Under The Stars

jassy
Ruby
Ruby
jassy
Ruby
Ruby
Joined: May 16th, 2018, 3:15 am

May 16th, 2018, 4:34 am #1



Fanfiction link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12937570/1/Under-The-Stars

So, I actually stumbled upon this site back in the dark years of 2012, but I never really got around to making an account. Basically, I've
justbeen lurking here. Anyway, I'm Jassy, it's nice to meet you all! :Mo

Anyway, I recently took interest in the prompt challenge and finally made a submission. While this isn't as good or long as I would like it to be, I'm sure I'll be able to write better ones in the future. I just wrote this to give me something kind of fun to write while working on the latest chapter for my main fanfiction, The Heart Of The Great Valley, which is where this ficlet is set. Additionally, if you’d like to gain a better understanding of the focus characters, I highly recommend checking it out.

Also, there’s some slight differences in this one compared to the fanfiction upload, mainly due to formatting, but the content is mostly the same.

Anyway, that's enough rambling, on to the actual story. Hope you guys enjoy reading! :)

...

UNDER THE STARS

The pair of rainbow faces watched diligently as their young daughter ran down the grassy slope, and past the silvery mist. When the juvenile rainbow face merged from the cloudy depths along with their friends, Amelia and Tristan felt some sense of relief, despite knowing very well that there was nothing to be worried about.

In the distance, there was the rumbling of footsteps. Amelia looked up, her blue eyes intrigued and curious, like a youngling tempted to chase after a buzzer, despite knowing better than to wander too far from home. The farwalker herd had arrived in the Great Valley, and right on schedule. The cold times were upon them, and these dinosaurs, many of which were too colossal to even be threatened, had joined up with others to gain whatever morsels of food they could obtain before continuing on. They never stayed for long, only long enough to eat their fill and rest their aching joints.

Tristan shifted his weight slightly, laying sprawled out on the grass. "You think there's a rainbow face in that herd somewhere?"

"No," Amelia answered after a moment of pondering. "You know we don't usually join up with other herds."

"Still...imagine meeting a rainbow face outside of our herd."

"Well, it's not impossible..." She seemed to wander off into deep thought until she forced herself back to reality. "...Right. I'm going to go check on Miriam." She stood up, the bones in her knee cracking as she made an attempt to rise.

Tristan raised an amused brow. "Sounds like you're getting old."

"Sounds like you're getting ignored for the rest of the day, love." She then turned her back towards him, sashaying towards home.

Amelia was not serious, of course. She and Tristan often engaged in playful banter like this, even as grown adults who'd seen much of the world. It was a bit childish, yes, but it was fun. It gave their relationship a spark that never seemed to falter. She soon disappeared into the mist, never looking back once.

The Great Valley was shrouded in a dreary sort of atmosphere. The sky was gray, with darker gray clouds looming directly overhead. There was a cold sound in the air, like whispering ill intended words so gently that their malice fell on deaf ears. It was cold, but the residents of the valley seemed to be living blissfully unaware.

The female rainbow face, too, ignored the cold air nipping at her scales. She continued on into the mist, never doubting herself even once. After all, she had pulled through far worse trials. She passed through the thick cloud of mist, and the browning, wilting leaves beginning to fall from the trees. At last, she made it to the bottom of the slope, sauntering into a nearby cave.

Miriam lay in a bed of grass and soft down feathers at the end of an isolated corridor. Her arms were tucked underneath her belly, and every so often, for a short while, she would twitch violently.

Amelia softly padded over, leaving footprints in the dirt. Lowering her head, she gently prodded her daughter's snout with hers. It wasn't exactly uncommon for Miriam to fall ill, but she usually didn't have bouts this severe.

"Miriam," she whispered, "Dear, wake up."

Miriam's brow twitched as she began to stir, her emerald eyes fluttering open. She looked up to find herself lying in a dimly lit space, her mother looking down at her with those worried eyes she was so accustomed to seeing.

