Submitted Date 05/04/2020

I was fifteen when everything changed. It even started out as a normal day. I got up, had breakfast with my family, and while father remained behind to attend a meeting with the council, I went out to visit one of the villages in our kingdom with my mother and little sister, Alexandria: who much preferred to be called Alex.

Still, I suppose the first sign of destiny coming into play was during that visit. First it was the people commenting on how peculiar yet beautiful my eyes were, my back for a while being covered in an unusual itch, then a strange sensation came over me. I then developed this feeling like someone or something was closing in. I looked around and thought I caught glimpses of shadows lurking about within the crowd. I became distracted when I saw some of the women and young girls come out to perform a dance for my mother, Alex, and I. How I envied the way they were able to dress; clothes were so loose and simple yet vibrant. Most of the attires the village females wore required their backs being exposed which expressed a sort of scandalous freedom. While the commoners got to dress with this silent speech of independence, I was forced to wear form-fitting clothes that completely covered me from the neck down. I suppose it was Mother's way of hiding the markings on my back, the ones that resembled angelic wings. It had been like that ever since I was born.

Mother always seemed so troubled, so worried when it came to me. At first all thought it was because she was doing her best to protect the heir to the throne. Her tactics became strict the older I became and the markings on my back grew larger. She would make certain that the handmaidens assigned to me would be sworn into secrecy, to never speak of what was on my back. Alex accidentally caught a glimpse of my back once and Mother made certain she would comprehend to never breathe a word about it to anyone. I have never even swam in the castle's luxurious pool. I was always given the option, but only if I wore the swimsuit that covered my entire torso. In my own opinion, I would have been the laughing-stock of the entire kingdom if I were to be seen in that hideous stripped attire they dared called a lady's bathing suit. There were times where my instincts told me that Mother was hiding something important that involved me. Something soul shattering.

"Why can't anyone know about what's on my back, Mother?" I once asked her. "Am I cursed?"

"No, My Darling," she softly replied as she stroked my long black hair. "It's just," she stopped speaking the moment I looked up at her. I always wondered if my eyes frightened her as well. They weren't like anyone else's eyes I had ever seen or heard of. It didn't matter how many times my mother claimed it was a very rare condition an ancestor of hers once had, no one is born with eyes as purple as mine. Alex even mentioned to me once how she could have sworn when we were playing during a thunderstorm as children, that my eyes glowed brightly in a luminescing violet whenever the lightning struck. So after Mother finally found her words, she finished by saying, "I don't want anyone getting the wrong idea about you. You're not cursed, but are loved by all. Stay strong Star Catcher. This uncertain time will soon pass."


Once the short visit was over, our carriage began taking us back to the castle where father was awaiting for our return.

"Did you two have a good time?" Mother asked.

"Yeah, it was alright." Alex was either a character of the modern age or one way ahead of our time. Me being the old-fashioned type decided to speak in the tongue of the olden ways. Whereas Alex, preferred to speak in the ways of the rebellious thirteen-year-old. "So Sis, I saw how you were looking around right before those women began to dance. Were you looking for someone?"

I hesitated for a moment. I didn't want to worry my mother or sister in case it was something my mind randomly concocted. "Oh, I thought I saw something, but it turned to be nothing."

"Star Catcher," Mother began saying. She always called me by her chosen nickname for me whenever she wanted to sound sincere. "I noticed you were scratching your back fiercely during the visit. Do your new clothes make you uncomfortable?"

My tight top and pants did make me uncomfortable, but not enough to cause this particular itch. "The itching was only a short while. However, I don't believe the new attire was the cause," I answered. There it was again, the look of worry. The certain look that only appeared whenever she had a good look at my eyes. "Mother, what's wrong?" She looked to me befuddled. "Why is it whenever you look at my eyes or see the markings on my back, you take a few steps away and are near to becoming a nervous wreck?" Nothing. Instead, eyes widened and jaw nearly fell open. "I have the right to know!" I exclaimed.

