It’s been a while since my last ByNS Stories post, so here’s one of the more solid ones. I barely had to edit this one to get it in top shape. Though its references are even more out of date than they were back last year when I wrote it…
The sparkling background was utterly captivating. To think that each one of these bright specks held a solar system of their very own – wow. What a wonderful universe this was!
Fantasies of alien worlds and places not yet known filled little Becca White’s head with glee and joy; how amazing it would be to journey to space, to venture out into the great unknown, for Becca herself to traverse the intergalactic highways!
But alas. The television screen flickered off as the bunker lost power once more. Berlin was once again under siege, and as time went on, the more and more frequent these blackouts had become.
“Mother,” Becca asked. “Is the power going to come back on?”
“Yes, dear,” her loving mother replied, her voice as sweet as a cherry on a bright summer day. “It always does. Do not worry yourself with the things you cannot control.”
“Okay.” Becca thought long and hard about that. Was her destiny something she could control, or was it too set, unable to be changed? “Mother, can I reach those stars someday? The ones from the television screen?”
“If we survive this,” she told her, “You surely can. Anyone will be able to, in the future.” Becca hoped more than anything that she could…
Another shell blasted against the roof above her. The power finally came back on. Becca really just wanted all this to end. So many friends and family were gone by this point. Flames drenched the city in ash and soot. It was all so sad. Becca decided that she wouldn’t ever let space be anything like this. She would become the queen of space and rule it, and force everyone to be happy.
Eventually, the enemy breached their fortifications. A seeming million soldiers rushed into the bunker at once, and chaos erupted. Becca searched around frantically for her mother as bullets rushed past her in every direction, but all the noise and all the blurry movements obscured her senses.
One soldier pushed Becca against the wall as he ran past her, and lobbed a grenade across the hallway, killing not only several of her own protectors, but noncombatants as well. Why did the man spare her, and not them? Even in the midst of this great battle, Becca felt an immense guilt for this, and tears came out of her eyes. They lasted until long after the gunfight was over, and the smoke had all but cleared.
“Mother?” Becca called out. She was still gone; where did she go? Looked and looked around the body-filled bunker Becca did, but she could not find her mother among the survivors. It was only when Becca looked down when she truly understood the magnitude of the carnage she had just endured, for her own mother was lying on the floor without life to her person.
The enemy conquered Becca and her people. Killed and captured their leaders. Did what they thought was free the terrified citizens within. They believed that they were the heroes of this conflict. But they were not. Becca’s mother was dead, and now she was alone in the great wide World. War was over, but so was her mother’s life. For some time, Becca went under the care of a foster home, but as soon as she turned sixteen, she left for good.
For a long, long time, Becca wandered the world. Saw the effects that the war had on it. Saw how the world recovered from the disaster, and prepared itself for the next. Saw many things, little Becca White did.
She discovered her spirituality during all of this, after meeting with priests and shamans and all types of leaders from all over the lands, across the entire planet Earth. Space was a glimmer of hope compared to her daily rituals. The worship of Nature as the highest power in existence consumed her life, if only for a short time before she gave even that up.
By the time Becca was actually an adult, though, there was no point in dreaming about space. It had already been done, by the Americans no less; all that was there to learn about the Celestial Bodies of the Universe was already learned. She still craved the stars, but she knew she herself could never reach them. It was impossible.
She would soon settle down with a man known as Hayden Black. Man was a vulture of a species, but Hayden was man enough for Becca to both appreciate and mate with. They did soon consummate their love in marriage, and lived for many years together.
Both soon expected their mating rituals to produce an offspring most quickly, and one came – for but a moment only. The baby disappeared into the Great Manaether as Nature took it, and it became an unborn entity. Sadness reigned supreme during these times. Space reigned supreme, as well.
The baby was space. Becca knew now that she had to reach the stars somehow. To meet her child, to whom she had never even been given the chance to speak. To fulfill her mother’s mission, to whom she promised she would reach the stars someday.
Hayden wanted to try again, to attempt to have another child, but Becca knew better in this respect. Their baby was already here, but also not here at the same time. It was all around him, and he didn’t even know it. It was all around all of them. It was space.
Another child did eventually arrive, but it would be many decades later, late in both Becca and Hayden’s lives. Becca did not even realize that she was able to bear children anymore, at the late an age, and this shock did not translate into happiness once Rebbeca Junior entered this world.
