sign they had ever seen were the ones of the wrists of the orphanage employees; not as exciting to see them on your own wrists.
Finally the time had come for the Chekrs to start coming around with the jubi. 1437 watched as the third person down from her was claimed Earth, next was Water, and then another Earth. 1437 secretly hoped both she and her twin were Air. Being the rarest, it was also the most powerful and a person could do much with that power. However, 4892 hoped that they were Water. Not being the most powerful, there was a more likely chance to get it than Air, but it was still second in line, so being a waterite was still an honor.
When the Chekr came to 1437, she swiped the jubi over her wrist, took one glance, said “Air” like it was no big deal and moved on. However, 1437 just stared at her wrists, and stared, and stared, and stared. The Chekr came back to look at what she was staring at… and started string herself.
“You come with me,” said the Chekr to 1437. She grabbed hold of her wrist, and dragged 1437 into another room. “Stay here until I am done. Then I will come back to look at you with the rest of the Chekrs as well.” As she walked away, 1437 listened to her murmuring confusedly under breath until her mumbles went out of earshot.
4892 was thinking about what sign 1437 had gotten. Surely they had to be the same because they were twins, right? The Chekr came to 4892, and swiped the jubi over her wrist just as she had done for 1437. This time, though, the Chekr didn’t walk away, and said virtually nothing before grabbing her arm and pulling her into the same room 1437 was sitting in. The Chekr told 4892 to stay seated by 1437 until she came back with others, and hurried out of the room.
“4892?” said 1437 cautiously.
4892 turned around and said with lots of joy, “1437?” The girls hugged again and asked at the same time, “What is your power?”
“I have Air. But I also have Fire. And one other symbol I have never seen before; only in my dreams,” answered 1437 first. The symbol of air looked like a bunch of silver swirls branching off of a main one. It resembled smoke in a more abstract way. The sign of fire was a hot pink log scribbled on top of it to resemble a burning log. The last symbol was unknown to what power is hosted within, but it looked like a yellow firework with strand of yellow gently sloping down all around the middle yellow dot. She still had hope that the two of them would have the same powers, but judging by the look on her sister’s face, all hope had vanished. “What do you have?” were the only words she could muster, and they came out very silent.
“I have Water, Earth, and another symbol that, I too, have only seen in my dreams.” 4892 answered slowly; she answered so quiet 1437 had to strain to hear what she said. Now it was official, all hope was lost. The symbol of water looks like a sky blue winding river, earth is three green leaves overlapping each other, and her last symbol was unknown but to her and looked like a dark spiral with even darker dots surrounding the circumference on the sign.
The girls were both upset because their powers were complete opposites; water and fire, air and earth. They had a feeling the last two were opposites also. But, even though they only had three powers, one of which clearly didn’t belong on this planet, they had a feeling that they were going to become the Queens. Neither of them really wanted to rule, they wanted to have fun, be normal people. But their main thought was what the people would think of them. Neither had all four powers, but together they did. There had always been one Queen, not two. The Queen always had all four powers; they had two and an extra. Would they be accepted? Or kicked to the dirt?
Finally 4892 stood up and said, “We have to get out of here.”
1437 joined her on her feet, but was confused, “Why?”
“These people won’t accept us. We are not fit and don’t meet all the requirements to become a Queen. I have a feeling we will be their last resort to find someone to rule. We must run away.”
“Run away? Isn’t that a little too dramatic? I guess you are right saying that they won’t accept us and we will be a last resort, but shouldn’t we wait for the Chekr to come back and see what they will do with us?”
“No. We can’t. They will not like us. We will be thrown away anyway. At least this way we won’t be considered rejects.”
“You make a point… Let’s go”
The two girls quickly left the room and ran until they couldn’t run anymore.
When 4892 and 1437 woke up the next morning, they had to search their brains to remember what had happened last night, from finding out their power signs, to running away and falling soundly asleep. Yesterday, when they couldn’t run any more, they came across a cave, safely hidden in a rock, big enough to fit comfortably with a fire, supplies, and with lots of room to spare. They had been too tired to talk anymore or prepare a proper bed, and just ended up lying on the cold stone floor to wake up with a stiff neck the next morning.