Before a word could escape from her mouth, the carriage stopped abruptly. We heard voices accompanied by maniacal laughter surrounding us. The driver of the carriage let out a large scream then we heard something large hit the ground. Our carriage door was forced open and a large ruffian with markings on his elongated face gave a very unfriendly grin.

"Out of the carriage," he demanded.

"Please," Mother began pleading, "if it's money you desire, then here. Take this and let us be." Mother held out her small bag that contained some gold coins.

"This ain't enough to cover all three of ya." The man knocked the bag out of Mother's hand. "Now get out!" He then grabbed my mother and forced her out, having her land very hard on the ground.

"Mom!" Alex cried in worry.

"Now, the two of ya out," the bandit ordered.

I took Alex by the hand and slowly led her out of the carriage. We then helped Mother up as she was asking us if we were alright. Alex then screamed, "Oh my gosh!" Mother and I looked over and saw that our carriage driver had been murdered. His body was what we heard land onto the ground and his scream was a cry of pain. "What the heck?! Are you people insane?!" Alex exclaimed, not fully understanding how every move we made would determine our fate in the scenario.

"How dare you speak back to me!" As the large bandit was about to hit Alex, I jumped in and was able to push Alex and myself away from the blow. When landed harshly on the grass, but were alright for the most part. "You've got some nerve there kid." I assumed he was addressing me for the bold act I committed. He took hold of my mother's arm again when she attempted to come after us.

Another one of the bandits was an elder woman whose clothes were baggy and dirty. Necklaces holding peculiar looking charms encircled her neck and hung down to her sagging breasts. It appeared as though she was studying me. "Wait a moment," I heard her cracking voice say. "I recognize those eyes."

"Of course you do, you old bat! Those are the weird eyes that belong to the princess here," one of the men shouted.

Alex was being Alex again, "Oh like you look any better, you buck-toothed nimrod!"

As the insulted man lifted up his axe about to attack us, the elder woman held out her hand, indicating him to stop. She took a couple of steps closer to me and my heart began to race in fear. "I do know those eyes. They're not from around here at all." She gasped at her realization. "They belong to-" Suddenly, a strong gust of wind thrusted the elderly woman up against a tree and knocking her unconscious.

Alex and I looked over to see where that strange and random gust of wind arose from. We were stunned to see that in her free hand appeared silver wind encircling it. "Mother?!" we both shouted in pure confusion.

Not even giving the chance for anymore words to escape, Mother began fighting against the bandits with fighting techniques and what had appeared to be some sort of wind magic. With rage in her eyes, she fought braver and mightier than any of the castle's guards or any soldier I had ever seen. Was that it? Was the reason Mother was so overprotective of me for all of these years was because it was her way to distract everyone from the truth that she wielded magic and was some kind of warrior in her past life? No, that didn't make any sense. I was told the stories about her and I read everything about her life from the Archives; none indicated that Mother was ever trained in the ways of magic or fighting, nor would she have the chance to. So what was it really? And how did it connect to me?

Before another question could be fabricated within my mind, two of the remaining bandits grabbed Alex and I. "Oi! Your Majesty!" one of them yelled.

Mother looked over and saw the two holding their weapons toward us, ready to kill if she didn't stop. "No, please!!" she cried. "Let my daughters go!!"

The large one from before arose and threw Mother to the ground. The silver wind surrounding her hand then shattered, having all assume that the spell had been cancelled out. "You're quite the mystery, aren't cha?!" He turned Mother over to face him then pinned her arms down. "I like mystery. Especially if they're pretty as you!" The vulgar beast, who I wouldn't even call a man, then attempted to disgrace my mother in front of my little sister and I. She tried to fight back as he tried to lift her dress up. The world around me suddenly went quiet.

