I lay on the dark and dewy field, arms and legs outstretched like a starfish in the sea.
The stars were brilliant. They dazed me, confused me. Each star sparkled in its own way, each sticking out at me like my young brother sticks out his tongue. I loved them all, but I loved the bright red star of Kilren the most. It wasn't blue like the rest, nor yellow like the a few rare others. Kilren was the only red star in the whole of Midaren.
"Aria! Come inside!" I heard the sweet voice of our housemaid yell to me.
"I'm coming, Alisabeth," I replied, standing up and walking to the small cottage. My head was twisted around still, catching a last glimpse of Kilren.
I woke early when I heard Alisabeth scurry outside to feed the animals. I heard the straw outside the doorway being scrunched into a corner; out of Alisabeth's way. I wasn't supposed to wake with Alisabeth, but I always did. Only Alisabeth and her pigs knew I woke early. If my sisters and father had found out, I would be banished from my own relatives.
Thought my family and I lived in a mud and straw hut, it was only a lie. In truth, my father was a rich merchant whose wife had died quickly from an incurable disease that not even the best of healers could figure out. I was the youngest of seven daughters, each named after something that was unique to themselves. My elder sister, Luna, was named so because it was said she could put even the rowdiest of animals to sleep on a full moon. Illuminata could bring light to the world in the darkest of blacks. My favourite sister, Fiametta, was the the most beautiful and by far the most fierce. She could raise a fire from the depths of Hell and turn it into something good, but still our fellow villagers swore she was under the command of Satan.
I, Aria, found my gift as useless as Fiametta's useful fire. I was easily nicknamed "The Nightingale of Midaren" because of my melodious sweet-honey voice. I detested my gift, and yet I was the one most famed in our family. With Alisabeth, I was just Aria, and not The Nightingale of Midaren. I preferred to be off to the side, but no such thing. Royal pages came every day from far away kingdoms, passing messages from their kings that I must go and perform for them, but I always declined.
Little did I know one day I would accept.