Here it is, the big reveal. What sets Stella’s story into motion? The Prophecy of the Phoenix.
Having restructured the story, I am focusing more on Stella’s secret identity as a princess and priestess. They aren’t secrets she is willing to share anytime soon, and she won’t be too happy about finding the Phoenix Prophecy.
And here it is (in roughish draft form):
Stella reverently pulled the ancient text from the box and set it on the table. She drew the light near so she could analyze her find. A musty scent rose as she unrolled the manuscript. A beautifully illustrated bird graced the left side of the document, golden feathers extending to the adjacent corners, her tail indistinguishable from the flames out of which she rose.
The text was beginning to fade, and the script with which it was written was over-flourished and nearly indecipherable. Yet Stella didn’t have to read it to know what it said. She heard the words in her mind as she saw them on the scroll, accompanied with memories and visions so intense Stella wasn’t sure if she was awake or dreaming.
A princess past her prime will rise from the ashes.
She stands in the doorway secretly watching her mother hold court. She flies, held in her mother’s arms as they dance in their finest gowns. She nestles into bed with her sister as her mother reads from a large leatherbound book. She curls up, frozen in the dark when the world comes crashing down.
She will give birth to the future.
Fire springs up in her vision, burning the edges of her childhood memories, the acrid stench of ashes scalding her lungs. She is thrown into the future, twisting in agony during the throes of childbirth. She kneels in a temple as a diadem is placed on her head. She stands at a docking bay, holding a basket of fruit. She raises her arms to Poseidon, surrounded by a sea of people.
She will lead her people to safety and prosperity.
She sits on the bridge of the Intrepid, staring out through the bubble of duranium glass. She stands on a dais, her pale blue robes embroidered in gold and inlaid with crystal. She rests in her familiar quarters, reclining on her cot. She dozes in her mother’s arms, her familiar voice speaking.
“Remember child, the bravest people are those who are most afraid.”
As quickly as the visions had overtaken her, the darkness that followed them engulfed her.”