I was determined to learn as much as I could about Starfire ever since I realized how freaking famous she was. I figured she was well known around here in the Fire Kingdom, but not everywhere. I mean, Starfire the Invincible? That’s a freaking intense name. I wasn’t sure if she had been hiding this stuff from me on purpose. I couldn’t understand why she would possibly be ashamed of being considered invincible. At the same time, I was super pissed off because she didn’t tell me about all of this.
Luke met up with me in the market place, where I had been walking around trying to think of some what to get information, since Starfire probably wasn’t going to talk to me. Some random merchant was trying to sell me solid gold bracelets, but I wasn’t listening. The merchant walked away, irritated. I turned to Luke.
“Is Star famous enough to be in any books?” I asked abruptly.
He chuckled. “Only about a million. There’s a library here, you know. Starfire probably hadn’t shown you, considering all the physical work she’s been putting you through,”
“Take me there.” I told him. It wasn’t a request. It was an order.
The library was huge. It looked like a castle on in the inside and out, but with rows and rows and rows and rows and rows and rows and rows and rows of books. I cannot even begin to describe to you how many books there were. My immediate thought was “That girl who sits in the back of the class always with at least three books would die of joy upon seeing this place” but then I realized that the girl at the back of the class was Sarah, and that Sarah was really Starfire. I turned to Luke, suddenly confused about something.
“Why is your name human?”
“What do ya mean?” He asked, flipping idly through a book called The Great Tree of Avalon: Child of the Dark Prophecy. He chuckled softly to himself. “So this is the book that Tamwyn got his name from. Human literature is ridiculous.”
See, he can’t say stuff like that, because now I had multiple questions! “What I mean is, Sarah’s real name turned out to be Starfire, but you’re still Luke. What gives?”
“Well,” he began, and he seemed a little miffed at me for some reason. “Unlike you, once we turn fourteen the rest of us have to earn our names. All “human” names are really our names for young ones, which were then borrowed from us for the human’s use, once they came around. Eventually, humans asked more of us then just names, so we obliterated ourselves from their history and now reside in secret. I have to earn my true name, which will hopefully be soon.”
I paused for a moment to really take in what he said. “Okay, so now I have a completely different question. If ‘human literature’, as you call it, is so ridiculous, then why is it in this library?”
“Ah,” He said, and his eyes brightened. “Because this is the greatest library in the world. Every time a book is written, whether published or not, appears in this library. There is no other library in the world like this one. For some strange reason, ever since 1999, every November we get loads of partially unfinished, mediocre books. There’s so many, they get their own section. Weird, right?”
“Yea, that is weird.” I mused. “It must have something to do with the human world. Some big writing event.” Something was tugging at my memory, about a bunch of girls doing some novel thing, but I figured that wasn’t connected. It’s not important anyway, I told myself. There is a task at hand.
“Alright!” I clapped my hands together. “Where do we get started looking for books on Starfire?”
He grinned. “You should probably check the section devoted to stories, novels, legends, and biographies about Starfire.”
My mouth fell open. “She gets her own freaking section?” I asked incredulously.
Luke cracked up. “Hell yea she does!”
We spent ages reading. I learned loads of stuff, not all of it having to do with Starfire. As it turns out, when Luke said fourteen, he meant 140. As in, Luke is currently 165 years old. Normal Fire’s my age aren’t doing anything as tough as I am. Apparently, I’m going to live till I’m at least 1,000. If not more. Seems like a pretty freaking sweet deal to me! Plus, Starfire is 750 years old! She looks like a super hot twenty year old model! Every girl I have ever met would kill for her looks, and she’s freaking ancient@ Does this mean she and Tamwyn are married? Another book confirmed it. In face, the entire book was about their wedding. It was an extremely short book. Another book described to me every single battle she had ever been in. She always comes home victorious, but I noticed that me tribe was always reluctant to fight, or to engage in war in any way. For some reason, I felt really proud of that. I mean, we’re known as a war tribe, because we’re ferocious and merciless and we always win and stuff, but really we try to avoid war at all costs.
But even though I read and learned so much stuff about Star, I still didn’t feel like I knew her. I tuned to Luke, who was reading Avalon, even thought “human literature is ridiculous”.
“Is there Greek mythology here?”
He snorted. “Haven’t we been over the fact that EVERYTHING is here?” He replied, rolling is eyes at me before returning to his book.
“Fine.” I huffed. “I’ll find it myself.”
I wandered around for a while, watching the gold embossed signs, waiting for one to say Greek Mythology. Finally I found it. It was a huge section, as myths have been rewritten over an over again in many different ways for many different reasons. I walked through the aisles idly, not in any real rush,. After some time, I found it.
The Legend of Sisyphus.
It was almost exactly as Starfire had told it to me, but I still didn’t see the meaning. I read it over and over and over again, until the words became jumbled on the page but were memorized in my head. It was a weird story, neither happy nor sad, and I didn’t really know what to make of it. Eventually, Luke (who had just read the entire Avalon series) gave me a tap on the head and told me it was time to head back. I sighed and stood up, stretching my arms and cracking my neck and fingers.
“So,” said Luke conversationally. “Did you find what you were looking for?”
“Sort of” I answered, not completely sure how to voice my feelings. “I mean, I read all that stuff about her, but I don’t really know her, you know?”
“I do.” He said, nodding sagely.
“Could it hurt to ask her questions?”
“Oh, it could hurt A LOT.” He replied, eyebrows raised. “But… it’s worth a shot. Never know till you try, eh?”
I laughed. “Damn, this is turning out to be a death wish, wanting to know more about her.”
We both cracked up, and laughed the whole way back to the training center.
I approached Starfire apprehensively, like she was a sleeping bear that it would be best not to bother.
“Star?” I said cautiously.
She looked up and raised her eyebrows. “What do you need Flame?”
“I – I um,” I stammered, not sure what to say. Her eyebrows rose even higher, almost disappearing in her hair.
“Do you like reading?” I finally asked.
She was rendered completely speechless for a moment. I didn’t think such a simple question would catch her off guard like that.
“Y-yes” she said softly. “I love to read.
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