*The Spirit Of The Stars*

PART 1

Chapter 1

Then, and Now

"Crack!" went the twig as Lucas walked down the dirt path of the warm colored forest. A leaf twirled to the ground, the color of an apple, and landed gracefully on the the puddle which seemed to shimmer in the moon light.

" Look at the stars Lukey," He's mother used to say in her sing-song voice, "See that big star? Thats the North star. And attached to that is the big dipper." She'd go on and on about the stars and Lucas would gaze up into the lit up world that lied above them. She had also told him that stars had the most powers of anything. With out the stars, we would be in darkness except the moon. Without the stars, Luis and Clark would not have done what they had done and who knows where they'd be? And most of all, His mother said,

"When someone pases away, they become a star!"

"So..... Aunt Amy's a star?"

"Yes Lukey. And see that big shiny star? (he nodded) Thats her star."

"Hmmm. I pick that star. See mama? The one in the big dipper," Lucas said, as his mother chuckled.

"I see," She said with a smile, "Then that stars mine. Do you see that little star by the North star? That one's mine. That way I'm always close to you." And thats when she snuggled up close to me.

Lucas sniffed. It was o-so long a go that the memory was faint but Lucas always remembers her warm, friendly smile, The way she'd sing to him at night, and most of all, when ever Lucas would get mad or upset, she would hold him in her arms and slowly walk back and forth. "It's going to be alright Lukey. Everything is going to be okay." Just the soft touch of her delicate hands seemed to solve everything. Lucas quickly shook off the memory, he's eyes slowly filling with tears. He didn't like to think of his mother. Thinking of his mother made him think of his dad. Lucas's dad went to jail. He was just four when his dad had been hand cuffed and thrown into the car with flashing red and blue lights. That was also the same day his mom had, well, pasted away. The memory was clear and unforgiving.

The house was quiet as his mother sang her lullaby. Lucas's eyelids became heavy and the sweet sound of his mothers voice seemed to be the only voice in the world. As if the world was silent and they too, were drifting off to sleep.

"Crash!!!!" went what seemed like the front door crashing open. Lucas started to shiver as a wave of fear washed over him. Then, the warming touch of his mothers hand fell upon him.

"Go hide..." She whispered. Lucas could sense the fear in his mothers voice, but he did what he was told. His mother sat on that very same couch, paralyzed with fear. Lucas tip-toed toward the pantry and left it open just so a slit of light leaked in. The shear sound of glass shattering echoed through the empty halls. Instantly, Lucas moved back into the shadows.

"Thump, Thump, Thump." The sound of heavy boots, once again echoed through the emptiness. Each step seemed to vibrate the whole house. Slowly, Lucas moved back to the slit in the door. His mother stood. Petrified. She stood as if there was a voice only she could hear told her to. A man dressed in black, hid in the shadows.

"Peggy," The man said in his deep voice. 'Dad?' Thought Lucas, for the shadowy figure now looked like the form of his father.

"Jack?" said his mother as her eyes widened. And that was it. A gun fired and it echoed through out the whole neighborhood. She........ was gone.

"MAMA!" Lucas yelled, running out of the pantry. The mysterious man was gone and so was his mother. She laid in a lifeless heap on the floor, right behind her favorite chair. It had cushion that felt like the jet puff marshmallows and had carefully crafted mahogany wood. The cushions were vanilla cream with purple polka-dots the size of a penny.

"Mam-a!" He said, tears streaming down his cheek like a waterfall on a rainy day, "Mama, please wake up!" He put his hand on his mothers side and shook her as if it would bring her to life. But she, was gone. Not just a business trip, or to the store, but forever. A tear rolled down Lucas's cheek as he walked back to the orphanage. He was 13 now and it was 9 years ago, but still it was in his head. Lucas let out a big sigh as he let the memory slip by. But the image of his dad in the black suit would not get out of his head.

"UUHHHHH!!!" He screamed in frustration. He absolutely hated his dad for what he had done. Lucas didn't want him to be let out of jail. Lucas had yelled so loud that all the geese flew out of the trees, making there goose noises. It seemed to echo through out the whole world. Even the people in France could hear it. Lucas lived in the middle of Kansas and everywhere seemed a thousand miles away no matter how far it was. At least he was away from his dad. He had been thrown into jail somewhere in Australia. He thought it was an island, but all he cared about was that he was far away. Although, even though Lucas hated him with his guts, he still believed that there was a good side of his father. "Something told him not to shot me," though Lucas, "He could of easily killed me with one shot of his gun." But Lucas did not want to test if he really was good. He wasn't going to take the risk. Lucas's grandparents had been the one's to tell the judges to keep his father far from Lucas. Lucas had always loved his grand parents, but they had died only 2 years back. He had lived with them until they died. He lived in Washington in a very quaint neighborhood. The view was always beautiful and and he never got tired of it. He missed those days, but those were long gone. And now he was here: At the orphanage. Lucas had no one he knew that was family and he called nobody family. Except his friend Lexi. Her parents had died in a car accident when she was 3. All of her family was either a million miles away, or dead. She had been here ever since. She was the same age as him and she was the only one to come and greet Lucas when he came. Of course, she was one of the few that actually lived there. They had been best friends ever since. Lexi had short, silky brown hair that shines in the light. Her brown eyes seemed to speak to you and made you feel better when ever you looked in them, just like his mothers touch. She was very studious and always tried to use big words on him. Lucas would stare at her blankly.

