Darlene just finished delivering her family's freshly harvest heads of lettuce to the market. She made a quick calculation and sighed. The money that she collected was not enough to buy her twin siblings' school supplies and a set of new uniforms. She is also worried that the old school shoes of Mario won't fit because he grew about a few inches over the summer. Her parents are still out in the fields, this time harvesting rice. Darlene is working full time in her aunt's fashion boutique which is a bout an hour away from her house. They live in a small town wherein farming is the main source of income and she was lucky that her father's sister Isidora has put up a boutique shop and hired her as her assistant. Somehow, adding her income can buy them food that will last for three days. It was not easy living as a farmer and Darlene's only wish is for them to have a little comfort in life: her parents no longer work in the farm, her siblings' education is secured and her going back to college.
It was already late when she left the boutique. They had to rush in making a gown for a client's daughter, who is celebrating her debut next week. They managed to agree on the style of the gown and start cutting the fabric into patterns. Aunt Isidora noticed too late that it was getting dark and ushered her steamstress, Maya and Darlene and told them to be early tomorrow to start working on the cut-out fabric patterns. The road along the rice fields is dark save with the dim light of a lone streetlight and the bright full moon. Darlene had never walked alone in the dark road. Usually, her father will wait for her outside of the boutique and the two of them will go home. It was not safe to be alone in the street as the elder people believed that mythical creatures, spawn of the night are lurking in the shadows, eyeing their prey. This time, it looks like her father is probably exhausted from his work in the rice fields. She stopped in the middle of the road and looked up in the sky, searching for the stars. Darlene wants to make a wish, believing that the stars may bring her wish to Heaven. Suddenly, her heard footsteps behind her. Scared, she quickly run along the road, not daring to look behind. She feared that either bad men or the said creatures of the night are after her. As she was running, she starting praying to the invisible stars to help her and at the same time wish that if ever she did not make to her home safe, Darlene wish that her family is safe and to be able to live a comfortable life.
Moments later as if the stars heard her plea, something bright from the dark sky fell a few feet in front of her. Darlene stops and gasped. Heart pounding, she slowly approached the object that fell from the sky. She had heard legends about the ruby-red heroine. How she fought the creatures of the night, protect the innocents from bad men hired by corrupt officials and halted the invasion of vicious aliens from the planet Mars. Darlene thought that these are all legends, a myth created by the elders to instill hope and motivate to be brave like that heroine. But this is no legend at all.
Darlene kneel down and picked up a bright white stone, a size of a date. Her eyes widen when she read what is encraved at the stone's surface. She cannot believed it!
"Well, well. Looks like we caught up with you, darling"
Darlene twirled around to see two thugs slowly walking towards her. She instantly recognized them as human traffickers that the local police been looking around. They have a pending warrant of arrest in the city nearby. She wanted to run but her legs won't move. Fear creeping out on her as the thugs neared her. Suddenly, the white stone emit a bright light, blinding the approaching men. She know what to do. She could feel the stone pulsing on her hand.
Darlene stood up, put the stone in her mouth and swallow.
Her whole body rose a couple of inches off the ground, enveloping her in a bright white light. She can feel strong wind wrapping around her body. She can feel the light coming from her forehead, two wrists, her waist and her knees. As the light slowly fading, the thugs gaped at her. Darlene looked down to her body and gasped.
"Who are you?" shouted one of the thugs. Darlene looked that them. She cannot believe that she was the chosen one. Before she can think further, the thugs lunged for her.
Her reflexes are quicker, punching the nearest thug in the face, knocking him down. The other one took out his gun from the waist bank of his pants and shoot her. Darlene quickly dodged the bullet and did a roundhouse kick. He cried in pain and she finished him of by giving him an uppercut. She looked at the criminals lying unconscious on the ground. She still cannot believe what she had become. She took a deep breath and yelled her name. A quick burst of light and then she is back wearing her work clothes, the white stone back in her hand. Darlene quickly pocketed the stone and search for ropes to bind the criminals. Let the roving police see tied up in the middle of the road.
As her house came to view, she was thinking if she is going to tell her family about the stone. Will they believe her? What will happen next? Darlene has so many questions but right now, she is safe. Right now, she needs to eat, rest and sleep. Maybe she'll find all the answers to her burning questions tomorrow.