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It was a snowy evening of December as the Khensu’s, a family of Red Foxes, were settling into their new home in the town of Xiang Chung-Shi. The sky was a dense gray as falling crystals came down to earth, covering the world with a soft sheet of white. Mr. and Mrs. Khensu sat quietly in the den by the fireplace, reading. Their first son, Oryik, was out and about, exploring the neighborhood. The middle child, Antyor, was in the kitchen, searching the cabinets and icebox for food like always. And their youngest and only daughter, Akuri, was in her bedroom with the window open, watching the snow fall from the sky.

A series of shouts from below told her that her parents were fighting – again. She sighed heavily and closed her eyes, thinking deeply. From down below, Mrs. Khensu was yelling at her husband, “Why?! Why didn’t you think ahead and pay for this months bills?! Your never think, do you?!”

Akuri stood up, frustrated, and slammed her window shut. She walked over to her bedroom door, slamming it as well. She listened downstairs, as there was a brief pause, but their ignorant shouts continued to fill Akuri’s mind with thoughts. She walked over to the window and stared through the fogged glass.

As Akuri’s amber eyes scanned the gray skies, she saw something quite unusual; a black light from afar, shining brightly through the snow. She thought to herself, “Could this possibly be a star…?” Then shook her head sadly. “Stars aren’t black…” But at that moment, she made a wish silently, to hope for her parents to stop their senseless arguments. Afterward, she climbed into her four-post bed and fell into an uneasy sleep.

The next morning when she awoke and looked to her nightstand to see it was 10:03 A.M., she got out of bed and rubbed her head, having a slight headache. She neatly made her bed and got herself dressed, brushed her tan fur, in which she spent an extremely long time on her tail. Making sure everything was in its proper place and that the light was off, she went downstairs to make her breakfast.

She was astonished to see that the entire family was up; normally, on Saturday’s, they slept in until noon. Her brothers we’re at the table eating like pigs, stuffing their mouth with bacon and eggs. Mr. Khensu was also at the table, sipping his coffee and reading the newspaper. Akuri looked at her mother, who was busy working around the oven and such, preparing more food. Mrs. Khensu walked up to the table and set down another plate of bacon, and looked at her husband with a smile.

“I’m sorry, dear. I should have asked you to pay the bills. Or, better yet, I should have paid them myself. It wasn’t your fault, and I shouldn’t have yelled.” All Mr. Khensu did was shake his head.

“No, I should have done it. It was a smart maneuver, and I regret that I didn’t. But thank you for apologizing.” They exchanged smiles and continued with their activities. Akuri gaped in amazement. Her parents never apologized to each other. They normally stopped talking for days.

All day Akuri sat in the den on a big cushy red armchair, staring out the window at the snow, pondering about her parent’s abnormal behaviour. She thought to herself, ‘Could it possibly be that black light I saw in the sky the other night?’ Time flew by, and she didn’t realize the hours she spent wondering the unknown. Akuri grew sleepy and dragged her feet up the stairs and down the hall to her room.

She made it about half way down the hall where her brothers were standing, arms folded and smirking. “Move out of the way, I’m tired and I want to go to bed!” Akuri shouted hastily while half-yawning. The two just stood there and snickered at their little sister. “Make us!” said Antyor.

Akuri, growing angry, tried to shove through them; but Oryik pushed her down. They walked off into their rooms, laughing as she sat on the floor, tear-stricken. She got up and rushed to her room and shut the door, locking it.

Sobbing softly in the shadows of her room, she staggered to her window, blinded with tears. When she threw back the curtains and glanced at the sky, the black light was shining, even more brightly then before. Akuri whipped away her tears, now lost in her thoughts about the reactions since her wish on the so-called ‘star’. She closed her eyes tightly and wished that her brothers would leave her alone. Too tired to even climb into her bed, she rested her head on the ledge of the closed window and fell asleep instantly.

The next morning as Akuri awoke, she didn’t even bother to change her clothes. Even though she was half asleep, her mind was bringing up thoughts of the wish and the star. As she walked out of her room, she saw her brothers, edging away from her door and scurrying to their rooms. Smirking with self-satisfaction, Akuri made her way downstairs to play in the snow. She buttoned up a heavy feathered coat and put mittens on all paws, then made her way outside.

She spent the entire day in the snowy forest, which was somewhat far from her own home. Her laughter echoed among the trees as she built snowmen, rolled around and made imprints of her body as angels in the snow. She threw snowballs in the air and caught them again, a few of them bursting on her head and covering herself with snow.

When the sun began to disappear and her hands and feet were numb with bitter cold, she looked around, seeing everything the same. As a misty fog arose around the tree trunks, her head spun with mixed feelings and thoughts, the cold killing her senses. Akuri looked around, hoping to find a familiar path as the scenery around her blackened when the sun finally was set beyond the hills. She looked to the dark sky in search of a sign, and saw the black star once more.

Akuri held her breath and shivered, and spoke barely above a whisper, “Please, Black Star above, guide me home…” With eyes closed, she walked forward through the mist, which was beginning to dissipate. She thought she saw a light with her eyes closed, changing directions, guiding her… or was it the cold, making her mind play tricks on her? But as she walked, she avoided all the trees, swerving around them quickly. When the light inside her mind seemed to fade out, she opened her eyes, and was at the edge of the forest.

Blinking in awe, Akuri looked up at the sky for the black star. She gazed upon the sky for several minutes, but the star was nowhere in sight. Murmuring her thanks to the Heavens above, she made her way home through the dark, mind locked on the amazing power of the Everstar.