Hello, Lygophobes and Crepuscular Beings!
That was a fun day wasn’t it? But it looks like the sun is starting to set. Did you bring a flashlight? Maybe we should turn around, because…
This week’s Writing Group prompt is:
The Fear of Sundown
RULES AND GUIDELINES BELOW!
Make sure you scroll down and read them if you haven’t! You may not be eligible if you don’t!
The sunset is beautiful to most, but for some it is a time to be feared. Creatures of the night thrive after the sun goes down. Sundown is the curtain call for the night, the last chance you have to make it home. You could write a story about someone rushing home as fast as they can during sundown to avoid the monsters that come out at night. You could write about a monster hunter sworn to protect others during sundown. You could write about one of those monsters taking pleasure in people’s fear, or perhaps even afraid to come out themselves.
Oftentimes, in stories where someone is forced to turn into a monster against their will, the transformation begins when the sun sets, which is a very fair reason to fear its departure. Someone might be cursed to become a monster every night, or at the full moon. You could write about the dread they feel as it approaches. Or perhaps you could write about their friends who have to make the choice between fearing the monster, and comforting their friend. Or maybe, like in Shrek, the princess herself is the monster…but maybe she has to learn that being a monster isn’t something to fear, but embrace.
Or perhaps it’s not a repeated curse, but a devastating one that only happens once. Like Aurora, cursed to prick her finger before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday and fall into a sleep like death. There are many more fairy-tale-esque stories whose curses must be broken before either sundown or sunrise, otherwise they’ll be permanent. You could write a story about a similar curse that’s prophesied to happen before the sun sets, or be permanent afterwards, causing fear and panic the closer the sun dips towards the horizon.
In some stories, the sun setting doesn’t bring about a curse for a single person, nor is it simply a herald of night, but rather twilight is a dangerous time in and of itself. In the anime/manga Noragami, twilight is when the lines between the world of the dead and the land of the living are blurred, giving spirits greater power. Perhaps you could write a story about that, or something similar. What if the night is safe, but dusk is not? Is this something not many people know about, but still experience the effects of? Or do entire towns lock their doors during twilight?
In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, twilight is more than just a time. It’s a shadow that keeps spreading across the land, turning those under its influence into spirits and monsters. Perhaps your story could go in this direction.
Or maybe you’d like to go with something a little more real. Fear is the currency of the night during childhood. You could write about a child who fears sundown because of the night terrors that plague their sleep. They might fear it because they have to return to a less-than-ideal home life after school. Or maybe it’s sweeter and gentler than that; maybe the child is having so much fun at the fair, or a friend’s house, that they dread the sun setting because it means the fun will have to end.
It could be more metaphorical. Sundown doesn’t have to be literally when the sun sets, but a metaphor for something ending. The last phase before the end. A last hurrah. It could quite simply be a symbol for death—the ultimate sundown, leading into the eternal night.
Those tendrils blazing the horizon are shrinking, and the shadows that pull across the world might just swallow you whole.
Come on, kid, let’s head home.
Remember, this is part of our weekly Writing Group stream! Submit a little piece following the rules and guidelines below, and there’s a chance your entry will be read live on stream! In addition, we’ll discuss it for a minute and give you some feedback.
Tune into the stream this Saturday at 3:00pm CST to see if you made the cut!
The whole purpose of this is to show off the creativity of the community, while also helping each other to become better writers. Lean into that spirit! Get ready not just to share what you’ve got, but to give back to the other writers here as well.
Rules and Guidelines
We read at least four stories during each stream, two of which come from the public post, and two of which come from the much smaller private post. Submissions are randomly selected by a bot, but likes on your post will improve your chances of selection, so be sure to share your submission on social media!
Text and Formatting
- English only.
- Prose only, no poetry or lyrics.
- Use proper spelling, grammar, and syntax.
- Your piece must be between 250-350 words (you can use this website to see your wordcount).
- Use two paragraph breaks between each paragraph so that they have a proper space between them (press “enter” or “return” twice).
- Include a submission title and an author name (doesn’t have to be your real name). Do not include any additional symbols or flourishes in this part of your submission. Format them exactly as you see in this example, or your submission may not be eligible: Example Submission.
- No additional text styling (such as italics or bold text). Do not use asterisks, hyphens, or any other symbol to indicate whether text should be bold, italic, or styled in any other way. CAPS are okay, though.
What to Submit
- Keep submissions “safe-for-work”; be sparing with sexuality, violence, and profanity.
- Try to focus on making your submission a single meaningful moment rather than an entire story.
- Write something brand new; no re-submitting past entries or pieces written for other purposes
- No fan fiction whatsoever. Take inspiration from whatever you’d like, but be transformative and creative with it. By submitting, you also agree that your piece does not infringe on any existing copyrights or trademarks, and you have full license to use it.
- Submissions must be self-contained (everything essential to understanding the piece is contained within the context of the piece itself—no mandatory reading outside the piece required. e.g., if you want to write two different pieces in the same setting or larger narrative, you cannot rely on information from one piece to fill in for the other—they must both give that context independently).
- One submission per participant.
- Submit your entry in a comment on this post.
- Submissions close at 12:00pm CST each Friday.