Due to their having her so late in life, little Rebecca was stricken with severe autism. She was immensely intelligent, able to solve almost any problem of academics or logic presented to her before she was even ten, but it came at the cost of her life outside her own mind. She was utterly dependent on her mother for almost all needs, and would barely even make contact with even her closest relatives, She could not speak to Hayden himself until she was seven.
At the start, Becca was not appreciative of this new life brought into her personal world. She had room enough with her first child, and this second one was much more of a pain to bring up, due to her special needs. In time, however, the mother and child developed a bond closer than any other in the universe. It was the universe itself.
In the eyes of little Rebecca, her mother was the star. It was her. And for the first time in a long time, Becca truly felt love and compassion towards another being. Even after Hayden passed on when Rebecca was around twelve, Becca still felt happiness within her heart.
A few years later, the time came when Rebecca was going to have to leave to go off to college. She was only fourteen, but she had already graduated high school through her intensive home schooling program. Becca needed her daughter to come out of her shell, though she knew not a way to get her to do that.
Fortuitous actions took place very soon after. A knock on the door. The door was opened. It was a large black man, explaining to Becca that he was a famous music producer, and that he needed a young girl for his next big hit song. He explained that he wished to use Rebecca as this young girl. He wished to make her a star.
This whirlwind brought back all the old memories in one sweeping flood; those of space and of the stars and of the planets that swarmed around them. It seemed that her childhood dream would indeed be fulfilled… through her daughter. She would finally be able to become reunited with her baby, so long gone that it was a distant memory to most. But not to Becca.
The first music video that Rebecca was to be in, she was actually to be the lead singer. It was then when her mother truly realized Rebecca’s hidden talents, lost due to her handicaps in life. Her voice truly was the most beautiful that Becca had ever heard; she would truly reach the stars.
Released that next Friday, the song was an instant hit, and racked up millions upon millions of views in just days! She was going to reach the baby now. She had to. Rebecca was now a celebrity, known all over the world for her music video!
Then the commentary on the song was released. The reviews. Becca realized why it was so popular now. People on the internet, the vultures that the species of man truly was were making fun of the music video! They were even making fun of her poor daughter! Did they not realize that her daughter was so disabled? They probably did, and simply did not care!
The scorn eventually reached Rebecca herself, the internet-savy little girl she was, and it utterly destroyed her spirits. She would never speak a single word for weeks after the music video came out. It was just too hard. Her mother found her on the bathroom floor a few days later, having taken almost an entire bottle of Becca’s glaucoma medicine.
She lived, but she was trapped even further within her own mind, as she was now stuck completely in a coma. The music producer quite easily replaced Rebecca with a look alike girl, but Becca could not do that. This was the second child she had lost to the stars, and still she had not gone herself. It was almost heart-wrenching for this situation to be occurring in the first place.
The plug was pulled a month later. Rebecca was pronounced dead soon after. Becca woke up at 7 AM that next morning, ate some cereal, and stood at the bus stop, waiting for her missing family. It was night before she even moved from that spot. When she finally did, she merely stared at the night sky for hours.
Becca now saw the constellations for what they truly were; her family. Her mother was there, and her husband, and her children. The great and mighty Ares, and the fair and judicious Libra—they were, in fact, Becca’s children, she realized suddenly, as she continued to stare.
This scene was beautiful, like the most happy Thanksgiving dinner she had ever had; a reunion of all her favorite family members for a glorious meal, and no in-laws to deal with. None whatsoever. Becca could even smell the turkey, as if a charming incense had been release into the air. Becca was hungry.
There was a pie shop nearby, ran by Becca’s friend from Spain, and it was a life-changing experience, but Becca had no desire to change the current track of her life. She just wanted to go to space. So, instead, she went to the local observatory across town. It was a ten minute trek, but it was very worth it.
Few to no other people were in the observatory tonight, despite how clear and sweet-smelling this summer night was. Only Becca, and her two children. She sat down in a chair next to her husband and gazed at the stars once again; the best dinner to be had. She shared some with her daughter, as she too looked famished after a long day’s work.
It was then when Becca realized why she could never reach space, reach the stars, reach her family—she was space. This revelation made more sense than she could possibly fathom, and was quite maddening, if not enlightening. And now she was happy, because she had not only reached the stars, but had become them. She had always been the stars.
Forever and ever, the stars.