Part 1: Danger

twist the telescope around, trying to get it aligned and ready for the shooting star show tonight. I stand under the shining night sky, lit by moonlight with a windproof jacket wrapped tightly around my body. I keep glancing up to the sky every now and again to make sure the show doesn't start. I hear my balcony doors open and someone stepping out.

"I've got some hot cocoa for the light show," a male voice says. I turn around and find a 15-year-old boy with tousled bronze-colored hair, a lean frame, and nearly a foot taller than me standing by the open door, two steaming mugs in both hands. By the light of the moon, I can see his crooked grin that makes my heart flutter. Vinny has been my best friend since we were in diapers, our parents very close. He's been by my side ever since. We would sometimes have sleepovers at each other's house. Tonight was one of those nights.

"Thanks Vinny," I say, taking one of the mugs and gesturing for him to sit down on one of the chairs out here, lack of light hiding the faint tint of pink dusting my cheeks.

"You know," Vinny starts, sitting down, "we don't need that old thing." He gestures to the telescope, taking a sip of the cocoa.

"Oh?" I quirk an eyebrow, taking a seat next to him. "And why is that?"

"This balcony gives us a clear view of the sky. No stars can hide from us."

I chuckle. "Except maybe those trees." I point to the dark silhouettes in my backyard.

"So a few stray trees, big deal. Not like it's a giant canopy or something."

I laugh at this and quickly check my phone for the time. 9:29 P.M. Almost time for the show to start. I turn my head to the sky and start smiling as the first star shoots across, leaving behind a trail

I frown. Something feels wrong. More stars streak across the sky, leaving more red behind. The red trails don't dissipate like they're supposed to, and soon the whole sky is painted in an angry, glowing red. I look to Vinny with a worried face. He reciprocates it as we both stare at the sky in bewilderment and worry. The moon starts showing his face and turns to a blood red color. This night was supposed to be a new moon, not a full moon. The craters in the moon seem to move to form two eyes and a mouth angrily glaring down on me.

"What the hell?!" I shout to nobody in particular. I hear loud explosions as the shooting stars start exploding into dust in front of my eyes, painting the word "Muse" into the sky. I furrow my brows when I'm suddenly thrown forward, my head connected with the concrete. Pain explodes in my head as I stay down, my head spinning from the sudden blow. Another explosion sounds to my right and left as I squeeze my eyes shut, fearing the explosions. I feel something warm and sharp pierce my skin and debris rain down. My head stops spinning after a while as the explosions slow to a stop, I lift my head to find the glass of my window shattered everywhere. My cup had exploded as well as hot cocoa drips down my arms.

"What just happened?" I ask, in a daze.

"I don't know," Vinny says breathlessly, just like me. "But it can't be good."