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Prelude to the Rebirth of the Rock Star
By Ytasha L. Womack
“Touch me in the morning and then just walk away.” – Diana Ross, Touch Me in the Morning, song, 1973 – Earth
“Just call my name and I’ll be there.”- Michael Jackson with the Jackson 5, I’ll Be There, song, 1970 Earth

I felt the planet shift.

I noticed the shift seven days ago. Myself, Carcine and a handful of troops had just set a Tigers camp ablaze in the Orange Hills, a minor move, but one that kept Dirk’s men at bay, and gave us enough time to escape to the Enchanted Forest where we had reinforcement. Our mission on the outskirts of Obama city had failed and we were retreating for now to the safety of shade and foliage. We had managed to maintain a mind force field strong enough to secure the Enchanted, but we needed to get there first. And the Tigers, the few who survived the blaze, were hot on our tail. I could hear their airborne mopeds buzzing miles away, an embarrassing engineering quirk that was our benefit and their problem.

“Real Gs move in silence like lasagna.” – Lil Wayne, 6 Foot 7 Foot, 2011

We ran full speed for the Enchanted. That’s when I felt it, an energy switch so subtle, it felt like the wind had circled directions. My White Sox cap blew off my head and I grabbed it before it could hit the ground. The earth didn’t split. The quake was in my heart. A door had opened in one era and closed in
another. I slowed down my pace, moving to the last in the pack. Carcine and the others ran ahead of me. I wanted to shout out and ask if they’d felt it, too. I looked to the sky and it bled purple as always. A stitch in time. The world had changed in an instant. How it had changed was yet to be seen. Carcine turned around, saw me lagging behind. I sped up and joined his side. When we reached the forest’s edge, I asked Carcine.

“Did you feel it?”
“Yes,” he affirmed, looking so deeply into my eyes, I felt he saw past me.
Peace awaited us, though. For the next three days the planet would celebrate the birth of a new star and out of respect, a ceasefire was called. Even Dirk was wary of the mystery of this new star and had ordered the Tigers to hold their fire until its completion. We had three days to rest.
None of us were thrilled with our failed mission. To be honest, our failure to take hold of the town’s outskirts made no sense. We’d gone over the positions and tactics so many times, we mumbled them in our sleep. The Dirk always had us outnumbered, but this time, they’d out strategized us as well. I take responsibility for that, but frankly I don’t know how they saw us coming. Maybe they didn’t.
If we’d succeeded, we’d of had a major path from our base to Obama City cleared and protected. Carcine was particularly disturbed by the mission’s failure. He couldn’t figure out what we’d done wrong. And the fact was we hadn’t done anything wrong. But I could sense a loss greater than our mishaps. Was he questioning his faith? Was he questioning his beliefs? I left Carcine in the silence to contemplate. While the others were off drinking, awaiting the birth of the star, Carcine took me to the Forest’s edge and confided in me.
“There’s more to this war then we know,” he confided. The two of us sat alone, nestled in a thick patch of blue..

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About The Author


Ytasha L. Womack is author and creator of the Rayla 2212 series. An award winning author and filmmaker,her books include Beats, Rhymes and Life: What We Love & Hate About Hip Hop and Post Black: How a New Generation is Redefining African American Identity. Read More Under "The Author" section of the website