“Good morning 4892!” said 1437 with a little too much excitement giving last night’s events.
“Good morning 1437,” said 4892 sleepily rubbing her aching neck from sleeping on the hard ground, “What will we eat for breakfast today?”
“I don’t know, but I can go and find us some delicious berries as a start. I guess we didn’t think through our whole ‘running away’ plan very well.”
“I guess not. Here, why don’t I try to start with my powers and grow a berry bush? Maybe I could try to produce some veggies too so you can start gathering leaves or something to put them on. Less time is wasted trying to actually find the food.”
“Ok that is a good idea,” 1437 stood in the comfy cave watching excitedly to see her sister use her magic for the first time. When 4892 just stared at her and did nothing she said, “Well, I’m not full yet. Will you try to grow some food please before I’m thirty-five?”
“Oh hush. I’m just trying to think.” When 4892 touched her index and middle fingers to her symbol of earth, a beautiful bush started growing out of the ground in front of their cave.
“I think we have ourselves some blueberries for breakfast.”
1437 found a large leaf the size of two softballs, and ripped it to the size on one softball each. “Here, put the berries on these.”
4892 did as she was told and retrieved the luscious berries and placed them evenly onto both of the large leaves. They found themselves and nice cozy place in the middle of their new home and started eating. They talked about what they were going to do today, what their friends were doing right now, what the Chekrs would have done with them, and last night’s events.
“Hey,” said 1437 curiously, “what do you suppose this third power of ours is?”
“I don’t really know, but I think I can guess what mine is from my dreams I’ve been having the last few nights. It kind of worries me, but I guess I can make it be used for good.”
“Really? You’ve been having dreams about your powers too? I had one the other night about my power. It wasn’t very full of action, and at first I didn’t know it was a power, but I guess it makes sense now. All I saw was a very bright light, a fireworks show, and lanterns. What did you see?”
Making a face on confusion, 4892 replied, “I didn’t see much either. It was very dark. I saw the night sky, a candle being blown out, and a dark hooded cape thing. No one was wearing it, it was just hanging up; you could barely see the outline it blended with all the darkness around it so well.”
They finished up their berries, and put the leaves on a flat rock near the end of the cave so they could use it again.
“Hey, talking about last night and things,” 1437 started, “weren’t we supposed to get our real names yesterday too?”
“That’s right! We can’t go all out lives being called a silly arrangement of numbers. I guess now we have to name ourselves. Is it just me, or is it cold in here?”
“No it is cold. Let me try to work my powers while you get three pieces of fire wood from outside. While we work, let’s think of names.”
“Alright.” So 4892 went outside to collect some wood, and 1437 tried to get her powers working. She tested Air first, since Fire could so easily ruin their home. She thought as hard as she could on a breeze, and pressed slightly on her symbol with her index and middle fingers. She stayed focused with her eyes closed, and by the time 4892 walked back in with some logs, there was a slight breeze filling the cave.
“I see you have got your powers to work,” said 4892, setting up the logs in an upright triangle fashion. She started making a circular pit with some rocks she had collected also around the logs. “I got some rocks to create a pit so the fire doesn’t go crazy. All right, start the fire.”
Once again, 1437 took her index and middle fingers, and applied slight pressure to her Fire symbol while completely focusing on a fire burning the logs keeping them warm. After about ten seconds deep in thought, 1437 started to hear wood crackling, and felt her legs becoming warm. She opened her eyes and sat down next to 4892 around the fire.
“So, what did you decide to name yourself?
4892 answered quickly, “Will be named Nocha meaning night because my mystery power is Darkness. What about you?”
“Well Nocha, my mystery power is Light, so I will be called Dia, meaning day or in the morning.”
After that, the girls sat silently, listening to the fire burn, lost in their own thoughts.
Ten years later
“Hey Dia, outside is starting to look a bit brown and boring, I am going out to water the plants and grow some new flowers. I’ve been working on irises and queen Ann’s lace,” shouted Nocha through her cave of a home to her sister.
