This is the City of Stars. Here, the men and women and children rise at dusk and sleep at sunrise. They eat stardust and play with the falling stars. Melodic spirals dot the horizon and wind chimes tinkle in the breeze.
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The wonders of the City of Stars are protected by the mountainous ridges. Hidden from the world, they are safe from the outside world. They are safe from everyone but themselves.
The children laugh and play. Children's laughter is a rare commodity in a world always on the brink of war, but the City of Stars is Star-blessed. The stars will protect them.
Their parents pray to the star Lords above from their spires that can nearly touch the heavens. They pray for their continued protection, outside and in. Barriers to stop the barbarians from getting in, food to make sure the barbarians within never emerge from their perfect, blessed bodies. Their prayers are answered and stars fall and streak across the skies and the children and mothers and fathers all ooh and aah. One star tumbles out of the sky, unable to keep up with her brothers and sisters. A race which she cannot win, a sacrifice sent by her mother to sate their human worshippers.
The children run to the star, the angel that has fallen. She blazes bright against the grass, lighting up the sky with her sacrifice. This star, this angel, will be harvested. She looks towards the children, and before they reach her, she closes her eyes and extinguishes her soul. Her glitter diminishes, until she is just another beast to be carved, another gift from the heavens. The mothers and fathers and aunts and uncles will come and take her heart and her wretched body. She will feed them for a week.
This is the City of Stars. Here, a gift from the heaven requires a gift in return.
An angel has fallen for children. A child will fall for the angel. A child will be sent to climb the melodic spirals and grow up in the care of the star Lords. A replacement. An angel for an angel. A heavenly city and its devastating tax.
But still, the parents choose a child. The child that reaches the angel first will climb the stairs before the sun rises. They will be sacrificed before bed time, and little Céline or Lucien will be a little shining star in the night sky by tomorrow, racing along with their new siblings. The parents have made it out of childhood. They never question whether the children still remember their earth-bound lives. They do not want to know what happens to their child once they are racing across the sky.
Better to never know, they assume.
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The years pass and the falling stars grow smaller, the weakest lagging behind. The parents pray from their heavenly spires more often now, their sacrifices rewarded as always.
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This is the City of Nightmares. There are none left in this abandoned city.
They have all been sent to live in the heavens.
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To find out more about what has happened after the fall of the City of Stars, read The City of Nightmares here. If you would like me to expand this universe, please consider a tip so I can recognise what is most loved!
I also have other fictional pieces, such as this philosophical fiction piece'The Children of Urla', a product of pondering over how much love means to people.
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