Lucy Gray walked down the eight flights of stairs from her flat
to the ground floor, her hands carefully avoiding the peeling
paint and rust of the railings. She always felt so cramped and
suppressed in that tiny apartment; it was a constant reminder of
her failing writing career. Lucy had moved to the city to become
a novelist, she thought that the city would be filled with
inspiring infrastructure and people. She wrote her manuscripts
laboriously feeding them with her entire being, only to have over
twenty publishing houses reject them. Now she was just another
success-reject, waiting tables, hoping that someone will one day
recognize her talent.
Once outside in the cool
evening air, Lucy smiled her first smile of the day. She walked
down the street and turned into the park, she could finally
breathe. She inhaled a deep breath of the crisp air, closing her
eyes, tilting her head back, her long, dark lustrous hair swaying
in the breeze. She filled her lungs with the serenity of the
plants, trees and the stars above. The stars. She opened her
eyes, her violet irises bright with new life, shone in dim
lighting of the park.
She walked along the
winding path, dotted with pale lampposts. Others would probably
be frightened, out late, alone in a deserted park, but not Lucy.
Then again Lucy was a strong girl, she had to be. She looked up
at the stars and immediately found Orion's belt. She remembered
the first time she had found it.
It was fourteen years ago.
At eight years old when a child is with her father she are
never worried, she is safe. At night her father used to point
out the stars, the constellations and they would try and make
up new ones. However that night Lucy was worried. She had not
seen her mother in over a week and her father had told her that
she had gone on holiday, but Lucy knew better than that. Her
father walked faster than usual, his hand too tight around his
small daughter's, her little legs constantly tripping, trying
to keep up. Suddenly they stopped and turned sharply up an
unfamiliar drive way. Once at the doorstep, her father crouched
down in front of Lucy and told her to stay there until he
returned. "But daddy I'm scared…and there aren't any lights
outside," she said, her face pouty and sullen.
"Look sweetie the stars are always
here, these are your lights. Tell you what, you find Orion's
belt for me and when you find it I'll come back. Remember it's
the one with the three bright stars in a row". That was the
last time she saw him.
She retraced the steps she had taken
dozens of times from the parks entrance, past the playground
and the cherry blossom trees and to the pond. She sat down at
the waters edge, thinking.
In the same park a man had spotted
Orion's belt as well, he remembered telling his daughter about
it, the last time he saw her. It was a painful memory, he
remembered telling himself repeatedly that it was for her own
good, without her mother he knew nothing about taking care of
her, he could not do it by himself, he was not a worthy father.
At the waters edge, Lucy did
not hear the other man approaching behind her. Suddenly, there
were hands pinning her arms behind her, another seized the back
of her head, using her hair for a better grip. The arms plunged
her face into the freezing water; she felt the cold cut of the
water, her senses exploding. She fought and twisted in his
grasp. Her unanticipated strength forced him to fall back and
bring her face out of the water. She gulped in the air,
spluttering and coughing out water. She caught a glimpse of
Orion's belt and before she could think, her entire head was
forced back into the frigid pool. She held her breath as long
as she could before her body betrayed her and exhaling the air,
inhaling the water. The burning, choking feeling was soon over,
and Lucy Gray lay dead, her eyes wide open with her hair slowly
moving with the water's motion.
walked past the playground and the cherry blossom trees,
towards the pond. What he saw cut his gentle stride mid-step.
A woman laying down, half of her body on the grass, half in
the water, her hair swaying eerily in the water, like a dance
to a morbid tune heard only by the departed. He felt his body
waver, slightly, but he knew that he had to help this woman,
suddenly, he felt a great wave of concern spread throughout
his body, and a long forgotten, suppressed, smothered feeling
returned to him. He sprinted to her side and gently turned
her body up to face him. That is when he saw them, his own
violet eyes staring up, not at him but to Orion's belt.