Iris sits at the table, she stares at her mother cooking her birthday meal. Iris turns seventeen today, but it didn’t phase her. It’s quiet and all they could hear was the spoon scraping the bottom of the pot as her mother stirs the spaghetti. Behind the noise of the spoon was the clock ticking. They said no words, but the silent room felt as if they were waiting for something. Waiting for something or someone to break it.
But every year it’s lonely; only Iris and her mother. Her father died when she was only a year old. Her whole life was silence and when it had noise, it was only her mother sobbing. Her mother’s name was Alex. Ever since her husband died, she has been drowning in sorrow. Alex was never home cause she always worked. They struggled with money for as long as Iris could remember. The only way to get away from the stress and the worries was to sleep or run away from home. But eventually, Iris would have to come back, so it didn’t last long.
Iris: Why don’t you love me?
Silence was still present.
Iris: Why don’t we ever talk? It’s my birthday and you don’t even tell me you love me. Are we supposed to live in silence forever?
Her mother opened the oven to take out the garlic bread. She said no words.
Iris: Aren’t we supposed to live life and move on? Why can’t we speak? What did I do wrong?
Alex grabbed some plates and placed them onto the table. She started making the plates and when she finished, she went into the living room to eat. Iris stayed in the kitchen and sat there. She stared at her plate as the tears rolled down her cheeks onto the table.
Why don’t you love me
Iris got up after finishing her meal and went upstairs. Her room was to the right, down the hall. She packed her bag with a water bottle, notebook, pencil, pocket knife, chips, and a small blanket. She walked back downstairs and looked at her mother, who was asleep. Iris snuck out the back door located in the kitchen. She was headed toward her favorite area located in the woods.
She sat against a tree. This tree was the tree where her father was laid to rest. He died due to a disease he had. He fell off the cliff where she was told that he always sat at. Mother told her that he saw things differently than what they actually were. She assumed that he saw something else besides the cliff and fell there on accident.. That’s all that Iris knew about her father.
About five feet from the tree was the cliff. Iris stared out into the distance and watched as water fell down the cliff on the other side. There were birds soaring through the gap between the two cliffs. At the bottom, there was water rushing through, bears hunted while deer galloped. The view was peaceful. Iris suddenly felt a tired rush flow through her body. She laid her head back and closed her eyes. The sounds of water falling and crashing filled her ears. Birds chirping in the background. The music of nature suddenly started to get softer and softer. Then suddenly, she fell asleep.
Wake up, wake up Iris, wake up
Iris woke up with a push. She saw a blue cat standing on its hind legs staring at her. He had big, black eyes and was about three feet tall.
Cat: Iris? Are you alright?
She jumped back in shock. Her pale face flushed pink and sweat rolled down her forehead.
Iris: I.. I’m fine?… How do you know my name?
Cat: You made me.
Iris: I made you?
Cat: Well, you didn’t make me consciously. But you needed me. You’re a Starburst, an alien. So you usually make creatures or items that you need to help you along life. So… You needed me to help guide you. I’m Blue, I already know your name so you don’t need to tell me.
Iris: An alien? I’m an alien?
She pinches herself to see if she was in a dream. Blue tilts his head in confusion.
Blue: What are you doing to your flesh?
Iris: To see if i’m dreaming. But it’s real. It’s all real… Why are you a cat thats blue? How can you even talk or walk on your hind legs? Are you an alien as well?
Blue: Basically.. I’m your gift. Every alien has a gift, but I don’t think I have any other cat friends that are blue. I am made this way, I don’t know why I am like this. Yeah, to me everything seems real. Is this not real enough for you?
Iris: This can’t be happening…
Blue: Oh it’s happening. Everything that’s happening is real. If i’m being completely honest, this is the most real you can possibly get.
Iris settles back down against the tree. She tried to process everything through. Was she becoming crazy? Is this actually real? She reached out towards Blue and felt his fur. It felt real. Blue backs up and tells her to come follow her. He walked along the cliff and stopped near a tree which was right on the edge of the cliff. It curved out and if you were to sit on the trunk, you’d be able to see a thousand foot drop underneath you.
Blue: Walk off the cliff.
Iris: Are you crazy? I’d die!
Blue: You won’t die, there’s a secret room in the sky. You have to believe this is real. You have to have faith in me or you will drop.
Iris: How would I know if I have faith?
Blue: You’d walk off the cliff.
Iris: That doesn’t make sense.
Blue: It does..