"M-Mom...?" She winced, struggling to prop herself into an upright position. "...What time is it?"

Amelia smiled kindly, taking a single step backwards to give the younger rainbow face room to breathe properly, rather than hovering over her. "It's late enough." She paused, taking a moment to reconsider her answer. "Well...not quite. It's still light outside, but you've been sleeping most of the day. Do you feel up to moving around yet?"

Miriam made a feeble attempt to hop up onto her own two feet. However, no matter how great her efforts, the end result was always the same — her limbs would give way, and she would crumple to the ground like a tree struck by a devastating bolt of lightning.

At last, seeing that her efforts were fruitless, she gave up trying. Letting herself fall back onto the nest, she looked upwards at her mother, her eyes apologetic and regretful. She let out a sigh. "No, not really," she breathed out, seemingly hopeless. "I'm sorry, mom."

Amelia didn't seem dismayed in the least. If anything, she looked as if she wanted more than anything to be able to help her daughter, to magically find a cure to whatever was ailing her, and battle all the odds to find it and bring it back. But upon hearing Miriam's apology, she looked at the rainbow face as if she were completely daft, or if she'd told her the worst joke in existence.

"Why in the world would you apologize to me, dear?" She lowered her brows, offering a sympathetic smile. "It's not like you asked for this. I know you're trying your best to fight this, and I'm very proud of you for being so strong." She gave her daughter's cheek a firm nudge, earning a croaky giggle from her.

"Mom," she rasped, the corners of her mouth turning up into a smile, "Mom, stop it!"

Amelia laughed, covering Miriam's cheek with slobbery licks of her tongue, which only made Miriam laugh more.

"Mom!" She chuckled, "That's gross, come on, stop it!"

"Oh, come on now," said Amelia, flashing a rather toothy sort of grin, "You never complained when you were a hatchling."

"I was a baby, mom," explained Miriam, rubbing her cheek against the grass to clean herself. "I'm a teenager now, and you're acting like I was born yesterday."

"I can't help it. I'm a mother."

Miriam wrinkled her nose, raising a brow. "What is that supposed to mean?"

"It means..." Amelia suddenly caught herself, and shook her head. "Never mind. When you have children one day, you'll understand. You'll just be lying in the grass, watching the little ones play, and then you'll remember what I said. You'll have an epiphany, and then you'll think, 'Oh, I get it now!'. Of course, I'll probably be dead by then."

"Mom..." Miriam's voice was notably softer, and less harsh. "Don't say that."

"It's the truth," Amelia said dismissively. "You know as well as I do that I'm not going to be here forever. I am getting quite old, you know. Which is why you must be strong to care for your father and your sister."

"But...mom, what if I don't want to have children?"

"That's fine. Lots of dinosaurs are the same way."

"Really?" Everywhere she went, Miriam would always see dinosaurs who had mated and were now raising children of their own. To her, it seemed like a norm, something that would be expected of her.

"Oh, sure. Raising children is hard work. I feel like I've aged ten years because of it. I'll be honest, living happily with your mate, and with no parental responsibilities whatsoever, it sounds quite ideal."

"It does sound nice, doesn't it-" Miriam was suddenly and abruptly cut off by a fit of violent coughs that racked her body.

Amelia's eyes widened in shock, and she rushed to help her daughter back into a flat, supine position. "Easy now, easy," she coaxed gently. When Miriam was finally lying down, Amelia waited until the hacking coughs passed before speaking again. "I'm sorry for talking too much," she said sheepishly, getting up once more. "You should rest. I'll fetch your sister."

Miriam made no protests, and watched her mother grow farther and farther away. When she could no longer see her, Miriam easily lapsed back into sleep.