“Alright. Take your time cause I will be out berry picking so we can make pudgy pies for lunch,” answered Dia shouting just as loudly through the cave to her sister.
“Ok. I am leaving now. I won’t go any farther than the black berry bush.” The black berry bush was their unwritten boundary line between what was theirs, and what belonged to nature. Nocha only planted on her territory in case she would be messing with nature on the other side. She planted berry bushes along the edges so they could share with nature, but the blackberry bush was grown a little farther back than she wanted. Both girls referred to the blackberry bush as the farthest they could venture alone. Neither knew what all was out there, and neither wanted to take a chance.
“Hey!” shouted Dia running to catch her sister before she left, “Before you go, do you think we could take a walk farther than the blackberry bush after lunch? I could really use some fresh air.”
“Yeah sure, that sounds like a great idea! We could always go now instead?” suggested Nocha.
But Dia already had a reply to that forming in her head, “No, I am st-ar-ving! There is no way I could go long enough for a decent walk without any food in my stomach.”
“Ok. Whatever you say. I’m going to head out and plant some beautiful flowers.” Since the girls ran away from their almost certain crowns, they had been training their magic by themselves. Now they were advanced eighteen-year-olds who could probably do more with their magic than the kids who went to school to learn how to control theirs. Nocha once overheard one of the counselors back at the orphanage talking to a well known parent that stops by every once in a while saying that in the first year of school, the kids only learn about their magic and what it can do, not actually use it. Turns out they don’t get to actually use their magic until the third year of school. The first two are spent learning about the element, its importance, the founders of the Signs, and pretty much really boring stuff that the teachers claim will help them channel their magic when they get to use it. Nocha and Dia were happy they didn’t have to go to school because they just didn’t think sitting a classroom for two years learning about something they couldn’t use would be torture. At least they were spared.
Nocha went out to plant some flowers and water the plants she had already grown, when she heard leaves and twigs crunching under someone, or something, that was coming closer. She raced really fast back to the cave and rolled the stone over the opening.
“What are you doing, Nocha? I was just about to pick the berries for the pudgy pies!” whined Dia.
“There is someone coming, well, I guess I don’t know if it is someone, it could very well be something, but I couldn’t tell. All I heard was the crunching of leaves and twigs under their feet…or paws!” Nocha often talked in run-on sentences when she was scared, nervous, or hiding something, so Dia had to ask her to repeat herself many times in order to understand what she was saying.
“WHAT! You mean to tell me, that there is someone, or something, prowling the outskirts of our home?” Exclaimed Dia sounding a little mad and surprised, but them she softened up a lot, “Come on Nocha, its nature, of course things will be out there, nothing to worry about.”
“No but really! It sounded really big and kind of heavy!”
“If you are really that scared, How about I walk with you to the blackberry bush so I can pick the berries and you can continue watering and planting in peace.”
“Ok, but be ready to use your powers.”
The two of them rolled the stone back just enough so they could slip in and out with no problem just in case something goes wrong. They walked to the bush, and started to work. Neither girl heard any noises, or saw anything moving. After both girls were done, they walked cautiously back to the cave. While Dia started a fire, Nocha prepared the pudgy pies for cooking. First she had to mush the berries, so she put them on the ‘counter’, which was just another flat rock, and started pounding them with a tub like rock. After the berries were properly mashed, she took two pieces of bread and laid them over a rock with holes punched through it to go over the fire and cook whatever was on top. Then she took the smashed berries and placed an equal amount on each piece of bread. Finally she placed the last two pieces of bread on top, and the pies were ready to be cooked. She handed Dia the rock, and she placed it on top of the logs to cook. After about three minutes, they were ready to be eaten. Nocha got the leaves out and Dia put one pie on each leaf. She girls started to eat.
Once the two of them were done eating, they went outside to take a walk. Regardless of the noises Nocha had heard earlier, they went out beyond the blackberry bush to take a walk. Along the way, Nocha felt it right to place a few flowers here and there, and even a few trees for shade, but that was it. Dia created a cloud to hover over them to give them shade, even a slight breeze. It was a hot summer day and breezes were often created by her to make the day more manageable.
