Kayla, Age 12, Peterborough, ON
As Melody Knightbane looked up from her book, she saw her golden eyes sparkle in the mirror. She had never liked her eyes; they made her seem strange, as most people in Ravenoak had green or brown eyes. However, no one seemed to find her strange, though she never really talked to anyone aside from her father.

She closed the book and stood up. “Well, I suppose I should go downstairs,” she thought. When she entered the kitchen, she found her father seated at the table. “Good morning Melody,” he said.

“Good morning.”

She went to pour herself some tea.

“So what do you suppose you’ll do today?” her father asked.

“Nothing spectacular, just finish my book,” she replied.

“You and your reading. You should really get outside more often, you know.”

Melody just sighed. “Father, I can’t go outside, the townspeople will only cause me grief.”

“Now Melody,” he began.

“No father!” And with that she stormed back to her bedchamber. The true reason she did not wish to go outside was that she was fearful of the townspeople learning the existence of her premonitions and visions. Should that happen, she would surely be put in the madhouse. So she just settled back down into her chair, and continued to read her book.

A scream. It came from a young girl, racing through the forest. What could be laying chase to a child so small? She stumbled, tripping over a tree root. “No!” she screeched. “Leave me be!” The pursuing creature replied with a horrible shriek. Melody awoke with a start. She must have dozed off; it was well after nightfall now. She shook her head, as though to remove the memory of the premonition, still fresh in her mind. She knew that she must do something to help the little girl; the only question was what she could do. Melody pondered and puzzled. The premonition was a glimpse ahead to the next night it seemed, though she did not know where it had taken place, and there was a name: Starflare. There was a very large forest encircling her town, and she’d no idea where to look. This so called “Starflare” must have some sort of dwelling.

“If I were a horrid monster, where would I wish to live?” thought Melody. She decided to set off in search of some place dank and undesirable.

Treading carefully, as to not wake her father, she descended the staircase. Once downstairs, Melody headed to the kitchen. Looking for some means of slaying the beast, she found a small dagger; as the creature did not look very large in the premonition, she decided that it would do. Packing the dagger and a flask of water in a knapsack, she cautiously exited the house. She set off for the easternmost bit of the forest.

“I must search for a cave, or something that may possibly involve witchcraft,” she thought.

As she entered the forest, however, she felt a swoop of fear within the pit of her stomach. What if she could not find the creature? What if in order to save the little girl she had to sacrifice herself? Her father didn’t even know that she had left. As she pushed these thoughts away, she spotted a cottage. It couldn’t hurt to knock on the door. Once she did, she was greeted with a sweet sounding “Come in!”

Nervously, Melody turned the door handle. She then found herself in a cozy living area, with a fire burning in the grate. “Hello?” she called tentatively. There was no answer. “Hello?” she called again, a little more loudly. Still there was no answer. She walked over to the door on the other side of the room, opening it a bit. It was only a small and very empty scullery. When she turned, there was a woman in the fireplace. Melody screamed. The woman, who was very pale and incredibly beautiful, began to laugh. “W-who are you?” Melody stammered.

“Why, my name is Starflare.” replied the woman, smiling devilishly.

Melody gasped backing away. Why had she not recognized her from the premonition? Starflare stepped from the flames, still ablaze. She showed not a single sign of anguish or worry.

“What do you want with Clarissa Everson?” said Melody. The name of the child spilled from her mouth, though she had never even met her. Starflare’s wide smile quickly left her face.

“Nothing at all,” she said coldly, but with a slight tone of fear.

“I’ve not heard that name before. Mayhap I am not the one you seek.”

“I know perfectly well that you are. ’Twas known since you gave me your name.” Now it was Melody’s turn to smile at the look of mingled fear and confusion upon Starflare’s face. She drew her dagger from her knapsack and moved closer to Starflare. “Tell me, and you shall not be harmed,” she said, more confidently than she felt.

Raising an eyebrow, Starflare replied. “Fine, I’m an Ardentis.”

“I didn’t think those existed!” exclaimed Melody in awe.

“To mortals they’re just bits of stories created to frighten children. Which we certainly do.” she said bitterly. “Anyways, I’ve no intention to harm the girl, just to frighten her. The flames of an Ardentis feed off of fear. I am not proud of what I must do.”

Melody was confused. “If you must have fear to feed your flames, and always have, why did I only have a premonition about this girl?” she asked. But her question was then answered by a wakeful vision: Clarissa wept into her hands, as she watched her childhood home burn and smoke. Her weeping was for the loss of her mother, who sacrificed her life for Clarissa’s.

Rising out of her daze, Melody said quickly “You mustn’t frighten Clarissa! There must be someone else!”

As though Starflare knew that was true, she said, “Well, I suppose, if it is for the wellbeing of the child.”

Melody smiled, feeling relieved, then happily left the cottage, and headed home.

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