The Sun. By: Virginia Burns

She wasn’t meant to fall in love with the Moon.

The moon called down to her every night and had long conversations. They talked of her day and what she had seen passing by.

She longed to touch him, to hold him and feel his warmth. But at the time, she was just a small plant, green and ever-so-slowly growing towards the sky.

She would call out to birds as they flew by.

“Hello! May I ask? What is it, how does it feel to soar in the sky, with the Moon and the Stars?”

“It is enlightening,” they would say. “I am free.”

The plant was promised by those before her that she would grow higher. At the rate she saw it, however, she would never touch her Moon.

She hatched a plan, to catch the next shooting star, and ask him to trade places, from the ground to the sky.

It took a little while, but she didn’t mind. She got to talk to the Moon. She told him of her plan, and he was happy. He wanted to see her, too. His ever-dark sky was lonely with only the stars.

“Star!” She cried, as an illuminated body reached the earth. “Would you let me take your place?”

“Why? The ground is dirt, filth. I do not need the ground when I have the sky.”

“The ground is better. There is much to see,” she lied. “You will enjoy it, more than the sky. It is a guarantee.”

He pondered for a moment. “You can have my place in the sky. Maybe the ground has more to offer than I know.”

And so he sent her into the sky, and she became a star. She sat, alongside her Moon, and watched over the earth. 

“Have you come to stay?” The Moon asked her.

“Yes, my love. I will never leave the sky, except when I travel to the ground. I wish that could cease, but stars are meant to fall.”

The Moon shone on her, filling her light with his. She forgot about her lie to the plant. “As long as I have my Moon,” she told herself.

When it was time for her to fall, she looked to him.

“Do not worry,” he told her. “They always bounce back.”

The fall pushed wind into her, and she felt warm. She could not decide if this was due to her speed, or her love. She didn’t care.

As she was reaching the Earth, she slowed before hitting the ground. The plant talked to her, anger shivering on his leaves.

“The ground is not good. It is dirt, it is filth. You have been untruthful towards me. There is nothing to see, except the shadows of the birds.”

She ignored him, trying to change her position so they would not be close. She thought she had succeeded, at the last second, but she did not hold such luck.

“Let me go back.” The plant argued, as her body landed in the soil. “I want to go back to my home, to my sky.”

“I will not. It is no longer your sky.” She looked up to her Moon, and his look reassured. 

“I am sorry,” she said to the plant, honestly. “I must be with my Moon.”

“Please,” he begged her. His leaves wilted as his last hopes diminished.

“I cannot.”

“Then you can keep the sky. But you cannot have your Moon.”

His stem grew thorny, and his leaves seemed to stretch until they had their own. He reached out for her, digging the points into her sides.

“What are you doing?” she cried. He did not respond.

After time too long to count, she stopped her struggles. She looked up to the Moon, but he could not leave.

“The sky is my kingdom. Do not worry, my love. The stars always bounce back.”

For eons, immeasurable time, she lie on the ground. The Moon mourned his love, and forbade the stars from falling to the ground. Any stars that fell, now, would not be welcomed back.

“I will soon burn out,” she told the plant. “I must be back in the sky. Please. I miss my Moon.”

“I will send you back.” He told her. She was overjoyed. He prepared his leaves and thorns to catapult her back into the sky.

“He is over there,” she said, confusion suddenly prevalent. “You are turning the wrong direction.”

“No, I am not.”

And so the plant sent the star back into the sky. She sat on the opposite side to her Moon. She spoke to the plant.

“Why have you sent me here? I cannot reach him.”

“You were the brightest star in the sky. He thought so, too. He misses you.”

Why am I here?”

“You are here to help the creatures of the earth. You will forever watch over them, and make their lives as full as mine was told to be.”

“When will I get to see him?”

The plant quieted. “That is no longer your purpose.”

When the star was in the sky, it shone brighter than ever before. There was a light that covered the earth as far as she could see.

Life thrived under her care. She didn’t speak, but she did protect the creatures that lived beneath. 

The plant called to her.

“Look at me, young star! I am blooming.”

And indeed, he was. Fresh petals and blossoms covered his top, a deep and rich red color, which seemed to outshine his thorns.

“What are you?” She asked him.

“I am a Rose. This is my newfound purpose, thanks to you.”

“Oh,” she whispered. She looked to the corner of the sky where she used to see her Moon.

“I still see him, sometimes. He visits now, but not all the time. I believe he calls it ‘night’. To-night, I will tell him hello, from his most vibrant star.”

“What am I, if not of the Moon?”

“You are the sun.”

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