As they started turning back towards home, they heard someone whisper, “Nocha? Dia?” The girls had told no one their names, and started running for their home, but the lady caught up too fast and was standing in front of them. She had long, straight brown hair that matched her brown eyes perfectly. She was tall, but not too tall, and looked very fit and healthy with some muscle in her arms. Her mouth was in a curious grin, and her eyes looked longing, longing for what, the girls didn’t know. They only know that she seemed oddly familiar.
“How do know our names?” said Nocha using all the strength she could muster.
“I gave them to you.”
“No you didn’t, we made them up for ourselves.”
“Oh I doubt it. How long did it take you think of those names?”
“Thirty seconds. Why?”
“It took me weeks to figure out those names for the two of you. I sent you those names through your very brains. I thought them, sent the thought to you two, you thought them, and then you said them.”
“That doesn’t make any sense. Wouldn’t you have to be close to us for that to work?” asked Nocha curiously.
“No guys, I think the question that should be answered here, is how you were able to trace us to our location, and send our names to use through our brains. That’s what I’d like to know,” argued Dia.
“Because, girls, I am your mother.”
“What?!” exclaimed both girls together. “You’re our what?”
“I hoped this wouldn’t come as so much of a surprise, but I am your mother.”
“If you are our mother, how come we spent the first eight years of our life, and probably would-be more, in an orphanage if we had parents?” asked Dia.
“I am from off planet. It would not be legal or intelligent for me to take care of you.”
“But we could’ve stayed on the other planet. Why were we kept here?” Nocha asked.
“Your father,” she paused for a moment and put her hand to her mouth sniffling in a sad sort of way, “was from this planet.”
Dia made of look of thought processing, and pointing her finger in the air, said, “So our parents are parents illegally?”
“Well, if you put it that way. The authorities would never have it, and our parents certainly weren’t up for it at first…” her voice trailed off.
“You said they didn’t approve at first, what changed their minds?”
“Well the safety and happiness of their little girl. And the shock from my growing belly. You see, I got married to Laon, your father, secretly; no one knew except us and a very trusted friend we chose together as the priest. After the wedding, we hung low. Still going on a couple dates, visiting each other’s houses, never mentioning anything to our parents as to who we were dating specifically. We told them each other’s names, and when we were going out with them, but never any more information. Our parent’s were fine with that, they respected our privacy. But, Laon’s parents on the other hand,” she giggled quietly, “wanted to meet the girl their son was going out with. Since I couldn’t be noticed, he used another trusted friend of his to act like his girlfriend, become acquainted to his parents, and then pretend to be leaving for a date with him. When they walked out the door, he said thank you, and she waved goodbye so Laon could meet me in our usual hiding place… the very cave you are living in now.”
“So when did they approve of the real you?” asked Nocha impatiently. She was so happy to finally learn something about her family.
“I was getting to that. A few months later, I realized that I was pregnant with the two of you,” both girls looked at each other and smiled when their mom pointed at them in turn, “I called Laon right away. He was so happy, the line went dead for he fainted and pulled out the phone cord!” All three girls laughed at that comment.
“Ok, so now I understand. You were going to have twins, there was nothing your parents could do about it they had to accept you, yaddi-yadi-yadda. Can you tell us why you are here?” explained Dia impatiently.
“Alright. You have to go back and be the Queens; the planet it falling apart. There are too many robberies, and bad things happening. Lots of people have lost their homes to house fires and are living on the streets, starving, and cold. You have to come back and rule. A planet with no ruler cannot stand.”
“Wow, the planet does need a ruler, but we aren’t those people. We only have three powers and only two of them are elemental; we don’t even know where the other ones came from.” Responded Nocha politely.
“You were supposed to be the queens, that’s why I left you both here. You don’t have all the elemental magics because my genes messed it up. You got the other two powers from me. Different planets have different powers.”
“We need to talk about this.”
“Whatever works for you.”
Nocha pulled Dia away from their mom; the needed to really think this through.
“The planet needs us,” claimed Dia, “We can’t let our people down.”