Blue steps off the cliff and Iris gasps as she tries to snatch him before he falls. He disappeared into the sky. In shock, Iris wanted to be there too, she wanted to disappear. She wanted to enter the invisible room, but what if this is a fantasy? What if this is the same thing that has happened to her father? He didn’t have faith? Or this wasn’t reality?….
Step closer, walk off the cliff, i’ll catch you
She hesitated at first, she could either die in the next minute, or be living the unreal. If she was to stay on the cliff, she could return back to reality. She could go back to where her mother weeped and where the house was silent. Where the only things you could hear was crying and the clock ticking. Loneliness filled her heart as she thought of that choice. She could also step off the cliff and possibly die. But if she was to die, there wasn’t any reason to live. Her life was a depressed nightmare. She wanted to take the chance and she took it.
The next moment her eyes opened. All she could see were clouds and grass underneath her feet. Her backpack was across the floating island (which wasn’t large at all) underneath a tree. It was a cherry tree. The flowers on the tree were raining down and wind blew them everywhere. It was a beautiful sight, almost like heaven. Was Iris in heaven?
Am I dead?
She felt alone. Where was Blue? She looked around and behind her was a bridge to another floating island. The island was much smaller and there was a tiny house. The house was about as big as a shed. It was white with a round shaped door and two tiny circled windows. She turned around to get her backpack and walked over to the bridge. The bridge was wobbly and felt a little unsafe. But she walked over it. Once she stepped upon the other island, she heard giggles inside the house.
She knocked onto the door and it flung right open. She looked down and there was Blue.
Blue: So, you had faith?
Iris: I had no choice.
Blue: I know. This is where you’re safe. You can come here as long as you please. Come in, step in.
There was another creature in the room. They were sitting on a stool at a table which was incredibly small. The table and stools were the size of a play table for kids. The creature looked like a bunny with short ears and a giant bubble on its back. It had giant black filled eyes and the bubble was pink. The rest of the bunny was white besides its baby pink paws and black nose.
Iris: Who is this?
Blue: This is your Bowou. You could call them Little Bowou, Bowou, or anything you like. They live here and they come to you no matter where you are at when you whistle. So when you want to come back here, you whistle for Bowou and she will appear. All you have to do to come back home is to touch the bubble on its back and she will travel with you. She is pretty quick so racing her will be a challenge. She is not good with battle so don’t bring her in war. Also, if her bubble breaks, you can’t come back here with her help. So she needs good care.
Iris: So basically she has a portal on her back?
Blue: Yes. But you shouldn’t stay here for long.. Your mother is about to search for you. I know this because i’m your guide and she’s getting really close to finishing her meal. So you should rest. Lay here on the bed. Once you rest and wake up, you’ll be in your room.
Iris: I can’t really fall asleep. It’s the middle of the day.
Iris feels a pinch on her calf and immediately falls asleep. She wakes up.
Was that a dream?
Iris sits up and looks around her room. The sun was still up like before, before she walked out to the woods. She looked to her side and her bag was right at the same spot. Everything was in the same spot like before. Did she even pack her bag? Did she actually leave and meet Blue?
She turns to the side of her bed and looks down at her feet. She was wearing black skinny jeans with holes at the knees and she had mitch-matched socks on. Iris tried getting Blue out of her head but he seemed so real. She tried to find any clues to if it was real. She decided it was possibly and dream and shook her head.
Iris: I’m such an idiot.
But right before she stood back up, a blue blur caught the corner of her eye. She quickly looked over and there it was; a blue piece of fur. She picked it up from her jeans and examined it. She walked over across the room and searched her desk. She found some tape and taped the hair onto her notebook.
Iris ran down stairs to prove if she was crazy and asked her mother, who was still eating on the couch, if she sees the blue piece of fur.
Iris: Do you see it?
Alex: See what?
Iris: The blue fur. Do you see it?
Her mother bent over to get a better look at the fur.
Alex: I see a piece of fur, but its not blue. It’s orange.
Iris quickly took another glimpse of the piece of fur and it was clearly blue!
Iris: Do you not see the blue? It is obviously blue.
Alex: No, it’s orange. Go get some rest or something. I’m watching tv.
Maybe I am crazy
Iris stares at the ceiling. She can’t fall asleep. It’s around 10 in the afternoon. Why didn’t she see the same thing? She remembered Blue’s big eyes that looked high. She remembered Bowou’s eyes that look soulless. They seemed so different but seemed so real..
Blue: Is this not real enough for you?
Blue’s voice filled her head. That question appeared in her mind over and over again. She wanted to know the answer, why is she going crazy?! Iris remembered the pinch she felt at the end of the dream. She lifted her leg up and looked at where it was pinched. There was dry blood. She panicked. Why would she have blood right where she felt the pinch? Why would she see a blue piece of fur? This has to be real!
