Party with the Stars

Party with the Stars: Bekah Berge

Welcome to SPFBO 6 and my brand new feature, Party with the Stars! Have you ever wondered what might happen if you could throw a party of your choice and not only could you invite your MC(s) but other literary figures as well? In this feature, I ask you to imagine exactly that scenario and some more. Meet Bekah Berge and let’s get the party started!

Bekah Berge Party with the Stars invitation
The Host
aka The Author
Bekah Berge

Bekah Berge fell in love with all things mystical at a young age. Her love of stories led to her writing her first book in her early twenties, and she’s never looked back since. When not scribbling down fantastical tales, she enjoys traveling, baking, and brewing the perfect cup of tea.

The Main Guest(s)
aka The MC(s)

Hello everyone, this is Marble. She’s a sixteen-year-old from the Isles and has recently been attending Stonegarde, a school for royals and their Lackeys. She’s pretty shy, but definitely has a feisty side. Don’t fret if you see her pouring salt into her wine, it’s just something she needs to do.

Special Guest(s)

Percy Jackson would be by the water with Marble talking about his own experiences under the sea.

Draco Malfoy would be competing against Marble’s best friend, Effy, in beer pong.

Jo March would be in the play and making sure all the actors knew their lines. She’s a childhood friend of Marble’s.

The Entertainment

The Main Attraction

A theatre troupe stops by as the night goes on to act out a play for the beach party. The play is, of course, written by Jo March.

The Music

Learn to Fly by Foo Fighters

I chose this song, because Marble throughout the course of the story learns to dig deep and find strength within herself. I feel like this song really personifies that.

Run the World (Girls) by Beyoncé

No explanation necessary haha.

Break the Rules by Charli XCX

This song is about behaving badly and going a little wild, which is perfect for my school of misbehaving royals.

Arsonist’s Lullabye by Hozier

Dark, gritty, and haunting. There is a definite darkness lurking in the shadows throughout the story and acts as an additional character.

Girls Just Want to Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper

Because at the end of the day, friendships are everything and…girls just wanna have fun.

The Party
aka Who Let the MC(s) Loose?

Pretty quiet. Usually breaks off from the group to go stand in the water.

Author's Note

Thank you so much for reading this far! I hope you enjoy my stories!

Bekah Berge submitted The Whisperings in the Shadows to SPFBO. You can connect with the author here:

To read about more parties and to follow our process in SPFBO 6, please visit my SPFBO 6 Phase 1 page!

Excerpt from, The Whisperings in the Shadows by Bekah Berge

I gazed longingly at the passing waters a while longer. “What if I can’t be a Lackey, Eff? One moment I’m home, the next I’m Iron Glove’s captive, and then I’m here with Zamia, making oaths and learning how to hold a sword.”

            “Can I say something?”

“Of course.”

“Life is full of defining moments, easy roads and hard ones. Today is one of those defining moments. One choice leaves you alone, while the other promises friendship, loyalty, and me.” She smiled and nudged me with her shoulder. “So who are you going to be? The kind of person who walks away and takes the easy road, or the one who stands up and fights, who gets stronger, smarter, braver? The kind that stares directly into your own eyes and defies the guilt and fear that stares back at you. Who are you, Marble?”

            “I don’t know who I am.”

It was true.

Brutally, horribly true.

I didn’t know who Marble Moreno was.

            “Then I’ll ask you this,” she said, narrowing her eyes at me. “Who do you want to be?”

            “That’s the whole problem. I don’t know anymore. I thought I did. I thought I knew who I was and what I wanted, but then I became a Lackey and my life changed. Everything changed. I felt like I didn’t have choices anymore, but maybe I was wrong. I don’t know. Maybe I’m a coward. Maybe I would be a terrible Lackey. Maybe Zamia is better off without me. I don’t know. I don’t know anything.”

            “Then leave.”

            “That’s what Zamia said.”

            “Ha. Not surprising. Do you know what I think the real problem is?”

            “What?”

            “Fear. I think you don’t want to be scared, and being a Lackey scares you.”

            “It does scare me.”

            “Why?”

            “Because a few moons ago, the most responsibility I had was making sure I cleaned the soap molds every night.” I rolled more of the coarse sand between my fingers and took comfort in the feel of it on my skin. “I’m not ready for this. I’m not a trained warrior, I don’t know how to protect anyone, and I can’t be responsible for the safety of another person.

            “I don’t want anything to do with kingdom politics. I don’t want to know who Iron Glove is. I don’t want to be involved in a war. I just want to make soaps with my mother again. I want to wake up to the soft sounds of the sea. I want to go back to not knowing that I am the sole reason my mother is sick. I want to take daily swims and laugh with my friend Flávia on Market Day. I want to eat too many sticky sesame cones and gaze at the stars.”

