Becoming Stardust

Becoming Stardust

Amelia and her boyfriend, Eric, attempt to heal each other after the devastating death of Amelia's twin brother, Sebastian.


Romance / Women's fiction


Kaitlyn Williams (United States)

Dusk had just begun to settle along the New York skyline, and the sky’s previously cerulean color had erupted into the bruised and beaten afterthought of the sun. The rouges and burnt undertones that illuminated the atmosphere suddenly became doused by the oncoming array of clouds looming along the horizon, immersed in the thought of the imminent deluge incased within its obscurity. The bleak hues of the thunderheads contrasted greatly with the scintillating city lights; the vibrant enterprise that comprised the dynamics of New York city life was ablaze with exuberance and a brisk fervor, for the impending storm was constraining the throngs of pedestrians to seek shelter. And as the droves of umbrellas, pressed business suits, and pristine fur coats paraded down the congested sidewalks in a chaotic, stream line procession, the clouds began to drench the crowd in its tears, for the world held too much anguish for the pitiful clouds to bare alone.
As the ensemble became engrossed with the idea of arriving at their respective high class domestic dwellings without water-stained clothes, saturated hair, and a sodden prestige, they began to press the boundaries of their confinements, and hustled down the streets, with newspapers rapidly strewn above their heads in futile attempts to shield themselves from the droves of oncoming rain. All were heading south, away from the thunder reverberating between the crevices of the serpent streets; all except one.
A girl with a fiery red mane of hair was hastily barreling in the opposite direction of the group, determined to make some headway through the consolidated assemblage. She jostled those closest to her, while ignoring the muttered words of resentment cast her way, in a desperate attempt to escape the suffocating environment. Her heart’s palpitations were radically increasing with every ragged gasp her lungs were insufflating, and every ounce of oxygen became precious to her deteriorating body. Each breath was inhaled with a desperate ferocity as she willed her legs to move in a frantic fashion down the moist, grey pavement, as her anxiety was rapidly accumulating the longer she was ensnared within the congregation’s oppressing grip. It felt as if the more she attempted to move through the people, the more compressed she became. Her already sobbing state was trembling, both from the penetrating glacial rain and the ragged sobs that tore through her body like the thunder that engulfed the city in a roaring barrage of noise. Even though the world seemed to be collapsing amongst a dissonance of vehement, raging eruptions, all she could hear was her pulse throbbing within her own mind. And despite the ebullient incandescence emitted from the sky rise windows and the incessant storm hampering the city, all she could see was red red red; she was blinded by her remorse. Finally, overcome with a sickening realization that I cannot live without him, she collapsed in a defeated heap on the pavement, awaiting whatever pain would be blessed upon her, for, without him, nothing mattered anymore.
Attempting to identify his emotionally deteriorated girlfriend, Eric was thrusting people away as he barreled down the sidewalk. His sneaker clad feet were clapping against the chipped, sullen gray pavement, and his vision was blurred with oncoming tears and the ceaseless rain. It was essential that he found his love, because this burden was too great for her to bare on her own, because now, she was alone. Her twin brother, Sebastian, had just been declared dead at the hospital. Cause of death: drug overdose. The orphaned twins had battled enough hardships to conquer a city of despair. But now that Amelia was abandoned in a world yearning to dismantle her crumbling resolve, Eric could only pray that he could catch her before the disastrous effects of her misery occur.
The surrounding pedestrians became insignificant blurs in the outskirts of his clouded haze as he dashed towards the small breach in the abiding crowd. He hastily swatted at any falling tears; he had to be strong for her. Dropping himself next to the barely breathing corpse splayed across the footpath, he was both relieved and disheartened to discover that he had indeed found Amelia, broken and battered. Eric had never witnessed a more despairing sight. She was graceless; an agonizingly damaged fallen angel. She resembled suicidal poetry, for though she was as radiant as the sun, and was the epitome of life, she now was the exemplification of death, and all its alluring affections. She was the blessings of Heaven and all the atrocities of Hell, she saved lives while attempting to take her own, she was both the gunshot ringing across the alley way, and the silent screaming that hung lifeless in the air after the trigger was pulled.
She was the kind of broken that made everything else seem whole.
Her quivering body was trembling under the ferocious touch of the hands of the world, her body giving way under the earthquake of emotions drowning her in the abyss of heartache. The earth seemed to crumble around her forsaken soul, burying her beneath the rubble of her life crashing down upon her. Eric daintily placed a compassionate hand on her shoulder, but she nearly flinched away from his touch. She curled into herself more, begging for this nightmare that had become her reality to consume her soul and make her disappear. She couldn’t breathe, for her lungs held too much air, her heart hadn’t stopped undulating with its deranged fervor, but she was under cardiac arrest, she was a miniscule atom amongst the entirety of the universe, and yet she was an entire ocean of sensation; she was a living contradiction. She was everything, and nothing, all at once.
“He can’t be gone,” she choked out. “He wouldn’t leave me like this, he knows that I can’t survive without him. He’s the only family I had left, and now he too has left me here to suffer. He left me to die.”
“It wasn’t his fault-,” Eric started.
“Don’t even start with the lies, Eric. He knew, he freaking knew what he was doing. He wanted to die, otherwise he wouldn’t have shoved that needle up his arm God knows how many times a day. God, he is a selfish bastard, they both are. Otherwise, he would have let him live for just a few more minutes before the ambulance showed up. He even took off that dammed cross he always wore around his neck. He didn’t even believe in a god, he just was terrified of death and what came after.”
She turned and glanced at the sky, blinking away the raindrops cascading into her eyes. And for the first time in her life, she prayed. She prayed that wherever her brother was, that he was happy, he was content, and that, one day, she would join him.
She turned towards Eric and whispered, “I can’t do this anymore. I can’t sit here and pretend that everything’s going to be okay, when it’s not, it’s freaking not!” She laughed to herself, a humorless laugh that portrayed fury and defeat. “Just kiss me, kill me, or leave me; whatever hurts more.”
“Your heart is made of solid gold,” he confided. “And it is too precious and pure to be handled by anyone other than God himself. Maybe that’s why you ache to become an angel by a bullet of a gun triggered by your own hands.”
Eric, wide-eyed and stunned, felt as if he was in the surreal breakeven between life and death; he was sun rising and the moon falling, he was all the oceans of the world breaking against razor blade shores. For she was catastrophe and annihilation and he was exhilaration and amorousness and together, they were a hurricane that could obliterate the whole world. And as the two disasters lay wrapped together amidst the pandemonium of the city, Eric did the only thing he could muster; he kissed her with all he had.
The kiss was pure fire, fueled by exasperation and devotion and just pure love. Ferocious electricity coursed through his veins while she was suffocating in rivers of pain, and when they collided they shocked the whole world but God, was it worth the sparks. She needed to feel pain, she needed to feel alive; she needed something to remind her that there was still hope in this God forsaken, disgusting world. She needed her porcelain skin to cry crimson red tears, and she needed to run away from her life that only caused her grief but yet there she stayed, enveloped in the warmth of his arms amidst the freezing world that only wanted to drown her whole. She was addicted to the taste of life embedded in his lips and the galaxy of constellations glimmering in his eyes, and together, they were a nebula of life. For stars exist on the constant edge of implosion and explosion, and all at once, they became all the stardust of the universe.

Competition: June 2015 Pen Factor, Round 1



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