Ryann in the Sky Part 1

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Note from author:

           Does pride make you strong? Does humility make you weak? Ask Orion, the Greek giant who lives forever as a constellation of stars. Sailors have found their way home using the blue star at his left side and the red star at his right shoulder to navigate their way over oceans. If they could ask him how he got to his celestial home, would he admit he died by scorpion sting?

         Or would he tell a story of betrayal, that his best friend, a goddess, shot him with her arrow while he walked through the waters of the sea? Perhaps he would explain that he had lost his sight when his ego got the best of him; he'd wax sentimental when speaking about his small companion who led him to the sun, where his vision was restored.

          Surely, the son of Poseidon understands the duality of pride and humility. Surely the son of a god knows what makes a person weak—and what makes them strong.

Ryann in the Sky

When Pride ruled your life,

and cost you your sight,

who showed you the way to the sun?

          Stalking the weak and overpowering prey is necessary for fortune and fame.

          That's what Dad used to say. If he could see me now, Captain of the Senior girls' volleyball squad, he'd tell me not to lose sight of the goal. Especially when college recruiters are coming around to check me out. They're gonna place their offers, and cross their fingers that I'll sign with their school.

          Being the best trumps everything. There's no room for looking back.

          Dad had taught me to hunt and kill a deer before I had turned thirteen. Before that, he'd taught me the value of patience and the precise flick of a fishing pole that sets the hook in a fish's mouth.

          I won't let you down, Dad. The tournament is coming up and I've got a team of Lady Lions to lead into State. I'll be using all six feet of my height, and everything you've taught me about winning.

          Volleyball practice sucks today. Coach has us doing pepper drills for half an hour, except now she says we have to chase the loose ball and pick up the drill in the new spot. It's all run and rally, rally and run. I could scream at Delaney when she lobs the ball too far and we're running again, but she's screaming at me first.

           "What is your problem, Freak?"

           "What problem? Keep up with the rest of us, D."

          "Yeah, Right! You've got an unfair advantage, Gigantor." This is Delaney, guaranteed cranky, like 95 percent of every day. She dyes her hair black to offset her delicate face and to look more tough, more hateful. She comes from a school where everyone thought she was some sort of goddess. She thinks she can do no wrong.

          When Delaney first transferred, we became fast friends. I had appreciated having an outsider to talk to when I was at the lowest point in my life. Plus, she was a fighter. That was exactly what our team needed. I even stayed the night at her house – once, and met the rest of her family. Her brother Paul actually laughed out loud when I walked in the door to their house.

          "Gawd, Delaney, where'd you find the Amazon?" He said to me, not her. What a brave, little man, I thought. His light colored hair swept across his forehead, his hair cut turning him from a potentially hot guy into a toddler.

          Then at dinner, Paul didn't hesitate to turn Delaney against me. "Delaney, didn't you tell Ryann that you are the captain of your team?"

          "I was the captain of my team, Paulie. That's not my team anymore." She said. "I'm on Ryann's team, now."

          Then, right in front of me, he said, "I hate to break this to you, little sister, but it looks like your captain can barely keep her head above water."

          He couldn't have known that my Dad had just died. But he could clearly see I was a mess. Delaney knew. But she didn't say anything to defend me.

          That's when I realized I was still on my own. That's when I realized I couldn't trust her.

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