" It means this you silly!" She said, follow by a punch in the shoulder. At least he had her.

Lucas finally arrived at the front of the orphanage door. 'Welcome!' read the mat at his feet. He fished out the orphanage door key and struggled to put it in the key slot. Lucas managed to slide the key in and slowly turned it, making sure not to wake anybody up. It was 10:00 when Lucas had left. The old wooden door creaked open. The door was a faded red and the paint was chipping off. Lucas stepped in to the old orphanage and the floor boards creaked under his weight when he tried to close the door quietly......

"Have a nice walk?" Said a shadowy figure. Normally, if this was Lucas's house, he would run right out the door. But this was a orphanage in the middle of Kansas. No one would want to break into an old orphanage. "Hello Kelly, and yes, I did," he replied. Kelly was the mother of the orphanage house. She took care of everyone needs, see tended to each person, and she always knew where everyone was at every time. Just like a mother. Kelly was single and and no kids (except the orphans) but she always wanted some. Thats why she opened up this place, and after she did, she never regretted it. Lucas tip toed to his room to find his roommate, Dan, fast asleep, snoring like a truck driver. He came from a poor family and his mother dropped him over here 13 months after he was born. His family didn't have any money to take care of him and now he says they're dead. He had been here ever since. Lucas took off his big winter coat, slipped off his boots and lay in bed. He pulled the covers up to his chin and finally drifted of to sleep.

Chapter 2

All over again, but worse

" Here, take this magical cheeseburger," said the minotaur, "And take this to," he said as he handed out a gleaming bronze sword.

"I don't understand," Lucas said, "Why me?" The minitar opened his mouth as if he wanted to say something, but instead he yelled,

"BBBRRRRINNNGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!"

"Whaa?" mumbled Lucas for it was just a dream. The bringing in his dreams still continued. He suddenly felt very hot. Lucas still wished he had the cheeseburger, so had tried to go back to sleep and dream again. Dan was not in his bed and Lucas was extremely hot. So he pushed all his covers off the bed and closed his eyes. Until he heard the faint call of his name. He opened his eyes to find that it was only hotter and the bringing was still going.

"Tun it ov.." Lucas mumbled. But it wasn't an alarm. And now there was a bright blinding light coming through the cracks of the door.

"Lucas...." "Wait," Lucas thought, "Extreme heat, light, alarm..."

"FIIRREEEEE!!!!!!" Lucas yelled out loud. He leaped out of bed and scurried to the door knob as if he would be safe. But since he was still half asleep, so he wasn't thinking right.

"HHHHHH!" he shouted. The door was burning and that was the place with the fire. He turned the other direction and and punched the window in panic. Lucas leaped threw the shattered opening, warm red liquid pouring out of his knuckles. The ground was about 10 feet from the window. Lucas in the air braced himself for the hurtful landing, but instead, the flower bed broke his fall. He would apologize for that later, but first, he had to find the group.

"KELLY!!!" He yelled with panic in his voice.

"Over in the front..." Lucas skidded around the corner, and just ran. He could now see the blazing fire blasting through the shattered window and the open door way. Kelly was huddling around the kids. Lucas ran as far away from the fire as he could. It was freezing outside but it felt good after being in a house on fire! His legs felt like Jello for they been asleep for a couple hours. But he kept going determined to not stop until the he reached the group. He ran through the misty air. Lucas could see his breath.

"Lucas!" Lexi called, " Oh, your alive! I was so worried!! Oh," She ran over and hugged Lucas's sleepy body. As she released her grip, Lucas fell flat on the floor. Dan was going on about something and trying to explain it to Kelly.

"An-an and then he, well, um, whatsit called?" Oh yea! ! H,h,h,h,h,h,h,h" He panted. Kelly looked at him blankly.

"Speak slower," She said slow and steady.

"OK. So in the middle of the night , a man dressed in black came in. He had a gun I his pocket. He came over to Lucas, put a box on his desk. He went out the door but before the door closed, he got out a lighter!" Dan exclaimed. Kelly was still watching her beautiful home go down in flames. The firemen had almost put out the fire And there was still hope. If the firemen put out the fire fast enough, then the orphanage would be fine. Just a little redecorating and painting, maybe some new furniture and the house would be just fine. The big water hose put out the last flame and then turned to Kelly.

"Ya know, we could get a nice hotel for you and the kids to stay in until you get the house fixed? We know you had nothing to do with this. Your stays are free?" said the fireman, trying to cheer her up. Kelly sighed.

"That would be nice," She sniffed. Kelly tried so hard not to cry in front of them, but she just couldn't help it. A watery teardrop slide down her cheek, letting it drop to the cold hard ground.

"ROLE CALL!" Lexi yelled, taking lead, "Dan?"

"Here."

"Lexi? Here as always."

"Riley?"

"Here."

"Justin?"

"Here."

"Lucas?"

"Here.." Lucas said, raising his hand and letting fall back down. He was still on the ground. Not because he was tired, because the cold ground felt good after being in a burning house. Literally, a burning house. Kelly cleared her throat and pulled her self together.

"Okay kids, lets go to the hotel the firemen told us about. At least.." She paused, and glanced toward the wet, charcoal house, then back at the kids, "At least till we get thing fix things up. The tone in her voice was all mom. She sounded, as if she were trying not to scare every body. Like Lucas's mom.