Amelia began to head down towards the slope, the old and worn out joints in her legs slowly working to support her cumbersome body. She was tired, exhausted, and wanted nothing more to do except sleep. As she walked downhill, she spotted Tristan coming up the hill, another smaller rainbow face trailing at his side. She stopped in her tracks, waiting for the duo to get closer so that she could actually get a decent view. It was indeed their daughter, whom Tristan had actually managed to persuade to come home.

Amelia felt an immense wave of relief. Her husband had just saved her a great deal of trouble. She skittered towards him, coming to a halt in front of him.

"I knew you would have wanted both of the girls home," Tristan began to explain, "And I didn't want you to make the trip since I knew how tired and stressed you've been, so I managed to bring Mackenzie home myself."

"You didn't bring me home, dad," retorted Mackenzie, crinkling her brows, "I decided to come home."

"As long as I'm alive, if you're coming home with me, I brought you home." He then nudged her forward, ushering off towards the cave. "Go on now. In you go."

Mackenzie stumbled forward, shooting her parents one last glare before heading inside.

Amelia chuckled at her daughter's act of defiance, and turned her gaze over to Tristan. She leaned in, resting her head on his shoulder. Tristan nuzzled her chin, using his own body weight to support hers.

"Thank you," she said in a hushed tone of voice, her tail swaying from side to side. "I always knew that I could count on you. Even if you are a blubbering mess."

"Oh, come now." Tristan looked at her, his eyes pleading, "I can be quite put together sometimes."

"Well..." Amelia looked away, grinning slyly, "You don't exactly cover yourself in glory, you know."

Tristan looked devastated, although he knew that Amelia was right. He had never been one to keep calm in the face of danger, and was more so the kind of dinosaur that went into a blind panic when confronted with a threat. It was because of this that he was glad to have someone like Amelia, who somehow always managed to keep calm and think rationally.

He sighed, giving in at last. "Anyway...how is Miriam?"

Amelia's smile fell, and she too, gave a dejected sigh. "She's still the same as before, I'm afraid."

"Don't worry," Tristan said after a long silence. "She's going to be fine. She's been through this before."

"Yes, but that was because we were able to get the night flower for her."

"It'll pass, don't worry. There's no need to go all the way back to the land of mists."

"How can you be so sure?"

"Amelia, listen..." He clapped her shoulders. "I know that you want to go back for the night flower, but it's far too dangerous, and you wouldn't even be back for days. Miriam could be all better by then."

"So, you're saying I should go?"

Tristan shook his head, bewildered. "What?"

"Nothing," Amelia answered, planting herself onto the grass. "You go on inside. I'll join you."

"Alright," Tristan said with finality, slowly pulling away from her and beginning to trudge inside. When he turned his back, Amelia broke out into a run. Tristan whipped his head around to find her sprinting across the grass.

"Amelia!" He screamed, his voice sounding throughout the valley. "Where are you going?"

Amelia turned to look at him, but did not stop running. "I'm going back!"

"Wait!" Tristan began to run after her, but quickly tired out and stopped to catch his breath. "Amelia!"

It was too late. She'd already disappeared into the mist, and he was no match for her agility. His breath left his mouth in the form of of short pants, his amber eyes looking out helplessly towards the horizon.

...

For the first several hours, Tristan was in shock, in some kind of trance he couldn't break out of. It wasn't until night finally fell that he returned to reality. He looked up at the stars, which resembled millions of tiny holes in the dark sky. Sometimes, when there was time to spare, he and his family would lie in the grass, trying to find the shapes in the stars. But now, his wife had ran off, his daughter was ill, and he was certain his other daughter would rather spend time with her friends.

Knowing that there was nothing he could do, he went inside. He stared at the nest that he knew would be empty tonight. Trying to put off sleep as long as he could, he went down the corridor. Mackenzie laid next to her sister, watching over her as she slept.

When she felt a shadow loom over her, and looked up to see father towering above her. "Hey, dad." She seemed to pick up on the fact that something wasn't quite right, that there was something missing. "...Where's mom?"

