A Short Story for Children
by Carolina Pérez ©
Hello, my name is Lucy and I’d like to tell you how I came to discover the secret of our stars.
Well, I was lying in bed and right next to my bed there’s a giant window bordered with twinkling lights. Like most nights, my eyes were glued to the window looking out into the starry night sky, dreaming about traveling to far off lands.
That’s when a shooting star darted across the sky! I closed my eyes and made a wish. I didn’t believe in all that mumbo jumbo, but just in case it was real, I wanted to be covered.
At that point my eyes started to get heavy and before I knew it, I was asleep.
I found myself in a strange looking place. I was in the middle of a long hallway with many doors. It was dimly lit, with candles hung up on the walls.
I heard soft, quiet footsteps approaching behind me and out of the corner of my eye I saw a shadow. As the footsteps and the shadow grew closer and closer I felt my heart beating faster and faster. At that moment I remembered something my mom used to say to me when I was really little, “Whenever you feel fear, close your eyes and call courage near.” So that’s what I did. I closed my eyes, called in my courage and turned around ready to face the monster. That’s when I saw an old man covered in a long, dark purple robe standing in front of me.
“Lucy! I’ve been waiting for you! How good to finally meet you dear!”
The old man smiled so big his cheeks made his eyes disappear. Definitely not the monster I was expecting. He wrapped his arms around me and, much to my surprise, gave me a strong squeeze for a hug.
“Who are you? What am I doing here?” I asked, in a bit of a shock.
“I’m The Dreamcatcher. Come, follow me, I’ll explain everything soon.” There was a familiarity about him, like I had known him for a long time.
The Dreamcatcher took me down the long corridor with many doors. It seemed to have gone on forever. We finally reached the end of the hallway and stopped in front of the very last door.
But, this door was different from all the rest. It had all these odd, squiggly lines on it. Upon a closer look, I realized the squiggly lines were words. Some of the words had this green, bluish glow to them. Then, suddenly, new words began to appear! The letters “I-W- I- S- H” were being carved out. Before I could figure out what the wish was, The Dreamcatcher took off his golden key necklace to unlock the door. He turned the knob, opened the door and then…
Billions of beautiful, wondrous stars were scattered all over the limitless room! There were big stars and little stars, blue stars and red stars. And everything in between! Stars as far as the eyes could see! I couldn’t believe it!
“What is this place?!” I exclaimed.
“Lucy, these are all the world's dreams.” The Dreamcatcher explained.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Here, let me show you.” he said.
The Dreamcatcher walked over to one of the many stands in the room, and on that stand sat a jar, and in that jar there was a pulsing, bright light.
The Dreamcatcher opened the lid of the jar and BAM!
Out flew a shooting star! Almost as fast as a bolt of lightning! It landed right in between the pink and purple stars. It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.
“Everytime someone follows their dreams a star is born. You see, your dreams start as an idea, as a tiny ball of light in one of our jars here. Once you start to believe in your dreams the light begins to get bigger and brighter. When you are ready to share your dreams with the world, the light begins to pulse and I know it’s time to open the jar and set the star free.”
“Wow!” my eyes widened with amazement and my eyebrows quickly furrowed with the next thought, “But-but, why me? Why have you been waiting for me? I mean, I’m not that special, you know. Actually, I’m kind of a weirdo. Or at least that’s what they call me at school.”
“Oh, sweet Lucy, you are very special. In fact, there is no one like you in all of the universe!”, The Dreamcatcher said with bright eyes, “Lucy, you are a dreamer. And your dreams are special, just like you. The world needs your dreams. The key is to believe. You must always believe in your dreams, and most importantly, in yourself. Why, if not, there would be no stars. Imagine that! A world with no stars! Preposterous!”
The Dreamcatcher laughed and laughed at the very idea of a world without stars! I couldn’t help but join in. Our bellies roared with laughter!
Once the laughter came to an end, The Dreamcatcher placed his burly hand on my shoulder and with a serious voice now he said, “I must warn you, Lucy, there will be times when you will forget to believe, and even to dream. But, you mustn't fret. Just know that it will pass and you will remember again.”
The Dreamcatcher took off the golden key that was hanging around his neck, the one he used to open the door. It shimmered like the stars above us. As he gently placed it around my neck he said, “Here, in case you need help remembering.” He gave me one more big hug before walking me back to the magical door.
Somehow I knew I would never see him again, but it didn’t make me sad.
Without any words, his eyes told me he would always be with me even though I may not be able to see him. I believed him.
The Dreamcatcher turned the knob and opened the door.
I rubbed my eyes and blinked furiously, suddenly I had found myself back in my bedroom.
I had to pinch myself a couple of times just to make sure I still wasn’t dreaming! I mean, it felt so real!
I shot up to see the stars twinkling in the moonlight through my window. I remembered the golden key and quickly tested to see if it was still hanging around my neck.
I know this sounds crazy, but, there it was. I clasped the necklace with all my might and smiled brightly up at the sky, knowing that my dreams are worth believing in and that one day I will be looking up at my own stars.
And that, my friends, is how I came to discover the secret of our stars.