            “You miss home.”

            “Yes!” I shouted. “Gods above, yes, I miss home.”

            “Me, too.”

            The green light of the setting suns hit the surface of the water and scattered the horizon into thousands of glimmering tsavorites. I tore my gaze away from the sunset and searched Effy’s clouded, sad face. “Tell me about your home.”

            “Back in Crestfall, there’s a small town outside of the capital called Twig. To most people, the town is a dull place full of dull people with a somewhat pretty view of the lake. But to me, it’s everything. For over a hundred years, my family has run a tavern called Sweet Salt. I grew up learning how to bake pies, brew mead, garden, take care of the livestock, and bargain in the city for things we couldn’t make or grow. It was all I knew and all I wanted to know.

            “Ownership of Sweet Salt is always passed down to the oldest, which is me. My little sister, Margot, is a fine baker, but she’s not great when it comes to bargaining. I was thirteen years old when I met Lo. A few moons later, I was taken from Twig, from Sweet Salt, from my family, and brought to Stonegarde with Lo for our first year. My family was heavily compensated for their obedience to the Kingdom of Crestfall and for my services to the crown. It’s been three years since I left, and I still miss them. Every day I miss them. I even miss scrubbing pots and pans with our local black salt soap, which oddly smells of cherries. Anyway, Lo allows me to visit home for a few days every year during the Winter Solstice, but it’s not the same and it never will be.”

            “Do you ever blame Lo for taking you away from them?”

            “In the beginning I did,” she confessed. “It wasn’t until I neared the end of my first year that I was able to accept this new way of life, though being a Lackey is hard and it never gets any easier. I love Lo and will protect her with my life, and I even love her brother, Jack, even when he’s being difficult. But Marek’s always been an unshakeable force. He’s brave and strong, he taught me how to climb a wall and use a spear, and he’s an excellent strategist. So I suppose I traded one family for another?” She inhaled sharply and shrugged. “But I will admit, no royal feast nor extravagant gala in the Nine Kingdoms can compete with my mum’s Solstice Stew and Basil Crumble or my da’s wicked lyre playing. And yet, and yet, Marble, the bottom line is that protecting Lo and serving my kingdom is important work, and I’m honored to do it. Even when my heart weeps to go home.”

            “So you’re saying it doesn’t get easier, but it does get mildly better?”

            “Yes.” Effy paused. “Can I be honest with you about something?”

            “Of course.”

            “Lo recently found out that she’s been promised to Camille, the future Queen of the Kingdom of Navaram. It’s good for them because they’ve had a fondness for each other for years, and it’s a new age for Navaram. The kingdom has never had two queens before. No kingdom has.” Effy sighed. “And as thrilled as I am for Lo and Camille, it means that after Stonegarde I’ll be moving to Navaram.”

            “Which takes you even farther away from home.”

            “Exactly.”

            “I’m so sorry, Effy. Do you think she’ll still let you go home during the Winter Solstice?”

            “Maybe.” She shrugged. “But I’m a Lackey, and my place is beside my Sovereign. I took an Oath. You took an Oath. This is our life now.”

            “Way to make me feel guilty about wanting to leave.”

            “Everyone wants to leave at some point.”

            “Really?”

            “Pix threatens to leave Alana on a moonly basis.”

            That made me laugh, mainly because I knew it was true.

            “Now c’mon, you look terrible,” she said. “I’ll set you up in the room so you can get some sleep.”

            “Sleep sounds nice, but first I really need a bath.” I snatched my boots off the sand and groaned as I got to my feet. “Kit has a twisted idea of fun.”

            “True, but at least he’s nice to look at,” she pointed out.

            A smile found its way to my lips. “Thank you, Effy—for listening, for understanding, for believing me, and for always helping. It means a lot.”

            “Of course.” She paused. “So does this mean you’re staying?”

            The thought of staying terrified me, but she was right. I took an Oath. So maybe I didn’t know what I wanted or who I was or who I wanted to become, but maybe by staying at Stonegarde I’d figure it out.

            I would become stronger and smarter so that the next time I saw Iron Glove, I’d be ready. No longer would I search for the chest, because if there was anything I now understood about that monster, it was that he would never be satisfied. The chest would lead to him demanding more, threatening more, always using me more and more. The cycle needed to end. I would no longer be his pawn, nor Zamia’s, nor Wesley’s.

            I was in charge of my future.

My choices. My freedom.

            “Lackeys have to stick together, right?”

Effy grinned. “You’re finally beginning to understand.”

To read about more parties and to follow our process in SPFBO 6, please visit my SPFBO 6 Phase 1 page!

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