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A note from Ken Law

Welp. I'm alive.

Anyways, this is mainly a pilot, just to see if the idea can even land. I've had the thing brewing in the back of my mind for a few months or so, and I would've forgotten it if I didn't do anything soon. So, this was the result.

If this thing continues, update schedule is still not set, but it's going to probably be weekly (hopefully).

“Another boring day?”

Jessica blinked as the door snapped shut behind her. “Uh, no. Not really.” She said, shuffling the stack of books cradled over her chest. “Just, tired, you know.” She shrugged. “I have another project I need to do.”

Valerie frowned. “Another?” She nodded back, and Valerie leaned back, humming softly. “Don’t you already have one from English and another from Cultural Arts? Isn’t that a lot?”

Again, she shrugged. “I can’t help it.” She smiled helplessly. “I’ve already dropped one course. Can’t have my scores go too low.”

“True.” Valerie huffed, and with a small wave of her hand, the books Jessica carried suddenly floated into the air, surrounded by sparkles of yellow and blue. Slowly, as if carried by some unseen wave, they flowed and dropped themselves onto her desk. Valerie smiled. “Get some rest. I’ll order some food for us.”

Jessica smiled. With a nod, she ambled over to her bed and plopped her face straight onto her pillow. She heard Valerie laugh softly, before she heard the audible click of their apartment room, and she allowed herself a sigh.

By the stars, she was tired. Today was fun; awesomely so! The Festival of the Royal Star had gone well, and there were hardly any mishaps. But there were just too many things to do, and for someone like her, someone who couldn’t use Starlight, her tasks were made infinitely harder.

She sighed. Again, she wished she could’ve been as talented as Valerie. That girl wasn’t a Guardian; they’d checked, but her control over Starlight was incredible.

She wondered why Valerie had rejected the chance to become a Guardian. Valerie would say that the stars would never choose her, but Jessica knew better. She knew that the stars had certainly chosen her once. There were odd marks and scars on her that wouldn’t make sense otherwise.

Yet, she didn’t choose so.

Why? Becoming a Guardian would mean garnering the blessings of the Royal Star. She’d grow stronger, and she’d do it faster than anyone else could. She’d become powerful enough to fight away the Darkness, and she’d be heralded as a hero. Why hadn’t she?

Jessica sighed into her pillow. There was no point in pondering over it, she supposed. Maybe Valerie just didn’t want to. Maybe she just wanted to work as a Commission’s Artist, like she was now. Maybe that was it. Maybe that wasn’t it. It didn’t matter in the end.

She flipped over, and her eyes turned to the glowing veil of purple that glided slowly across the ceiling. It glittered, like the diamonds of a starry night, and she found herself smiling.

Jessica liked star watching. She’d always loved it, even from when she was a child.

So, after a rather tiring day, she’d offhandedly told Valerie that she wished she could always sleep under the stars, like she did when she was younger. Valerie had smiled at that, and when Jessica next woke, she opened her eyes to see that familiar glimmer floating over the room.

Confused as she was over Valerie’s life choices, she was glad they’d met. That girl was precious, and though she didn’t speak much, she was the funniest girl she had the pleasure to meet.

Click

“I’m back.” Valerie said, and she carried with her a pair of small white boxes. “I brought some food.”

Jessica immediately shot up. “Is it pizza? Burgers?”

“Chinese.” She said back. “We ate pizza yesterday, and burgers the day before that.”

“Oh.” She dropped back onto her bed. “Oh.”

“Don’t. You need to eat healthier.”

“Oh…”

“I’ll burn your food if you don’t get up.”

She shot up to her feet. “Yes, sir!” Valerie smiled, looking very much unimpressed, before she sighed and handed over one of the boxes. Gingerly, she pulled the box open, and she blinked. “Ooh? Is this honeyed chicken?”

“With carrots and lettuce, yes.” Valerie said as she opened her own box. “They were selling the vegetables on a bargain.” She snapped her fingers, and a spoon magically dropped into her hands. “Need a spoon?”

Jessica shook her head. “Nope. The chopstick’s fine!”

She nodded, and they began eating. Occasionally Valerie would talk over her day, complaining on the faulty servers, and Jessica would return a laugh. But they mostly had their dinner in silence; Jessica was far too tired to spark any conversation and Valerie was content with eating in the silence.

Then,

“Oh, I won’t be home until midnight tomorrow.”

Jessica paused, the piece of fried chicken held just inches from her mouth. “You won’t?”

She shook her head, and a strange look came onto her face. She looked both anxious and excited all at once. “No. I have an in-person meeting for one of my commissions. I, can’t do too much about it.”

She blinked. “Huh.”

“Will you be alright on your own tomorrow?” Valerie asked.

Jessica huffed. “I’ll be fine. I’m an adult! I can take care of myself!”

“You didn’t know how to use the Telephone to order food.”

Jessica sputtered, and her cheeks grew red as Valerie softly laughed. “T-That was-, I’ve never used one before! I’ve always eaten at the restaurant!”

“Right.”

“At least I can do it now!”