"Your mom's gone," he said, his voice sounding as if he were trying to swallow something bitter.

"What?" Mackenzie stood up. "What do you mean she's gone?"

"She's...gone. She ran off, most likely to get the night flower for your sister."

"She'll be back, won't she?"

"I hope so. I mean, I know she will, but anything could happen..."

"Is that why you came here? Do you want to sleep with us?"

Tristan looked somewhat embarrassed, and looked away. "...You don't mind?"

"Why would we? You and mom always let us sleep with you. Might as well repay the favor. Come on."

Tristan smiled gratefully, and curled up between his daughters. He and Mackenzie bid each other good night, and after a few moments had passed, Tristan wrapped his right arm around her, holding her close.

...

When the bright circle rose the next day, it rose over a very different Great Valley. It was funny how one little change could hardly faze others and even go unnoticed, but to someone else, that seemingly measly change could make them feel as if their world was crumbling before their own eyes.

As Tristan sat in a patch of grass, under the afterglow of dawn, he felt more alone than he ever thought possible. Even in a valley chock full of life, he felt like somewhat of an outcast. He wondered if anyone else had noticed that Amelia was gone — of course not. Why would they? True, if they knew, they might feel sympathetic or perhaps sad, but none of them would understand the void left at home by Amelia's absence.

He heaved a sigh, watching as the bright circle rose higher into the sky, illuminating his face with it's golden warmth. In the background, he could hear the sound of creatures tapping their beaks against the bark of trees, and the cries of various airborne flyers. It was a calming sort of noise, holding the promise of life and a future.

Behind him, there was the rustling of grass. Tristan turned, and saw Mackenzie passing through the tall blades of green. "Dad? Is it okay if I go with my friends?"

"Of course," Tristan replied, the exhaustion clear in his voice. "Just be back before dark."

"Are you sure you don't want me to stay with you?"

"Mackenzie, listen...just because your mother isn't here, doesn't mean you have to spend all day with me. I understand that you have your friends, and it's perfectly alright if you spend time with them. Besides, someone should stay close to home to keep an eye on Miriam."

Mackenzie nodded slowly. "I'll see you later, dad." She briefly touched her snout to his, and then proceeded to run up the slope.

...

After some time, Mackenzie was able to catch up with her friends. They sat near the tall grass, munching on the vegetation growing in the area. Ducky had her eye on a tree star which had strayed away from the tree, and extended her arms out to grab the leaf. However, Spike also had his eye on that same tree star, and swallowed it in one go before his sister could even touch it.

The little swimmer gasped, indignant. "Spike! I was going to eat that! I was, I was!"

Spike gave an apologetic grunt, although he wasn't very sorry for having a pleasant snack.

Mackenzie sat herself down on a patch of grass, a heavy sigh leaving her mouth.

Cera swallowed the clump of leaves she was chewing into small, bite sized pieces as she scowled at the rainbow face. "What's with you?"

"My mom's gone."

"Gone?" Littlefoot repeated, walking over. "What do you mean? Is she...dead?"

"No." Mackenzie shook her head. "She just...left. My dad thinks she went to go get the night flower for Miriam, but...I don't know. She's all alone out there."

"Well," mused Cera, "It's not like your mom's never been to the mysterious beyond before. She's probably lived there longer than you have."

"Yeah," agreed Littlefoot. "I'm sure she'll be home in no time."

Petrie swooped down from a nearby tree, perching comfortably on top of Littlefoot's head. "But what if she chased by sharptooth?"

"She can run," said Cera, glaring at the tiny flyer.

"But what if sharptooth run faster?"

"You're not helping, Petrie." She huffed, and stomped off towards Mackenzie.

Ruby placed one hand on Mackenzie's back, fully aware of how it felt to spend time away from a parent. "I'm sure she will be alright. Alright she will be."

Mackenzie looked up at her friends and smiled, feeling more reassured by their logic. "I hope you're right."

...