Who pinched her leg? Was it Bowou? Did she drug her to fall asleep? She wanted to ask them so many questions but they weren’t anywhere near. Her lamp was still on and she still had school tomorrow. She decided that she needs to rest. Iris reached over to the lamp that was on her desk. But before she switched it off, she caught a glimpse of a whistle placed underneath it.
Iris stared at the whistle for a split second.
Iris: Right now?
She suddenly caught a vision and her using the whistle and Bowou appears. She then sees a vision of her touching Bowou’s bubble and then a glimpse of blue fur. Iris wakes back to reality.
Iris: Woah.. What was that?
Iris puts on her jeans and hoodie. Brushed her hair and pulled it back. She tied her shoes tight so they won’t slip. She grabbed ahold of the whistle that was still glowing.
Iris: This is it.. I want to know the real answers.. Why is this happening to me and is this real?
Iris blew the whistle and wind gushed through the window into the room. Leaves flew in with many cherry flower petals. The moon shined brighter than ever into the room and there appeared Bowou.
Iris: Hey Bowou, can you speak?
Iris: I guess not. Where is Blue? Can I see him?
Bowou steps closer to her; right underneath Iris. Iris bends down and stares deeply into Bowou’s eyes; soulless. She couldn’t tell what Bowou thought but she liked that about Bowou.. Bowou turns around letting her bubble face Iris. Iris places her hand onto the bubble and suddenly everything turned white.
She couldn’t hear anything but the ringing in her ear but it started to fade. The white started to fade away as well and she was back on the island. She could feel the wind and hear the tree dancing. The wind made her hair dance along with the tree.
The island was flat with bright green grass. Flower petals were everywhere and only a few dandelions scattered across the ground. The bridge that lead to the smaller island was made of ropes and wood. It looked dangerous and it felt wobbly.
Iris walked across the bridge and knocked onto the door of the house. Again, the door flung right open. There was Blue.
Blue: Welcome back! I’ve been expecting you tonight! You find the whistle?
Iris: You’ve been expecting me to come back tonight? Why tonight?
Iris showed Blue the whistle to answer her question.
Blue: Well.. We couldn’t really just let you go without your weapon! Also your gift! It is your birthday of course!
Iris: I have a weapon?
Blue: No duh! You’re an alien. You have to have something to defend yourself. You will have many battles since you are the mother of Earth.
Iris: Mother of Earth?
Blue: Yeah, you’re the first alien to ever be born on this funky planet! What is up with all these weird people so called humans?
Iris: I couldn’t really do too much about that..
Blue: I mean.. You have control over everything that goes on with Earth. You just don’t know how to yet.
Iris: Can you teach me how?
Blue: *giggles* Later I will.
Iris: When’s later?
Blue: Not now.
Blue sits on one of the stools and tells Iris to sit on the bean bag in the corner.
Blue: Now, I know you have many questions. But you have to answer them yourself. To make you feel better. We are gonna give you your weapon and gift.
Blue walked over to a treasure chest and opens it. The treasure chest was brown and the lock was black. It was about as big as Blue. Blue takes out a necklace and a sword.
Iris: Is that my weapon?
Blue: Yes! You like it?
Iris: It’s beautiful.
The sword was silver and rose gold. There were three holes that were in the middle of the blade. The edge of the blade came of like spikes. Through the holes were vines with thorns. The vines wrapped around the sword and the handle to the sword had a rose carved out in the end.
Blue handed Iris the sword.
Blue: You may use this when danger is near or when you need to cut something. Try not to cause danger, you could possibly get hurt. Even though, if you were to die, it wouldn’t matter that much.
Iris: That sure does hurt.
Blue: Well, it’s because you have unlimited lives as long as you have this.
Blue gave Iris the necklace he took out of the chest.
Iris: This will give me unlimited lives?
Blue: Yes. Every time you die, you are reborn here as long as this necklace is safe. If this necklace breaks, you are on your last life. Every alien has a necklace like this. So if you were to be in battle, you can’t ever get rid of them unless their necklace is broken in any way.
Iris: This is so cool.
Iris puts on the necklace and Bowou whispers into Blue’s ear. Blue’s eyes widen.
Blue: You must leave immediately. Go home!
Iris: What? Wait! Why?
Bowou starts preparing the needle to inject Iris’s calf.
Blue: No matter what, don’t turn your back on them. Goodnight.
Sowwy I didn’t finish the story ;-; (posting it now)
Jeffersonville High School, 2019