Magical Flash Fiction – The Seventh Star by Alyssa Jordan
When they fell from the sky, Mira only thought of her mother.
She would come to learn their plane broke apart in the air. What she had thought was the crack of thunder was really lightning that struck an engine. Other passengers wailed as the plane groaned above them. In the darkness, emergency lights washed their faces red.
Mira reached for her mother’s hand.
Now she plummeted toward the earth. She wanted to look for her mother, wanted to yell her name, but Mira was the only one still strapped in her seat. It spiraled down, down, down.
There was the scream of the wind. The blood vessels bursting in her eyes. The green jungle rushing up to meet her.
A hunting party discovered the survivors under smoke and sunlight. Stillness rent the air like an omen. Some of the men fled, but others felt the ground singing beneath their feet.
Survivors were scattered throughout the jungle, their descent slowed by upward drafts from the thunder storm, and their fall cushioned by a network of arterial vines. Each survivor sprouted flowers from their lips. Foliage seeded in their bones, and river water ran between their legs. It bloomed with salt and silt and summer blood.
Around their arms, the vines pulsed with life.
Weeks would pass before they awoke. Every day, they were visited by natives, who likened them to stars that fell from the sky.
Debris from the plane was also scavenged and put to use. Scrap metal became shelter, chair legs became posts, and bodies became earth. Other planes often flew overhead, cresting the horizon with golden wings.
They did not return after a few weeks.
By that point, the survivors walked again.
Mira tried to leave the jungle at first light. Many times, she approached the border and sank to her knees. She always choked on mud and vines and flora. Her lungs would only empty after she returned to the jungle.
No matter how she cried or pounded her fists, Mira was met with the rustle of wind and taste of brine.
She called for her mother till her voice shrank to a whisper.
Eventually, the natives carried her back to the others. They spoke of stars and light and somehow, Mira understood them. In time, she realized that she could hear everything. Whenever children became lost in the jungle, Mira felt the vibration of their voices and the thrum of their feet. She reached for their hands through the tangle of vines.
Together, Mira and the other survivors led them to the border.
Word soon manifested into legend. Travelers came to depend on them for guidance. Others learned they could murmur names on the wind, and one of the fallen would appear like blood to a wound.
The jungle flourished with this new life. Still, the stars found themselves looking to the sky whenever they heard a rumble of engines, full of yearning but ready to catch whomever should fall.