short story, story promptAstraea has just found out that her parents aren’t her birth parents. She demands to know who her real parents are, but will she regret it?


“Who am I?” Glaring at the two adults in front of me, I watched as a look of concern passed between them. “Who am I really?” I repeated. I’d thought these people were my parents. I had been absolutely certain that this man and woman were my mother and father.

I’d just found out they weren’t.

“Dearest, you are our daughter in the most important sense of the word,” my mother – I mean, the woman – said, trying to placate me. “We’ve raised you and loved you since you were a baby.”

“But you aren’t my real parents,” I insisted. “Who are my real parents?”

“Astraea, enough of this ridiculousness,” Dad said firmly. “You’re upsetting your mother.”

“She’s not my mother!” I shouted. “And you’re not my father! Stop lying and tell me what I want to know!”

The look on his face was mutinous, but I wasn’t backing down. I’d always thought I’d inherited my stubbornness from him. Apparently not.

Mum placed a hand on his arm. “We might as well tell her, dear. She’s going to find out sooner or later and I would prefer it if she heard it from us.”

Dad’s face remained tight for a long moment before he sighed. “Alright. But I’ve a good mind to ground you for a month after the temper tantrum you’re throwing.”

My anger flared again, but I fought it back. “I’m not throwing a tantrum. I have a right to know where I’m from.”

“Settle down, both of you,” Mum said gently. “Astraea, this is going to sound impossible. The truth of your origins is truly astounding.”

For a split-second, I panicked and almost told her I’d changed my mind. I couldn’t imagine why my birth might be impossible to believe. Did she mean the circumstances under which they came to be my parents? I mastered my fear and nodded at her. “I’m listening.”

“On a freezing winter’s evening seventeen years ago, a stranger came to our door. She was wet from the snow and shivering, her skin almost blue from the cold. We tried to invite her in, tried to get her to sit by the fire and warm herself, but she refused.” Mum shook her head. “She pushed a bundle into my arms and begged me to look after it. I remember the tears that froze on her cheeks as she asked us to protect it and hide it if … if she didn’t return.”

“That bundle was you,” Dad said quietly. “You looked barely older than a week. The woman kissed you before fleeing into the night without even saying goodbye. She never returned. We heard the sounds of men shouting in the early hours of the morning, perhaps searching for her.” He shrugged. “We don’t know what happened to her.”

Mum placed a hand on mine. “She was your real mother, Astraea.”

I didn’t know what to say. Mum was right, it did sound impossible.

“We found a note wrapped in with your blankets. It told us your first name and asked us to keep you safe and tell no one of where you came from.” Dad rose and disappeared into his study for a moment. He reappeared and held out a faded, crinkled envelope. “This was also wrapped up with you. The note said to give it to you when you turned eighteen, but it might answer some of the questions you have.”

Delicate, swirling lines spelled out my name across the front. I slid my finger under the tab and broke the seal, pulling out the piece of paper inside. I tried to keep my hands from shaking as I read the contents of the letter.

My sweetest Astraea,

I hope you do not have to read this. I hope I can tell you this myself, but fate seems to have different plans for both of us. I fear that something dark is after you. In the event that I cannot protect you and tell you the things you need to know, this letter will have to suffice.

Astraea, you are the daughter of Orion. I don’t have the time to explain all the details, but this is the one thing you need to know above all else. You are the Child of Orion. I wish I could tell you more and guide you, but fate is intervening.

Find Rixen. He will be able to tell you more. He will answer your questions. He will be able to guide you to your destiny. No matter what happens, you must find Rixen.

I wish I had more time, sweetheart. I wish things were different. I hope you do not have to read this and I hope I will be there for you as you grow up, but if not… know this: I love you. My dearest Astraea, I love you with all my heart.

– Your loving Mother

I took a shaky breath. No name. She hadn’t signed her name. The rest of the letter crashed into my brain. She’d claimed I was the Child of Orion, the fabled child who would become a goddess and save the world from a darkness as yet unknown.

I dropped the letter as if it had burned me. “I take it back,” I whispered. “I don’t want to know my origins.”

Unfortunately, it was too late for that…

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<– Day 119