Tristan nestled himself in the grass, resting his head on his knuckles. His eyes drifted towards his ailing daughter, who had been doing nothing apart from sleeping for the past several days. If only she knew how much her mother sacrificed for her sake.

He hated feeling this way. Hated feeling angry that he hadn't done more, that he hadn't actually made an attempt to run after her. He hated to think that if she never came back, the prior night would have been the last time his children would ever see their mother.

Feeling lost and confused, he laid down in the grass, wrapping his tail around himself. This was all too much for him to handle. If he couldn't see his wife in person, then, at the very least, he could see her in his dreams.

The pink tinted clouds danced across the crimson sky as the bright circle prepared to retire for the day. Tristan awoke to the sound of the varied cries there echoed throughout the valley. He lifted his head, pupils dilated. He glanced over at Miriam, who was still slumbering peacefully. He hadn't even realized how late it had gotten.

Slowly, he stood up. He walked down the corridor, and out towards the hills nearest to his home. He'd forgotten to call Mackenzie to come home, and set out to find her. But everywhere he went, she seemed to have preceded him. On the brighter side of things, he received a chance to speak with Mr. and Mrs. Longneck. They gave him their empathy, and he bid them good evening before continuing on his way.

He soon entered a canopy of trees, and found himself too tired to go on any further. He leaned against the trunk of one of the trees, a sigh of exasperation escaping him. Being a parent was so much more taxing without his mate.

"Why so gloomy, rainbow face?"

Tristan startled, and shifted his eyes upwards to see Mr. Threehorn and Tria before him. He had never been on good terms with Mr. Threehorn. They disliked each other from the start, had differing views, and neither were willing to settle any sort of truce with one another.

"Oh," he said, standing up straight and stepping away from the tree. "Uh...it's nothing, really. Just tired, I suppose."

Mr. Threehorn glanced behind him and saw Amelia quietly passing through the copse of trees before tip toeing towards the other rainbow face. She motioned for him to be quiet with her finger. He glanced at Tria, who wore a grin that was almost too large for her face. After a brief consideration, Mr. Threehorn obliged.

"Tired, you say? Why's that?"

Tristan frowned. What an odd question. "Do I need a reason?"

Mr. Threehorn rolled his eyes. Just how dense was this rainbow face? Grunting, he pushed him backwards with a rough nudge from his horn.

"Oof!" Tristan stumbled backwards, ramming into what felt like another dinosaur's chest. "My bad," he mumbled, not even bothering to turn around.

"It's quite alright," came the muffled reply.

When he heard that voice he recognized so well, his eyes grew as large as the night circle. It was then that he turned around to see his wife, the golden night flowers secured in her mouth.

"Amelia!" He exclaimed, an overjoyed smile dancing across his features. "You're back!" He threw himself around her, pulling her into a tight and loving embrace. When he pulled away, he wore a fierce scowl. "You scared me to death! Please don't ever do that again."

"You knew I would have been back," Amelia said, still holding the flowers in her mouth.

"No, I didn't," Tristan countered. "Anything could have happened. You could have drowned, or you could have been eaten by a sharptooth!"

"But neither of those things happened, did they? You see, I'm fine."

"I suppose so, but still...you did scare me."

"I'm sorry. It won't happen again. Would you like to go home now?"

"Of course. Now that you're back I can actually call it that, instead of a...place of residence."

"Still a blubbering mess, I see." Amelia chuckled as she walked beside him, their tails brushing against each other as they journeyed home under the watchful eye of the magnificent bright circle.

...

The following night was a night that only came around occasionally, and one was lucky if they had the opportunity to witness such a feat of nature. The farwalker herd had departed from the Great Valley that morning, and the great night circle looked over a sky that was illuminated by the shooting stars that streaked across like hundreds of hoppers leaping across a pond.

Amelia and her family laid in the grass, on their backs. Miriam was among them too, having came back around quicker than anyone expected, making a full recovery from this nasty little bout of her mysterious illness.

"You know," began Miriam, "Dad once told me that you can make a wish on these types of stars, and they'll come true."

"Really?" Amelia looked towards her guilty husband, who had only told his daughter such a thing to get her to stop wailing when she was a hatchling. "Well, then...I wish for us to always be together."

"Mom," groaned Miriam, "You're not supposed to tell anybody."

"Pfft," Mackenzie sneered. "So sappy."

"Oh." Amelia smiled bashfully, embarrassed. "Well, now you know."

Tristan chuckled to himself, stretching out his limbs to lean over and nuzzle his mate so as to make her feel better about her slip up. He remembered when he and his parents would lie under the trees and gaze up at the starry sky on the clearest of nights. And this was no different. So long as he was under the stars with those he loved, knowing they were safe and protected, he would ask for nothing more.
I love the rainbow faces from the bottom of my heart!

My stories:

The Heart Of The Great Valley (only on FF.net for now)
Under The Stars (on FF.net and GoF)

Stay tuned for more!
Quote
Like
Share

rhombus
Cera
Cera
Joined: August 14th, 2013, 12:52 am

May 19th, 2018, 3:13 am #2

First of all, welcome to the forum, jassy! :wave Feel free to introduce yourself in the Welcome Center so that the other members can get to know you. :)

I initially went into this story not really knowing what to expect, having not yet had the opportunity to read The Heart Of The Great Valley, but what I came away with was a nice little story that not only introduced several rainbowfaces with quite interesting personalities, but also hinted at a deeper backstory. After being concerned for Miriam's injury, amused by Mackenzie defiant will, and impressed with the dynamics between the two mates, I definitely will try to give the source material a read in the near-future. In particular I like how you made Tristan to be the personification of quite the opposite of bravery, but yet still managed to make him a sympathetic and likable character. That is a balancing act that many authors would have found difficult to accomplish.

Thank you again for your contribution for May's prompt response challenge. :) I look forward to reading your other story in the future.


Go ahead and check out my fanfictions, The Seven Hunters, Songs of the Hunters, and Mender's Tale.
Quote
Like
Share

Sovereign
Ducky
Ducky
Joined: April 25th, 2011, 3:58 pm

May 24th, 2018, 7:19 pm #3

It's nice to see a new person giving a try in the prompt challenge. :) While I'm not familiar with the characters presented here, you did a well enough job for this to work as a standalone fic. As for the story itself, a sickness is always a powerful premise for this kind of tale and you mostly did it quite nicely. The bond between Miriam and Amelia was indeed elaborated nicely and much of the dialogue between them managed to create a good, emotional feeling into this story so good job with that!

My main points of critique are the names and one major plot point. At least for me, Mackenzie and Tristan don't sound too LBT-like even if I understand they're your established OCs. The other point is Amelia's quest for the night flowers as that premise isn't too original and the way she acted like it was a brief and completely safe venture seemed rather odd for a short story like this.

Even if there were some some issues with this fic that bothered me a bit, this was indeed a worthy entrant for the prompt. This fic showed that you have a touch for resonant character moments as well as decent story-crafting. Overall, nicely done! :DD
Quote
Like
Share

jassy
Ruby
Ruby
jassy
Ruby
Ruby
Joined: May 16th, 2018, 3:15 am

May 24th, 2018, 8:27 pm #4

Thank you for the review! :) And yeah, I get the thing about the names. The source material was written when I was about 13 or 14, so I am beginning to regret my name choices for some of the characters, but I feel it’s a bit too late change them now. :,) And I admit that I did have trouble coming up with an interesting plot point, so I’ll definitely try to improve that.

Thank you for the kind words!

I love the rainbow faces from the bottom of my heart!

My stories:

The Heart Of The Great Valley (only on FF.net for now)
Under The Stars (on FF.net and GoF)

Stay tuned for more!
Quote
Like
Share