“I know, but I’m not sure how much the people will want us,” when Dia looked confused Nocha kept going, “what I mean is, there has never been two queens before, so I’m not sure how they will like it. Also, we don’t have all four powers, so will they still believe we can do good things?”
“Of course they will. They will be happy just to have a ruler again to get them out of this mess the planet has turned into in ten years. Think about it, a whole decade without a queen. I can only imagine what else it has turned into that Mom hasn’t told us.”
“I guess you’re right. But I still have one question for Mom. Why didn’t she just have Dad watch us? She could have kept sneaking on the planet.”
Dia had to think about this one, “I guess you’re right. Why didn’t she just do that? Then we wouldn’t have had to be at that sad place of an orphanage.”
Nocha and Dia returned to their mother and Nocha started, “Ok. So we will come back, but first we have one question. Why didn’t you just leave us with Dad and keep sneaking on the planet instead of making us stay in an orphanage?”
She shifted awkwardly on her feet and answered in a shy voice, “Because he not here anymore. Let’s say he…moved on.”
The girls looked like they just took a punch in the gut. “You mean he’s on a different planet right. You two got a divorce when we were young and didn’t want us to have to deal with it. Please tell me that’s what happened…not the alternative,” Dia asked hopefully.
“Oh,” Nocha chimed in, “Anything but the alternative!”
“Oh girls!” She hugged both of them before she went on, “No. It’s the alternative. It happened quite tragically. I was about eight months pregnant with the two of you and I was getting lonely, so I called Laon, your father, and he was supposed to come and visit me. I waited for hours until I went inside and fell asleep. The next day I called his house, his parents, his best friends, anyone I could think of. I was terrified he was lost or hurt so I retreated to my bed and I cried for hours until the phone rang. It was my parents.”
“You say like it was a bad thing! Maybe they knew where he was!” interrupted Nocha.
“No, that wouldn’t even be logical. You see, my parents didn’t know Laon. I hadn’t visited them since I become pregnant and they respected my privacy and left me alone. I called them and emailed, but I never visited because they also didn’t even know I was married.”
Dia interrupted, “I guess you didn’t have a very good relationship with your parents.”
“Oh no, we were very close. It was just because Laon was from off-planet and I knew they would be furious with me. I was going to wait until they wouldn’t do anything about my decision to tell them. Anyway, they called and told me that they were on their way over. I started freaking out because being pregnant so long, I couldn’t hide my belly. All I could do was look around frantically or something until I heard the doorbell ring. I answered the door and two planet officials came barging into my house and shoved me onto the couch. Shortly after I saw my parents enter and then two more officials carrying Laon. I cried out his name and my mother said, ‘So, you do know who this man is.’ Then she looked at my belly and said, ‘apparently you know him more than I care you know him.’ The officers pushed him at me as I was so happy but my parents were furious. Turns out he was caught on my home planet with his I.D. from this planet. The officers asked his business here and he told them what he was doing here; he wasn’t a very good liar you see. The officers locked him in an airport cell and they called my parents. They arrived soon after to his cell to ask him what his business was with their daughter and he explained that we were married and expecting twins. My parents flipped out and that’s when they called me. Back in my living room, the officers explained that this is unacceptable and that both of us, and our children, were going to have to die. Obviously, Laon and I argued with my parents, and my parents argued with the officers saying that their little girl can’t die, but he could. The officers agreed that this would be ok and he was to be be-headed the next week.”
“That’s awful!” screamed Nocha.
“Where are those officers!” screamed Dia, “I want to kick their ass.”
“Now dear, those officers are long dead. The president beheaded them shortly after. As for Laon and I, we did everything we would in a lifetime, in the short time he had to live. I absolutely hated my parents and I couldn’t even look at them anymore.”
“We can inference what happened in the end, but what about your parents? Were they be-headed too?” asked Nocha.
“No. I wish. They disowned me.”
Both girls gasped, “Why did they do that?” asked Dia.
“Well, they were embarrassed to know me and be related to me. You see, a be-heading doesn’t happen all the time, so the news spread pretty fast.”
“You know,” said Dia, a shiver going down her back, “It’s getting cold out here, why don’t we go inside and start a fire. I think we have some extra berries, we could have a snack.”
