Star Eater Pt. 1
“Gaea” her name was being called, ripping her away from the seeing glass. “Gaea,” it was
her mother’s soft voice trailing through grandfather’s dark shelter. Reality set in, she had
been sitting there for hours, soaking in this world. Gaea was shocked at herself, to be so
easily sucked in by a hobby, a pass time.
Unnerved, she shot from the chair and in a calm voice greeted her mother, “hello
mother.” her mom’s face didn’t hold its usual soft smile.
Nona stood still in the doorway. Her angular features and long yellow silver hair were
classic in their beauty. Nona gazed at her father’s body, “why didn’t you tell me he was
passing?” the only indication of inner turmoil was the slight crease between her mother’s
Gaea blinked, this was the most upset she had ever seen her mother but in her mind all
she could do was wonder how a human would respond. Had any one in Gaea’s world shed a
tear for something other than their own physical pain?
Gaea’s mind flashed back to the young girl of earth. A girl that had appeared to have the
same eyes as Gaia; green and deep. Gaea had been intrigued by the affection the girl had
given a young man who worked in her father’s house. The girl was named Myrrah. The
name felt strange in Gaea’s mouth. The Earth couple had professed their love to another,
and Myrrah had given herself to the man heart, soul and body. In the morning light, he
left her and the truth came out that he hadn’t loved the girl. He had lied to her, tearing her
heart in two. Myrrah cried so hard, red rimmed, exhausted, her green eyes grew dim.
Myrrah became nothing more than a shell, lying prostrate on the ground, too broken to
Gaea had watched and her own heart throbbed, her throat had worked to breath and
pressure built in her chest. A single wet tear trickled down Gaea’s cheek. It had taken
several minutes before she felt in control of her emotions. Even now, just remembering
Myrrah’s heart brake, Gaea felt a swell of sadness. However, Gaea had only felt a fraction
of Myrrah’s pain.
The feeling had been so alien to Gaea that she had gasped for breath at the sudden pain
in her chest. That is the true feeling of loss. Nana realized that her mother was staring at
her in silence. Quickly shaking her head side to side, as if to disrupt her thoughts, Gaea
tried to put the humans out of her mind. It was just a game, she told herself. But Gaea was
beginning to doubt that what her grandfather had built was a game and that doubt scared
her. She didn’t want to become like him, obsessive and cut off from her true reality.
“I told him I would keep his game running.” and though the statement didn’t explain
much of anything, her mother nodded in silent understanding.
“I will call the carriers” her mother said softly voice and then turned to leave.
The Carriers came to transport the body of the deceased. Their woven shrouds covered
their bodies. To be a Carrier meant you were forbidden to speak, an oath that all Carrier’s
make before they don their shrouds. It was an honor to be a Carrier and it took years of
sacrifice and discipline over ones self to even qualify. The most grueling part of the
process is the final test. No one but the Carriers know what it is and all are forbidden to
Mother and daughter silently stood outside the room as they waited for the carriers to
perform their duties. With the last shrouded figure’s graceful exit, Nona and Gaea began
tidying up. Grabbing the piles of clothes her grandfather had left discarded and used on
the ground, Gaea grimly smiled. Grandfather had never been a very tidy man, once a week
her mother, Nona, would have to set everything to rights once more. In his living quarters,
grandfather had been a walking disaster. His work area though, he kept respectably neat,
for him. There were stains from assorted substances all over the desk, chair and floor.
Papers were filed as notes that he had made recently and a pile with a note saying
“Everything else”. Bits and scraps of paper were floating around and so Gaea scooped
them into a pile she called Miscellaneous. Her sigh was heavy.
It would take a lot of effort to organize his Earth project. First Gaea would need a filing
system. She shook her head at the idea. Why was she even thinking these things?
Narrowing her eyes, Gaea sternly told herself that she would not be continuing the Earth
Nona moved toward Grandfather’s desk, toward Earth, a large basket of recyclables in
her arms. His tools thrown haphazardly inside as she reached to tear down the sketches
that had been tacked to the wall.
Gaea’s heart skipped a beat. Her skin felt like it would stretch off her body in order to
stop her mother. Her throat contracted in that same way when she had felt the tears well
up inside. Couldn’t her mother see?
Gaea’s heart caved like that of an imploding star, “No!” Gaea screamed, a mirror image
of Myrrah’s. The sound had ripped at Gaea’s vocal chords. It was such a strange feeling. It
was as if Life was pumping through her, trying to escape the confines of her own flesh.
Her cheeks flushed and everything seemed to beat inside of her, almost painful with how
alive she had become.
Nona stared at her daughter, hard. Something between surprised and disappointed was
revealed in Nona’s features. The small crease between her brows returned, even more
defined, showing how distressed she was at her daughter’s outburst.
Gaea realized in that moment that she hadn’t lied to her grandfather, she had lied to
Planet Earth was a real breathing organism and like any small defenseless star that
needed a hand in growing up, Gaea was going to defend it.