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Free Fiction Friday: Light and Dark 1/1 (NSFW)

August 12, 2011

I keep wanting to return to A Knight’s Sacrifice, but my schedule hasn’t really permitted it. I’m working on that last push before Daughters of Artemis comes out in two weeks, so that takes the #1 spot on my priorities list. It’s annoying, frustrating. Once I finish with Daughters of Artemis, though, I know I’ll have to focus intently on the final push for Other Side of Night: Bastian & Riley, which comes out next month. So, I won’t make any promises about when A Knight’s Sacrifice will resume, but it will resume. Until then, I’ll bring you various fun things to enjoy.

This is one of those ‘Just So’ stories, where it tells how something came into being. It’s also got a bit of M/M loving at the end. 🙂 I hope everyone enjoys it!

Light and Dark
by S.L. Armstrong
Copyright 2011

The purple horizon was dotted with orange-pink clouds, full and soft like cotton. The wind was gentle, bringing with it the scent of twilight and rain. In the dying light of the day, he turned the crystal prism over in his hands as he became lost in the myriad of shimmering facets, each a new world to his piercing eyes.

In one of those worlds, there was no separation. He didn’t have to wait for that moment when Light and Dark met for a brief moment before one extinguished the other. In that world, deep within the prism, he was happy. He was content. The world he actually lived in, though, was vastly different. Here, Darkness waited with impatient hands to clutch at Moonlight for as along as Night held sway—before Sun woke and stole the blackness where lovers met. It was a harsh world, outside the prism he held, but it was his world and in it was his love.

What the prism held was a memory of a time when the world was new. He remembered it vividly, a time when the children of the sky played together. As Sun and Moon, Day and Night watched over them, Sunlight and Moonlight, Daylight and Darkness would laugh and dance under the endless blue of the Heavens. Their feet light, their smiles bright, they would chase each other over continents, into oceans, and high into the skies. The prism remembered what had been lost.

Darkness turned when he heard footsteps behind him, thinking it too soon for Moonlight to come to him yet. He was right. His Father stood behind him, tall and pale with eyes and hair as black as coal. Night’s smile was gentle, though, sad in its way, as it was whenever Night smiled at his son. It was Darkness’ fault that Night was now kept from Day, but never had Father blamed the son.

Night came closer, feet seeming to touch the ground yet not, his hands clasped behind his back. “You wait,” he said, his voice like a gentle breeze.

“I wait,” Darkness replied.

Black eyes turn skyward as Moon rose higher. “You are lucky.”

“Because of you,” Darkness insisted.

Night laughed, but the sound wasn’t pleasant. It was harsh, a bitter scraping of notes. “Perhaps.”

Darkness remembered. Darkness could easily recall when the play of the children of the sky stopped. Moonlight would come to him, chuckling while his silver hair was kissed by the wind. With an outstretched hand, Moonlight would tempt him away from Daylight and Sunlight, court him in the shades of clouds and kiss him with dewdrop lips.

Daylight and Sunlight grew jealous. With narrowed eyes they would watch Moonlight laugh and play with Darkness, keeping from them the jewel of the sky. Darkness was different than them, you see. Darkness was the absence of all light; what was light if there was nothing to swallow it whole and humble it?

Darkness didn’t want Sunlight or Daylight, though. They blinded him. Moonlight was a gentle, shimmering light that complimented the blackness of Night and the deepness of Darkness. He was drawn closer to Moonlight, to the lithe silver being’s joy and effervescent mirth. Day and Night didn’t notice the preference Darkness had for Moonlight, but Sun and Moon weren’t so oblivious.

On a day when Sun was high in the sky and Day reigned with her golden cloak spread over the lands, Sunlight and Daylight could bear Moonlight’s selfishness no longer. They crept through the shades of the clouds, wandered among the dappled light of the lush forests, and in the murky dark found in the heart of the wood, they found Darkness feasting upon the petals of Moonlight’s lips. Fury rose in the twins of gold and amber and they leapt viscously at Moonlight, tearing Darkness from his arms.

How long had the row between the four children of the sky continued before Night noticed? How long had they screamed at one another before Day frowned, drew in her cloak, and descended to the earth? None could say for certain, only that the shouts and tears were eventually heard by Moon and Sun, who brought with them Day and Night.

Harsh words were thrown, accusations of favoritism and insecurity. The four children of the sky spoke over one another, cursed their brethren, and when no more words could be dragged from the furious churning pit of their spirits, Night finally spoke.

