Watching the Stars is a short short story that originated form my novel. For those that don't know, a short short story, or more properly called flash fiction, is a very short (duh) piece that hits one or two central ideas in a short (very short) word limit while still telling a story. I entered Watching the Stars in Scholastics this year and received a Gold Key. Again, for those that don't know, Scholastics is the biggest (trust me there is nothing above) writing contest of the year. A Gold Key means that I won first place in my category (which was short short story of course). It is a prestigious honor and I am very thankful and proud of the award. I can only hope I will succeed in earning another (if not more
) next year. Watching the Stars is a piece that is very close to me, not only for the recognition it has earned, but for it being part of my first novel. I hope whoever reads this enjoys.
Watching the Stars
Seanna lay in the grass along the river bank, separated from the rest of the group, but still close enough to hear the fire cracking not too far off. Her long black hair wrapped itself around her shoulders, wild and feral like the grass around her, and her dark eyes reflected a deeper sorrow within her than she was even aware of. Seanna stared up at the night sky and felt the familiar pang of loneliness that consumed her when she was by herself. She often imposed her own solitude, rarely noticed by those around her and could be left alone for hours at a time. It wasn’t that she wanted to be alone, but rather she wanted someone to come find her. It never even occurred to her that she wanted to be found until now when she was staring up into the black void and felt the wish form on her lips. She wished someone would think about her, want to be with her, and not just assume she wanted to be alone. It was loneliness that ate away at her, little by little and it would keep eating until finally there was nothing left in her. No hope, no will, no heart. Yet she didn’t expect anyone to come, because no one ever did. Her friends were all nearby but she knew they thought she liked being by herself, but the truth is no one likes being alone. Everyone is waiting for someone to come, whether they know it or not.
Someone did come for Seanna though, and for the first time she wasn’t left waiting. Ross came and sat next to her, looking down at her, half his face lit with moonshine. There was so much she wanted to ask him; had he really meant to kiss her? What did she mean to him? How could they ever be together when everything was against them? She was so afraid that he might be playing a twisted game with her, making her open up a little only to hurt and embarrass her. He was not that kind of guy, she knew, but the fear was still there, very real and constantly on her mind. But instead of asking him anything she found herself softly saying, “Watch the stars with me.”
He smiled, more kindness in his eyes than Seanna thought she had seen in a long time from any person, and lay next to her, face upturned to the sky. Neither said anything else. There was no need to. Words would have weighed too heavily on their time. Seanna felt safe with him, happy near him. Eventually she drifted off into sleep, unafraid to be vulnerable around him. It was a while before Ross noticed Seanna was asleep and he propped himself on his elbows, looking down at her face. He couldn’t say he loved her, yet. Those words were too heavy and he did not know how she felt about him, but he did know she meant a lot to him. She was beautiful to him, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. He wanted to take her somewhere and just be together, the two of them, and figure it all out, regardless of everything standing against them. He leaned in and kissed her on the forehead gently, wishing secretly that she would wake and kiss him back, but she did not. Ross knew everyone else would wonder where they both were, might worry even, but he wouldn’t leave Seanna alone, so instead he lied back down and put his head next to hers, staring up at the night sky.