“Right.”

Her mouth opened for a moment, before she closed it with a huff. “Fine. I’m just going to sleep then.” She turned and swept the blanket over her. “G’night.”

She heard Valerie laugh. “Goodnight.” Then, softly, “May the stars guide us.”

And then Jessica knew no more.


The milkshake tasted like cardboard. And she could confidently say that, because she had eaten cardboard once, and the milkshake she was drinking tasted the exact same.

Was that a good thing? Clearly, no.

Was it funny? Yes. Very much so.

She silently laughed as others began to drink theirs, and the swift disgust that overtook their face. She didn’t know whose idea it was to buy these milkshakes for the organizers, but she was somewhat glad they did, even if she had to drink this monstrosity.

Somewhat.

It was the afternoon now, and though she’d normally be back in her apartment by this time, Valerie had said that she wouldn’t be returning until late at night. The university was hosting a small party for the organizers of the festival the day before, and not having much to do, Jessica decided to attend.

Except, she wished she hadn’t.

There was nothing wrong with it, of course. These people were wonderful in their own ways, and they’d done their best to ensure the festival went on without a hitch.

It’s just-

There was something in the air, and her skin prickled the longer she stayed seated in this cafe the university had temporarily rented. She tried asking if anyone else felt the same she did, but no one did.

But she knew it was true. She knew. Something about the prickling in the air, the slight weight that pushed against her limbs, the near invisible thickness that seemed to fill the air; it all felt achingly familiar.

She quickly excused herself and ran to the bathroom, gasping for air as she leaned against the sink. She pressed a fist onto her chest, stifling back a cry as pain lit all across her chest. Slowly, she looked onto her reflection upon the mirror. She looked pale, worryingly so, and beads of sweat fell from her face despite the chilling cold that filled her veins.

Then, as she gasped for a breath, the entire place shook, and Jessica nearly fell to the floor. A cocoon of sounds blasted from beyond the door, a mixture of explosions and screams, before it all faded into silence.

Something heavy settled in her gut.

Slowly, her hand left the sink and fell onto the knob of the door. A single twist, followed by a pull, and she’d see what had happened beyond this door. She’d find why everything had gone so silent. She’d find why everything had gone so loud just seconds before. She’d find out what happened.

A single twist, and a pull.

Her stomach felt cold.

She took a breath, and twisted the knob. A click came, and with bated breath, she pulled the door open.

And Jessica went still.

The quaint little cafe she’d been in was completely torn. The windows by the front door were completely shattered, the paintings hung by the wall were blasted to shreds, the glass case of porcelain cups was partially burnt and thrown onto its side, the red carpet laid in the center of the cafe was burnt.

Her eyes fell onto the table where she and the others had sat, and saw shards of glass and sharp chips of burning wood.

But, perhaps more tellingly, were the puddles of blood that now covered the ruined place, each a pool of deep, blinding red. Distantly, she could see something pink submerged in several of them, half-floating and-

Jessica threw up.

She felt cold. She felt nothing but cold, even as the fires around her raged brighter. Whatever lunch she’d eaten earlier left her mouth, and her coughs were accompanied with falling tears. Everything felt cold.

Suddenly, she heard a growl, followed by rumbling, and Jessica sucked in a slow breath as she looked up.

And before her was a vaguely humanoid being, made of complete darkness, with the exception of a pair of bright red eyes. It looked oddly familiar, and she felt a coiling burn in her chest, as if she’d seen this being hundreds of times before, as if this monster was something she should’ve recognized in an instant.

“Oh.”

This was a Darkling, wasn’t it?

Then, somehow, it screamed.

Jessica flinched back, shaking as her hand fell onto a puddle of blood. It continued screaming, loud and shrill. It almost sounded like a wail, a pitched cry of terror. It sounded human yet not, sounded like an animal attempting to replicate the sound of a dying human.

It then lunged, its body twisting as it rushed at her.

And barely, she managed to duck under it and began to run. She didn’t look back as she took to the ruined streets, running past burning cars and falling rubble. Distantly, she’d notice the people that she’d pass by, and the Darklings they were fleeing from. She couldn’t quite think of them. Everything felt too cold. She needed to run.

She didn’t quite know where she was running from, nor where she was running to, but she kept running. She ran and ran and ran, even as the screams and shouts grew small, even as she saw less and less people, even as she grew colder.

She ran and ran, and suddenly a door knob was grasped in her hand.

She blinked, and she finally realized that she was standing in front of a door. A very familiar door.

Her apartment.

A listless laugh fell from her lips. Had she really ran all the way to her apartment complex, without thinking? Another laugh came, more manic this time, and she clutched onto her sides as she fell against her door, tears building in her eyes as coughs wracked through her throat. Everything felt cold. A warm shower would do her-

Splat

She froze, and slowly, she turned to see a Darkling standing before her, its eyes a gleaming red that reflected off the silver railings. It growled softly.

Everything felt cold.

It roared, and the floor below her trembled as it lunged forward.

Everything felt cold.

Its arm morphed into a giant knife, and it snapped forward.