I felt my heart begin to crumble as I was becoming enraged. How dare this animal try to rape my mother and in front of her own children no less. I prayed for a miracle, one that would save my mother from this approaching agony and my sister from witnessing this trauma. Within a matter of seconds, the itch from before returned as did the strange sensation. I then began to feel hot, my fingers were tingling, and it felt as if thousands of knives were being pierced into my back. My arms shook and thoughts were pounding around in my head; thoughts containing knowledge of something I had never even heard about before. The sky around us was becoming dim and a dark cloud began encircling our area with sounds of thunder accompanying the scene. The beast stopped his attempt to hurt my mother when he noticed all of this.

The elder woman finally woke up and was completely shocked at what was occurring. She turned and saw me in my current state; near to tears because of the excruciating pain in my back. It then felt as if something were trying to come out of my back. "No!" the woman yelled. "You musn't! She'll kill us all!"

Then…out of desperation to relieve the pain…whatever was trying to escape from me, I finally let it out while screaming to the very top of my lungs. Growing from my back and stretching towards the heavens were two angelic wings. They knocked the two men off of my sister and I. In that moment it sounded as though people were calling me, however, due to my current condition, the sounds were muffled.

"Alex," I began speaking to my sister with my head down and hair covering my face, "go to Mother and stay within the carriage. Crouch down and don't look out until all is clear." Why did I say that? I thought to myself. That wasn't me!

Alex, though confused and scared, found the strength to say, "But…but that guy has Mom-"

"Just do it. Everything will be alright." What was happening? It was as if I was losing control of my own free will. Someone was the puppeteer and I was the puppet whose strings they were controlling. As Alex got up to run, I held out my hand and a magical blast of purple shot out, knocking the crude animal off of my mother. Though stunned, Alex was able to take Mother into the carriage.

The next set of words from the elder woman sent chills down everyone's spines. She spoke as if she were ready for what was to come. "And now…we die."

My wings spread out and I reached towards the sky. The dark cloud surrounding us circled faster and faster, causing the wind to blow at an alarming speed. The bandits were all worried out of their minds at what was happening. Magic was something that didn't exist in our world, especially in our kingdom of Rahsia. And yet, here my mother was…here I was. Bolts of lightning began striking the ground as a mystical purple glow covered my hand. My next words, though implanted within my mind to say, later felt they were my very own. "I won't kill any of you. However, you will pay for the sins you've committed." I finally lifted my head up, revealing that my eyes were giving off that violet glow Alex caught a glance of all those years ago. The final lightning strike landed in my hand where I then threw it onto the ground. All went white.

Alex and our mother eventually looked through the carriage window when all was silent. My sister told me what they saw: me standing victoriously right in the middle of the battlefield as the burnt bodies of the unconscious bandits were spread out. Trees were struck down and the grass was pitch black, all from my blast no doubt. It was a sight my mother had hoped she would never have to see.

The dark cloud dispersed and the sky returned to its original bright blue state. It was then that the adrenaline coursing through me finally withered and I felt weak. As my mother and sister were running towards me, I collapsed from exhaustion.

I was informed of what came next. The wings once again became the imprints on my back then Mother picked me up and began shouting, "Skye! Skye?! Skye, my daughter, can you hear me?!" She put her head on my chest to listen for a heartbeat and was put at ease when she heard it. Mother then cradled me tightly as if she were guilty of a crime she committed.

"Mom," Alex said. She took a moment to catch her breath before continuing; apparently there was some adrenaline escaping her as well. "As best as you can, explain what the heck just happened!!"

"Oh Alex!" Mother couldn't help but cry. "This is all my fault!"

"How is any of this your fault?" Alex asked. Mother didn't answer. Instead, she loosened her hug to get a better look at me, placing her loving hand on my cheek. Alex continued, "Now that I know you have magic, it's safe to say Skye got this from you?"

"No." Mother and Alex then witnessed a purple streak form in my hair. Tears started to stream down Mother's face uncontrollably. She knew what this meant and that it was time to confess the truth. What she was about to say next was indeed what I suspected previously, a grave secret that was indeed soul shattering. In fact, this very truth left Alex completely speechless. "Skye got this power from her real father."



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