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Holding the Stars

This is a verrrry belated Solstice present for Amelia, the daughter of someone I work with. Jennifer said she loved lizards, and I gave her an amphibian, but hopefully she still likes it..lol



Holding the Stars


Kit is tired of being comfortable. She has a moss-covered tree stump that suits her just right, all the insects she can eat (since she lives in a park Kit doesn’t worry too much about people), and a stream filled with tiny salmon nearby. Any other Wandering Salamander would have been content, but Kit is different.

She can't stop asking questions—why does the owl pick that tree for a nest? Where do the cougars hide when people wander by? Where does the sun go when it gets dark? Why does the moon glow silver? She just can’t stop wondering.

Other salamanders she ran across just stared at Kit. They told her:

“You should be happy with what you have--a home, food, and almost no humans to bother you. What more do you want?”

That is the problem, Kit wants to see something new. Something no one has ever seen before, so she can hold it inside her and feel the secret glow.

Salamanders are solitary creatures, so she can’t tell anyone even if she has a secret. But just to have something of her own, that isn’t food, water, or shelter... Kit can’t explain it but she iss an amphibian that needs more.

There is something wrong with the taste of the air, and the colour of the clouds she can see through breaks in the trees above her. The clouds are very dark grey, but it doesn’t smell like rain either. Kit flicks her tongue out to taste again.

It is getting colder. Kit’s foot twitches as she shivers. The forest around her starts to feel muffled. She can still hear birds, but only in the surrounding trees. As if the areas farther away are wrapped in a blanket.  She wonders if a bear is coming—everyone holds their breath when they come by.

Kit squints at the cedar usually occupied with an owl at this time of day. She can barely see the lower branches through the mist. This fog brings shivers with it. Kit moves further back into her log, burrowing her feet in the moss around her to stay the chill.

There is something coming, Kit can feel it in her skin. She curls her toes and pokes her head out, climbing up the stump and hitching a ride from the fern to a nearby fir tree. She scurries up the bark, past shelf fungus and hanging lichens, to the fern beds high in the branches. Sometimes Kit spends all day in the woven mats, feeling the wind rocking her back and forth as she searches for ants.

From her new perch Kit watches the grey clouds above her, huddled together in a shelf that presses down on her world. There is a pressure in her head, like someone is trying to squeeze their way in, or something around her is going to break.

A few trees away tiny shadows start falling from the clouds. At first Kit thinks the clouds have brought fire with them—the tiny things move like the bits of ash after the trees have burned.

And then something lands on her tail, and it feels numb, like the time she trapped her foot in a hole in a fallen tree, and had to shake feeling into it when she got free. She stares at her tail, but there is nothing there, just a spot of water that drops off into the ferns.  Then something new lands on her nose. Kit thinks it is ash, and scrambles backward, preparing to run, until it disappears and another drop of water rolls down into her mouth.

It is so cold, and it numbs the side of her tongue as it did to her tail. She looks at the ferns around her as more of the mysterious white things fall. They shine, making everything around her brighter, as if the light moves through them. They glimmer like the stars on the clear night, but they are close enough to touch. They melt when she steps close, and when she tries to hold them they vanish.

Each one is different, just like pieces of ash. Only these are bright, and bring silence to whatever they land on.

Kit has never heard the forest this quiet before. Everything is still. She feels like she can spin the silence around her in a blanket, and sleep all winter.

Kit remembers the time just before she hatched from her egg. Everything was still, all she could hear was the pulse of her own heartbeat, and the vague stirrings of her brothers and sisters around her.

She thinks today is special. She wished for something new to happen, and now she is holding a piece of the sky between her toes. It melts so quickly, but she can’t stop smiling at the crystalline sparkle around her.

Kit races down the tree trunk, seeing the forest slowly being covered in the sky’s dust. She burrows under the icy piles until her skin is numb, and then returns to her stump, quivering with happiness. Kit drifts down to sleep, remembering the heartbeats of her siblings and feeling the quiet around her.


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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
caffienekitty
Feb. 11th, 2011 05:05 am (UTC)
Awww. What a sweet cuddly story!
ciaranbochna
Feb. 11th, 2011 05:27 am (UTC)
Umm thanks...lol I hope she likes it. I am a litte apprehensive since Jennifer said she was going to read it to her.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )