This is the story of a girl.
Her world was unusual at best. To us, it was downright bizarre.
For instance, the only home she ever knew was an island. In the sky. With four other islands nearby. Clouds would drift right through her village all the time. Besides the location, this girl’s home was relatively normal. They still had houses, trees, grass, and sunshine. The houses, though, were spherical and hung from thick branches of the towering trees. That’s another thing– these trees were ever so much taller than the ones we are used to. And their leaves were purple. Yes, purple. They did turn red and gold in the fall, though.
The girl’s name was Megan. She, too, would seem a bit unusual to us. She had bright red hair, deep gray-green eyes, and a slightly haunted expression. She was the only one on her island with bright hair, and it unnerved her. She hated people staring as she walked through the street. There was one other major difference between her and the rest: She had not yet met a member of the Uprising.
The Uprising, despite what they told everyone, was not a rebellion against an evil government. That had already taken place a hundred years ago. The new rebellion had just named themselves after it to make them seem like the good guys. They were trying to overthrow a just government that wielded mercy and grace correctly. The Uprising officers didn’t even seem to know much about the island. It was hard not to wonder if they were even from the Suspended Isles at all. Everyone said they were cold and harsh, their hearts made of pure, icy stone.
Megan, as I’ve previously mentioned, was one of the only citizens that hadn’t met a member of the Uprising. She lived deep in the forest, and none of them had ever bothered to come out there. In the city, though, everyone had at least seen one. Uprising Officers made your blood run cold. They seemed to have no life in them.
One day, Megan was swinging in the forest. (When I say forest, I just mean the part of the island with more trees than the rest. There were trees all across the island.) It was an autumn day, complete with a soft breeze and bright leaves all around. She was hiding from her friends, who only wanted to gossip just then. Megan herself didn’t particularly enjoy gossip. It was all too frequently just lies anyway. So she hid.
As she sat on the swing, she noticed something odd in the distance. Running swiftly to the spot, she saw immediately that the whole area of surrounding her was gray. Not a vivid gray, blue gray, or even a charcoal gray. Just a lifeless gray the color of fear. Every plant, every leaf was devoid of life.
Knowing that something must have caused this, Megan ducked into the shadows, searching for a clue as to what had done it. That was when she noticed: Lying in the grass, the only bit of color to be seen, was a small piece of Happiness. She was certain it was a shard of Happiness because every time she touched it, all sad or fearful thoughts were banished from her mind. It looked exactly as one would imagine Happiness to look, too.
All of a sudden, a tiny voice called up to her, “You found it!”
Startled, Megan glanced down. A wispy creature, the same color as the shard of Happiness, stood at her feet. “What are you?” Megan asked without thinking.
The creature giggled. “A sprite. And you, girl with fiery hair, will be the one to banish the fear from this place.”
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