Everything felt-

Vivace!”

Suddenly, a pair of hands grabbed her, and before she knew it, she found herself thrown back. An audible clang! rang through her ears, followed by a pained shout, and Jessica quickly scrambled to see what had happened.

And stopped.

Standing between her and the Darkling was Valerie, with her arms shaking and her breaths short. Sparkles of blue and purple swirled around her, spinning almost protectively, and they shined like a cloak of stars.

Her eyes immediately fell onto the many splodges of blood she carried. The jacket she wore this morning was torn and bloody, and her black shirt was similarly red. Her pants were caked in dirt and ash and blood, and the tears it suffered showed the wounds littering her legs. Her normally black hair looked nearly velvet from all the blood covering it.

She looked like she’d come out of a war.

Espressivo.” Valerie whispered, and the veil around her glowed. “Tenuto.”

The Darkling roared and lunged, and Jessica gaped as Valerie deftly swerved to the side. “Solo.” The stream of glimmering stars snaked around her arm, and she grit her teeth as she leapt back. The Darkling screamed, and its body morphed into a collage of several sharp limbs. Valerie’s eyes went wide as the Darkling began thrashing around.

Suddenly, she dug her foot into the ground, and lunged towards the Darkling.

Jessica watched as her roommate dived into the storm of black, and horror filled her eyes as she saw the cuts Valerie took, followed by a rain of blood.

Then, the sparks swirling around her arms grew into a blazing fire, and amazingly, the Darkling stopped thrashing, as if surprised.

“Forte,” Valerie let loose a breath, before she sent her fist forward. “Piano!”

The world grew silent, and Jessica could hear nothing but a sickening crunch as Valerie’s fist dug into the Darkling. The monster seemed to stretch comically as her fist dug deeper and deeper, contorting backwards like rubber.

Then, the world finally caught up and the Darkling went flying.

A trail of wind formed as the Darkling seemingly vanished, crashing straight into the building next to the apartment complex, and amazingly, Jessica could still hear the breaking of walls even seconds after the Darkling crashed into the building.

A second passed, then two, and it finally came to her that Valerie had punched the Darkling into a building. Her jaw fell open, and it remained as so even as Valerie turned to her, a small, tired smile on her lips.

“Are…you alright?”

Silently, Jessica nodded, not quite trusting her throat to coherently speak. A sigh of relief came from her, and she let out a small laugh before she collapsed onto the railings. Jessica shouted and quickly moved to catch her. Her legs were still very much tired however, and she ended up falling as she caught her.

“S-Sorry.” She managed to say from under her, and she felt her back shake as Valerie laughed.

“It’s fine. We’re…all tired.”

She laughed too, and then she remembered the blood and the fires and Valerie’s wounds and everything, and she finally broke.

She cried, and when Valerie turned she sobbed into her shoulder. Valerie held her close, eyes closed as she rubbed slow circles on her arm. “It’s okay.” She whispered softly. “Everything’s okay.”

It wasn’t. She knew that. Valerie knew that too.

But for the moment, that was how everything felt, and Jessica let herself cry.


Vivace.” Valerie began, a swirling orb of green and blue hovering over her palm. “It increases the speed of anything I cast it on.”

Jessica hummed, shifting slightly to make herself more comfortable. “Will it work on anything? Like, I don’t know, a car?”

She nodded. “If I have the energy to, yes.”

“Ooh.” She said, and then blinked. “Is that you can run so fast?”

Valerie opened her mouth, and then closed it. She eventually gave a shrug. “Sort of. I run pretty fast on my own, but I can use Starlight to make myself faster.” Jessica nodded, and sighed. Valeria frowned. “Is something wrong?”

Jessica blinked. “No, no. Just, uh, annoyed that I’m stuck in bed, you know?”

Valerie huffed. “Your legs were bleeding. This isn’t surprising.”

“Well you were bleeding too. Why aren’t you stuck like me?”

She shrugged. “I recover fast.” And then continued with, “And I can heal myself with Starlight.”

“You can-?”

“No.” Valerie immediately said. “Don’t even try asking me to do that. I can’t magically ‘heal’ myself. I just make myself heal ‘faster’. I do it because I know how my body works. If I try it without thinking, well,” She smiled wryly. “You’re better off dead.”

Jessica gulped. “Noted, sir.”

Valerie’s smile turned soft. “Good.”

“Hey, Val?”

“Hmm?”

She smiled at her. “Can you,” She took in a deep breath, hands shaking slightly. “Can you teach me to use Starlight?”

I don’t want to be helpless again.

Valerie patted her head, smiling. “Sure.”

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About the author

Ken Law

  • Somewhere over the Earth

Bio: Hi! I'm Ken! Just call me Ken, alright? The 'Law' part isn't needed.
Anyways...I;m just a newbie writer trying out some ideas I have in my head and turning that all into a story of random sizes and scales. If there are some things you would like to tell me, just go ahead! Also, sorry if some of my words/writing is still Sh*t. Just as I said, I'm still new, so sorry about that!

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