Cellia Wynne was an ordinary girl. She wasn't too tall, or too pretty, but she was often told that she had a pleasant look about her. Sometimes she wished she were anything but pleasant-looking. Sometimes she wished she were a horrible monster, or a beautiful princess, anything but totally unexceptional Cellia Wynne.
It was easy for Cellia to get lost in the mix at her house, what with seven other siblings running around and demanding the limited attention of her parents. As the fourth born, it always seemed like her older brothers and sisters got the most of her parent's guidance and punishment, and her younger brothers and sisters got the most of their coddling and affection. Cellia was just sort of understood to be there, making few waves and keeping mostly quiet.
On one particularly rainy afternoon, Cellia found herself alone in the Wynne house, a rare treat as the little house was usually stuffed with family members and friends. Cellia had felt sick earlier in the day and so her parents had excused her from school, but she was feeling better sometime after lunch and didn't know what to do with herself.
She read for a while, watching the rain fall on the window in her bedroom, which she shared with her four sisters. She never got the window seat when her sister Haille was around, though it was the most comfortable spot in the room. Now, without any of her sisters around to notice it, sitting by the window didn't feel too special. Instead, it felt lonely. Though Cellia always wished for solitude, whenever she got it she would just as soon want her family back.
After deciding that the book she was reading wasn't particularly good, Cellia took to staring out the rain-splattered window into the gray garden outside. The patter of the rain put her into a trance, as she watched the flowers and leaves bounce and dance under the weight of the tiny drops of precipitation. She became so lost in her daydream, actually, that when a bright green orb fell from the heavy skies into the garden she didn't pay it any attention. It took a short while for her to remember that her garden didn't usually glow.
Cellia pulled on her mother's raincoat that was hanging by the backdoor, and then walked out into the yard to examine the strange glowing light in the garden. The light pulsated softly, glowing brighter then softer over and again as Cellia drew cautiously towards it. The green light shone off a statue in the yard, exaggerating the statue's features with every pulse, making the figure look like it was smiling and then frowning, smiling and then frowning.
The grass was cold on Cellia's bare feet, but it felt good, and the rain smelled sweet. The girl slowed her gait as she came within a few feet of the glowing green orb, and then she could see it more clearly: it was the size of her head, maybe a bit smaller, and was transparent, full of swirling purple and green gasses. Cellia leaned in very close and then stuck out her finger to poke the orb. When she did so, the glowing sphere rippled as if it were made of water, which made the girl jump back with a small gasp. And then she heard a sound like none she ever had before emanating from the orb. It grew louder and then louder still, becoming clearer and crisper as if it were coming out of a tunnel, and then finally she heard the orb speak, somehow. It had no mouth to say the words, of course, but she heard it speaking nonetheless, telling her, "I am lost. Can you help me? I am lost."
Cellia was seized with a panic and wanted to run back to the house, but something kept telling her that the orb wasn't malicious in any way. And so, after a quick glance around the yard, feeling like a complete fool, Cellia asked the orb in a whisper, "Where did you come from? Do you have a name?"
At first there was no response, and Cellia wondered if she were still sick, if her fever had left her delusional. But then the orb finally replied, "I am Cellia Wynne. I am lost. Can you help me?"
TO BE CONTINUED...