His words were soft but forceful. Night told Darkness and Moonlight to go to the western lands while Daylight and Sunlight were to go to the eastern lands. There the children would wait until Day, Night, Sun, and Moon could come to a decision how to best resolve the bitter fighting. It took them many days before they could decide, and even when they did make their choice, Night was unhappy about it. He thought it unnatural. He also hated that the decision would part him from what he treasured most.

The four children of the sky were gathered again in one place, and the seething jealousy still boiled between them. Darkness held Moonlight’s hand under the wild gazes of Sunlight and Daylight as they waited for Night to speak once more.

It wasn’t a punishment, Night explained. The choice was that Daylight and Sunlight should remain in the eastern lands where Day and Sun would watch over them. Night and Moon would remain in the west where Darkness and Moonlight would be, a careful eye kept on them. Immediately, the four children voiced their dissent. They liked all the lands! How could they be forced to remain in just one?

Night fumed quietly, his own heartbreak hidden from the squabbling quartet. He took a deep breath and nodded, explaining that they could each visit the other lands once a day, so long as Day and Sun, Night and Moon came with them. They would move from east to west, never coming in contact with the other pair. That, Night assured them, would allow for the enjoyment of all lands, but keep them apart at the same time.

So began an ever spinning dance for the four children of the sky. It also began the mourning of Night for the loss of his Day. Under the cloak of Moon, Night wandered, eyes always carefully watching Darkness and Moonlight. As they moved from land to land, always chasing the fiery tresses of Day, Night endured.

Now, he looked into the black eyes of Darkness. The happiness there was worth all pain he felt. He smiled, brushing back a lock of his midnight hair. “All things happen when they are to happen and for whatever reason Nature gives us. Sometimes, there is no reason, only truth.”

Darkness listened to Night, for he was the oldest, the wisest. Even before Day and Sun and Moon took their first breaths, the world knew Night. “And if the truth is unacceptable?”

“The truth is not dependent on being accepted,” Night wisely pointed out as he turned toward a crop of trees. “It simply is, child.”

Sun finally sank completely below the roaring sea, taking Day from Night before either could even brush their fingers against the other’s cheek. The prism in Darkness’ hand caught each lasting ray of Sun and it mated the golden light with the milky beams from Moon as she rose. In a haze of moonlight, his vision was blurred, the prism lost to his sight.

“You are here.”

He turned around and smiled at the new arrival. Hair as white as the stars, as soft as spider’s silk, and long enough to drag the ground floated around a tall, lean body. Darkness’ eyes flashed as he took in Moonlight’s nude form, his body reacting immediately to its mate’s proximity. He held out the prism. “For you, my love,” he whispered as the star-washed nymph reached out to his hand.

Moonlight turned the prism about in his hands, the captured rays of Sunlight glowing deep within it. Shining pewter eyes, slit with night and sparkling with stars, gazed at Darkness, a hungry smile spreading over his full lips. “My living shadow,” the nude moonbeam breathed, leaning in close to Darkness.

“My burning light,” Darkness replied as their lips met, flooding his senses with the coolness of Moonlight.

Moonlight caressed Darkness, stroking his tongue and lips almost desperately, and moaned into the yawning mouth of his lover as Darkness’ arms wrapped him in a tight embrace. Their love and need for one another had separated Day from Night, as Night had given them this sanctuary. Soft sounds of lovers filled the coolness of the night; hands grasped and mouths met with passion that seemed reserved for those kept apart great lengths of time. The world was their playground, however, and as Darkness bore Moonlight to the ground as he did so often, the prism tumbled from Moonlight’s grasp.

Night stood in the trees and watched blackness meet shining light, kiss and touch, need and take, and his heart ached. It ached with a deep loneliness he knew would never abate. How long had Night known Day? Loved her? How long would he now be without her?

His fathomless eyes are focused on Moonlight and Darkness as they coupled. It was beautiful, and Night did not regret his decision in changing the fate of the children of the sky. No, the world had been give the distinction of Night and Day, and the world flourished.

On the ground at the hem of Night’s cloak, the prism came to rest after spilling from Moonlight’s hand. As the unblinking eyes shifted from the pair on the grass to the prism at their feet, the last captured fragments of Day sputtered within the recesses of the prism—sputtered, and then died under the weight of Night.

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