Face Life With A Smile


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There’s sheer beauty in movement. She only recognized that when it was ripped from her. The story of how Aster Sol ended up in cryogenic freezing for a thousand years is long. What I’m here to divulge is different.


She awakens. It’s been a long, fruitless sleep. Long centuries of nothing in her mind. A thousand years have passed. The girl is a mixture of contradictions. 

I can’t tell you everything. I don’t know how Aster’s mind works. The attempt to create technology to read thoughts was shut down five hundred years ago. Can you imagine anything worse?

Not much changes in the scheme of things. You have that attitude when you live this long. Why am I telling this story? Aster doesn’t think it’s worth writing. I do.


On the last day of the year, it’s late. It’s a cause for celebration here, the yearly solar eclipse. Our moons and the suns line up to produce a stunning spectacle.

The mountains beyond the plains burn with cerulean and copper-gold, and we welcome a new beginning. By we, I’m referring to my companion, Shivani, a blind farmer with enough secrets to warrant an entire chronicle.

I’ve lived with them for fifteen years, and I still know nothing. I don’t need to know what the tattoos encircling their bony wrists mean, or why they’ll listen to mournful music when they should be sleeping.

Shivani wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the Sun Goddess. Her healing touch stays with you forever, marking you as one of her worthy chosen. 

Shivani’s face, aquiline and long, is pieced together with golden lines. How they’d met the Sun Goddess was just one secret they carried. 

I have nowhere to go. As long as I clean up after dinner and assist them with the upkeep of their farm, I stay. The universe has changed for the better in the thousand years since Aster was frozen, but there’s still plenty of work to be done.

Shivani’s secrets are irrelevant. They’re the lifeblood of this fragile community they’ve built over the last decade. Our circumstances are unusual, but that’s nothing new.

The others I mean when referring to ‘we’, is Shivani’s faithful pet. She’s a curious creature, a hybrid, making her the perfect guard animal and support system for Shivani’s needs.

Providing context on who I am is necessary. My name is Minerva, but most call me Min. My pronouns are she/her, and other details are irrelevant.

We climb the great mountain to witness the annual spectacle. There’s usually a great festival afterwards, the Twilight Send-off, but Shivani doesn’t want to go.

Instead, we remain on the mountain and eat a delicious spread Shivani has prepared. I adore their expert cooking.

Does Shivani have prophetic abilities? If they hadn’t made this choice, our lives wouldn’t have changed forever. Aster Sol would continue to sleep. How much longer would she’ve lasted?

Despite disliking things about Shivani, I’m forever indebted to their fateful decision. Life isn’t the same without her in it. Don’t tell her. Compliment her, and you’ll never hear the end.

We sit on a spot Shivani chose for its sensory delights. Through them, I appreciate the details of my surroundings. I’m halfway through a pastry when Aster’s ship falls from the sky in a burst of sparks.


Things escalate quickly. Shivani doesn’t understand the urgency until… Crack.

The spaceship hits the mountain and splits in half. The ground shakes, a deep rumble lasting for minutes. Dust plumes into the air, blocking out the view.

I’m treated to the sight of the most beautiful eruption of machinery before it consumes half the forest in a ball of fire.


In the course of a few months, Aster gets us embroiled in a galactic-wide treasure hunt, being kidnapped by an all-powerful crime lord, and almost dying. Three times.

Though after all the chaos, I’m sure of one thing. Aster is annoying, but she made our lives worth living again.

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