13: Cloud Surfing and the Never-Lost Ring

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After an intense pillow fight and running around the room causing a ruckus, the doorbell rang.

"We have a doorbell?" I asked, peeling Stella off my face. The feathers from a busted pillow still rained down around us.

"I'll get it." Novus pushing through the feather storm. He arrived at the door and opened it. Jupiter stood in the doorway.

"Hello, everyone. We settling in alright?" he asked, stepping into the room. He saw the empty pillow case and the massacre of feathers and smiled. "Seems like we are."

"Sorry, Jupiter, sir," I said grabbing the feathers off the floor. "We got a little excited."

"Don't worry about it, Eddie." Jupiter removed an Alcemator from his pocket. He shook it. The box glowed, and suddenly all the loose feathers in the room rushed back into the pillowcase like a vacuum sucking in dirt. In moments the pillow was like new. "See. No worries."

"I'll never get over how cool that is," I said, eying the Alcemator.

"I brought a gift for you, Eddie." Jupiter removed from his suit pocket a golden ring with red and blue bands on its surface. "This is a very rare and special object," he said placing it in my hand. "It is infused with stardust and wishes. Only one crafter in the whole universe can make them. It is called a Never-Lost Ring. Go on. See if it fits."

I placed the ring on my index finger. At first it was too big but it began to shrink to fit my finger. I flipped my hand over. The ring swirled with the same glow as a star.

"What does it do?" I asked.

"A Never-Lost Ring only works when you truly need it. It will guide you to safety when you are lost and afraid, but if you really focus it can help you find things you have lost, things that are close to your heart."

I squeezed my hand. A golden glittering string appeared in the air above my hand leading down into my fanny pack.

"Wow," I said.

"Jupiter," whispered Novus pulling his friend to the side, "do you realize how expensive Never-Lost Rings are? Why would you just give one away to a child you barely know."

"If Galaxion chose this girl of all the children in history, she must be special. Besides, I can always buy another. I'm rich you know." Jupiter straightened his coat. "So Eddie, how about you give the cloud surfing a go?"

I leaned over and looked out the window. I could see people zooming around on boards fading in and out of the clouds.

"Is it safe?"

"Completely," Jupiter reached out a hand. "Novus will you be joining us?"

"Nah, I'll stay here. You have fun, kid."

Taking Jupiter's hand, I was led to the scary elevator and back down to the lobby. We walked through the crowds of happy vacationers. I noticed a group of kids about my age. They were being suited up in a space uniform complete with a round helmet. Jupiter brought me to a tall woman with four arms. She was beautiful with her fluffy blonde hair and bright pink lipstick.

"Andromeda, I got you a new student," said Jupiter to the beautiful woman.

"My stars, look at you!" The woman leaned down and pinched my cheeks. "So adorable. What's your name?"

"Eddie," I said nervously. I had never met a four-armed woman before.

"Nice to meet you, Eddie. I am Andromeda, the cloud surfing instructor. Is this your first time cloud surfing?"

"Yeah."

"Oh don't be scared, little one. It will be the most fun you've ever had and it's super easy. The board does most of the work."

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