The Last Starry Night

Azalea, a young girl from Alabama, runs away from her broken home in the middle of the night, plunging into the woods alone.

Then the stars go out.

The Last Starry Night, available to read for free on Inkitt, is a YA novel in which aliens have stolen the earth. Azalea and her friends are the only ones who can save it from the bloodthirsty warrior race who have captured it.

As the stars came out for the last time, Azzie watched her little brother scraping in the dirt. He looked determined to dig all the way from Alabama to China with a six inch stick. The last light of the sun was cutting its way through the pine trees behind the apartments and shining on Johnny’s chubby face, making him look a little like the copper Buddha on Mama’s altar.

…Normally Azzie would never think of leaving without asking. But Azzie figured that if her mother was going to treat her like this, she didn’t owe her anything.

Azzie took down the clothesline that was stretched across the porch, and piled up the wet clothes on the concrete. She knew her mother would have to wash the clothes again, but it served her right. She tied the clothesline around the railing and carefully pulled herself over… She fell as she landed, but wasn’t hurt. She ran for the woods.

It was very dark under the trees, and the crickets were strangely loud. She found the path quickly — she’d played in these woods often enough. There was no moon, but the sky swam with stars, and after a few minutes she found she could see the path just fine as it picked its way through the dim silver trees.

She wondered if anyone else was out in the woods tonight. Then she tried not to think about that. Very soon she’d be at Grandma’s apartment. Then everything would be fine. Thinking of Grandma reminded her of how her mother had acted, and she forgot all about being afraid. She started to run along the path.

Then she came to the clearing, where the trees opened out into a grassy, mossy area. Tonight the starlight filled the clearing and made everything ash gray. The crickets’ chirping filled her ears, and the smell of grass and the press of the heat was dizzying.

That’s when the stars went out.

They blazed red and were gone. The whole sky was utterly black. Azzie screamed. The cricket chirping seemed louder and closer in the complete darkness. She tried to stop, and stumbled to her knees.

Was it the end of the world?

For a few seconds nothing happened, and Azzie simply sat there in the darkness, completely dumbfounded. Then she saw something even more amazing, the most beautiful thing she had ever seen…

This novel, written in 2004, is the first book-length novel I ever completed. I naturally see many imperfections in it now, and I have many plans for fixing it, although admittedly I go back and forth between doing an extensive rewrite and simply moving on to finish one of the sequels I’ve started.