“That sounds great.”
The group started walking back to the cave and soon started a fire. It was late October, so Mother Nature was getting ready for winter. Nocha grabbed some raspberries before sitting down around the fire with Dia and Mom.
“Ok. So now that we are 18, people usually know the names of both their parents, their parents siblings, you know things like that. The two of us, though, lack those pieces of information still,” explained Nocha before shoving six berries in her mouth at the same time.
“Oh! That was actually the first thing I was going to tell you because I figured that the connection we share would immediately tell you who I was and I could have skipped those first few details,” she pauses to put a berry in her mouth. “My name is Debra. I come from the planet of The Moons; sometimes known as Noonday to those off-planet people.”
“I have heard of Noonday only from the orphanage counselors, and it was only the name I heard. I don’t think either of us knows anymore about it than that.”
“Well, I could understand that because people here don’t go to school until after their power signs are shown. The Moons is the planet neighboring here to the west. Those other symbols you call ‘odd’ are from me; my planet. Our planet has to do with night and day, bright and dark, morning and afternoon; time. I named you a version on night and day in our language. Noche means night, so I call you Nocha. Dias means day, so I call you Dia. Make sense?”
“Yeah I guess. It’s cool to know what our name means. What about our powers? Both of us have had dreams about them. What’s that about?” Nocha asked curiously.
“You remember how I sent you the thought of your names to you? It’s the same sort of thing. I sent you thought about your powers hoping you wouldn’t be completely confused when it showed up on your wrists. I guess my theory was wrong.
I matched your names to your powers. Dia means day and during the day the sun is shining. Your power is Light. Nocha means night. With night comes a dark sky and stars that are hidden during the day. Your power is Darkness and Hiding; two in one.”
“How come Nocha gets two in one and I only get one?” whined Dia.
“Oh I forgot. You also have a two in one. Your power of light also works to bring out the best in people. You see, some people feel very shy around other people. Your power diminishes that shyness and around you people always tell the truth.” Debra turns to Nocha, “have you ever told Dia a lie?”
Nocha shifts awkwardly, “No. For your sixteenth birthday I tried to act like I didn’t know it was your birthday and then surprise you when you came back inside with the vegetables. Every time I tried, my mouth wouldn’t cooperate. My mind could think fine, I just couldn’t spit out the words. It got to be pretty annoying.”
Dia laughs. “That’s funny! Now I have no reason t feel that I have ever been lied to. Oooo. This could so easily be a curse and blessing. I really do like surprise parties.”
By now the sun had started to set and it was getting colder and darker. Nocha got up and made a make-shift leaf bed for Debra will Dia went to roll the stone over the entrance to their home. She yawned, “I guess my brains needs me to sleep so it can process all this information I’ve gathered today.” She hugged her mom and went to the back of the cave to change her clothes.
Nocha was just finishing freezing the berries when she heard Debra sit on her bed Nocha made for her and asked, “Do you need any pj’s for tonight? It’s supposed to get colder and I want you to be comfortable.”
“No I’m fine. But could you make me a really big leaf please?”
“Uh, sure.” Nocha thinks about humungous leaves and seconds later sees one on the floor of the cave. “What is it for?”
“My power is creating things out of nothing pretty much. I have the power of artistic abilities. You see, my parents are hypocrites. They married illegally and actually went to jail after they disowned me for this crime. My Dad’s home planet had powers pertaining to talents. Each power was just something that specific child could do really well and really fast. Mine is creating things and art.” Then before Nocha’s eyes, she saw the big leaf twirl around and around wrapping itself around Debra before turning into a cute green nightdress.
“That’s better,” Debra gave Nocha a hug and said, “Good night, sweetie. I love you,” and then lay down on her bed to sleep.
Dia walked into the room in her purple nightwear they dyed with berry juices for hours to get that color. She walked over to her bed and pulled the blanket over her, “Good night Nocha. See you tomorrow. It’s been a long day.”
“That it has. Good night Dia.” And with that Nocha crawled into her bed and joined the others in a soundless, deep sleep.