Excerpt From “Phoenix” by Melissa Starr

Phoenix is a fictional journey into a teenage girl’s life as a Phoenix. Phoenixes are winged beings who change in their 16th year into super humans of Egyptian mythology, sprout wings & cope with the horrors of having to suck the lives out of those around them on their birthday each year to survive.


There’s just something about waking up on your sixteenth birthday to find that you are the equivalent to everything your worst nightmares are made of. And that’s exactly what happened to me. My name is Elora Rae Gannon. I’ve been raised in a home that has frequently been hosed down by testosterone since birth. My mother Avril died during childbirth, my childbirth leaving me to be raised by my single father Sam Gannon.

I believe I’m somewhat getting off the subject, so let me start again. I woke on November 17th to find that my mother had belonged to a unique club or society of people, if you will, known as the Phoenix Elite. No big deal, right? Wrong. As with any other secret society the Elite have their secrets. Secrets that would set me apart from my fellow students at Frederick High School and my best friend of nine years, Chloe Salas. Chloe despised the small group of Elite in our school and with good reason for the most part. Most of them were serious snots with the talent and looks to back it up. But what she despised the most was the secrets. Chloe had been doing research on the Elite for over three years and wanted to expose them in a newspaper article that she hoped would catapult her career into stardom before she ever set foot on college campus. But there was one little problem, I, her BFF, was the Elite’s new inductee.

I wish I could say I had a choice in the matter but the truth is…Phoenix is in my blood. You see- Phoenixes aren’t entirely human and humans for the most part don’t know it. Supposedly we came from an ancient Egyptian bloodline of Gods. The Ennead or something like that, sons and daughters of Amun Re and that wasn’t even the half of it.

I was pulled from school the Monday following my birthday by my crush and fellow Phoenix, Ezra Denton and taken to Elite headquarters where I was given the choice to join the Elite or die. Yeah, you heard right, D-I-E. I wish I’d chosen death over the monster I was becoming. Little did I know that in exactly one year’s time I would have to choose again between life and death and every year after. After taking the Oath which solidified me as a Phoenix the spirit of Amun Re matured in my body and with it I was given a thirst. An abhorred thirst which made me the monster I am today. Everything I’d ever read growing up of vampires, werewolves and the like made me feel like the devil in comparison. The Phoenixes steal lives. Like the mythological Phoenix which lived off of air alone, we live off of the air in humans’ lungs. Their very life force. And the real kicker is that our taking of life will only prolong our own for one more year.

The logical choice, you would think, would be to let our own life force die out. One by one rid the Earth of our kind, right? But it’s not that easy. When nearing the day when you must renew, it’s like drowning. Your lungs burn like molten fire and nothing but taking life can stifle that pain. Few have been strong enough to let themselves die and save the life of those we’re supposed to protect. See, we haven’t always been monsters. It started before the first Egyptian Dynasty when a half human half god named Set or Seth took his cousin Osiris’s wife, Aset, and impregnated her with his son whom he called Isaac. Isaac was the first of his kind, a creature called the Ruhk. The Ruhk had wings the color of coagulated blood and eyes so black they rivaled night itself.

Before Seth’s life was finally taken because of his betrayal, he spoke a curse into existence. His son Isaac would fall into a deep sleep upon his sixteenth birthday and would only awaken to avenge him when the strongest of Aset’s descendants was born into the Phoenix world. Then he would rule Aset and the Elite with the lowly humans planted firmly under his feet.

Apparently I am that descendant. And now my best friend is missing for sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong, I’m moving to a new school specifically for Phoenix kind four hours from my father, the only family I’ve ever known and I can’t even make out with my new boyfriend for fear of sucking out his life!

My life is in utter upheaval and I’d do anything to get it back on track. Even face down a god- and I had a feeling that’s exactly what I was going to have to do. But not before my best friend would throw our relationship in the trash and emotionally handicap me before I could say apocalypse!


Melissa Starr is a small town, country gal from deep in southern Oklahoma. Born in Altus and raised in Frederick, it only seemed right to put down roots there with her own family; a husband, two sons and two daughters. She resides and writes from her home in Frederick where she spends her free time attending her children’s various sporting activities and just enjoying being a mom.

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