I look up towards the night sky. An expansive mass of the richest blues, blacks, and purples. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been awed by its massive size, and the incredible mysteries it contains. Living in an urban area, I rarely see the stars above me, but they’re always there, shining brightly. Here on my hilltop, outside of the honking traffic, blaring music, and artificial lights, the stars can burn brightly, and I can see them. I find Orion, the Hunter, running from Mother Earth’s scorpion, Scorpius. Up in the starry night I also see Queen Cassiopeia, my namesake, sometimes upside down, clinging to her royal throne for dear life. Even though stars are collections of dust and gases, to me and half my family, they are so much more. My grandfather taught me all he knew about the constellations. Every myth and legend I’ve learned proves that the stars can feel, and they are just as alive as anything down here on Earth. As far as I know, my family are the only people who feel this way. No one else cares for the stars as if they were their own kin. We believe that if you are ever lost, you can look up, and you will find billions of guides who are ready to show you the way home.
Helle had had a lot of bad days, but the day she was told her brother was going to die was definitely worse than anything else she’d experienced. Phrixus had been failing in health for weeks, but she’d always thought - perhaps foolishly - that he’d get better.
“We just can’t seem to figure out what it is,” said the doctor. “We can’t treat something we can’t find.”
“I’m sorry,” another doctor said. “There’s nothing we can do.”
That was when Helle ran out of the room, down the long hallway, sprinting down stairs and more hallways that she’d come to know quite well over the past two weeks. Finally she reached the doors and burst unto the sunlight.
The day everything went wrong was the day it was all supposed to go right.
It was Ann’s sixteenth birthday. She had been waiting for what seemed like forever, and now that the day was here, she almost didn’t know what to do with herself. She was in an uncharacteristically good mood when she woke up that sunny June morning, and she smiled the whole time as she got dressed.
“Good morning, Ann!” her mother, Cassiopeia, cried as she burst into the room. Hastily, Andromeda held her shirt against her chest. Cassiopeia laughed, for too long. “Oh, don’t be silly. I’ve seen it all before. I birthed you, remember.” Ann blushed and rolled her eyes. Cassiopeia sighed. “Well, hurry up. We’re headed off in fifteen minutes, and I know you want your presents.”