- You must like and leave a review on two other submissions to be eligible. Your reviews must be at least 50 words long, and must be left directly on the submission you are reviewing, not on another comment. If you’re submitting to the private post, feel free to leave these reviews on either the private or the public post. The two submissions you like need not be the same as the submissions you review.
- Be constructive and uplifting. These submissions are not for a professional market, and shouldn’t be treated as such. We do this, first and foremost, for the joy of the craft. Help other writers to feel like their work is valuable, and be considerate and gentle with critique when you offer it. Authors who leave particularly abrasive or disheartening remarks on this post will be disqualified from selection for readings.
- Use the same e-mail for your posts, reviews, and likes, or you may be rendered ineligible (you may change your username or author name between posts without problem, however).
- You may submit to either or both the public/private groups if you have access, but if you decide to submit to both, only the private group submission will be eligible.
- Understand that by submitting here, you are giving us permission to read your submission aloud live on stream and upload public, archived recordings of said stream to our social media platforms. You will always be credited, but only by the author name you supply as per these rules. No other links or attributions are guaranteed.
Comments on this post that aren’t submissions will be deleted, except for replies/reviews left on existing submissions.
Converts for our Eldest
John Perceval Cain (oneeye John)
Dressed in rich black clothing, cut in a high gothic style, they silently walked down the lane. At the first house they opened the gate of the picket fence, it’s white paint pristine. Entering in, they closed the gate behind themselves and mounted the stair to the porch. When they reached the door to the quaint suburban home they knocked firmly, but politely.
The door opened, revealing an average middle-aged man in a polo shirt and golf shorts. “What do ya want?”
They threw back the hooded cloak’s cowl revealing themselves as a woman. Her finely chiseled diamond shaped face and pale complexion contrasted against her black chin length hair and drew a gasp from the man as he opened the house’s door wider and started at her.
“Hello!” She said deep and sultry. “My name is Ancillae Lidia Dragos, and I would like to share with you.” She held up an ancient looking tome with an ornately tooled dark leather cover and silver filigree closure. “This most phantastic book about our progenitor and Eldest.”
The man stood transfixed by the woman’s tone and presence. He shook his head and looked Lidia up and down. “You’re a vampire?”
“Yes,” she said, her penetrating gaze starting to enthrall, “we’re looking for converts, and this book gives the secret to eternal life.”
The man shook his head again, before meeting her gaze. “But don’t you kill people and drink their blood?”
“Superstitious folk stories.” Lidia held the book forward, a blood-red ruby in the center of the cover catching the man’s attention. “This book has so many awesome stories in it.”
The man looked from the book to Lidia, her surveyed her, his eyes lingering on the pale flesh of her buxom bosom pushed up by the boned leather corset she wore. He stepped back opening the door wide.
Lidia stepped forward to the threshold, looked deep into the man’s eyes and paused. “If you will but invite me in, I will show you how. I’m sure you won’t believe how much this will change your life.
By Jesse Fisher
The child tilted its head as their parents began to lock the doors and block out the windows. Had they always done that? Was it something new?
“Tgat.” The child vocalized making their parents look at them.
The parents followed the pointed finger to the solid blinds and the repeated ‘tgat’ was all that the parents needed.
One of them scooped up the child and carried it off to its room while the other finished up the lock down. It was almost the last light of the day. The last of the sane.
“We interrupt the government imposed nocturnal lock down to bring you this information.” The well dressed man stated as the noise beyond that seemed dim. “A group of youths have stayed out once the last bit of light. What we feared has come to pass.”
The parent looked at the television with a thing of fear. They had heard tell of how their kind are animals at night, but this was the first they heard of it happening via the news. They began to move to the child’s room to check on them both.
Wait, did their partner not close the window? If so, that would mean…
The panic room was the only safe place for the night as both partner and child clawed at the door behind them. Wanting to drowned out the noises of the world outside they turned on some music.
The loud guitar rip was calming until the first lyric came to their ears.
“I am a man who walks alone…”
The liberation of the Raven clans
Father Moss knelt below the stone sword of his god and prayed for her compassion. His enemies were fools but no less worthy of her grace than he or his brothers. They only sought to protect their people. The Raven kings rejected the emperor’s suffocating hand. He could find no blame in that.
The cathedral doors slammed open, and five of his brothers stormed down the aisle. Their heavy boots and clinking weapons echoed across the nave and through the rafters. His brothers stopped just behind him, forming a loose semi-circle.
“Pray with me, brothers.” Moss spoke to the men standing behind him. “Pray with me, Arman.”
“Father,” his second, Arman, spoke. “Why do our brothers arm themselves?” His voice cradled his anger.
“Because it is necessary,” Moss said plainly.
Arman bristled at his simple response. “Necessary? Must I also kiss the feet of his arbiter? When did we become his hounds?”
“I understand your frustration,” Moss said.
“My frustration?” Arman threw his hands up in disbelief. “You understand only the orders you’ve been given.” Arman placed his hand on the hilt of the weapon at his hip. The leather creaked under his grip. “We follow only the word of our god, not that of the Archbishop. Call this off, Father. You know what you are about to do is wrong.”
Moss bowed his head to offer Her his last prayers and stood. “I won’t.” He said and turned to face his brothers. “When sundown comes, we march on the keep alongside the imperial arbiter and his men. With or without you.”
Arman drew his blade, and four followed his lead.
“I prayed for you too, Arman. May she cherish you eternally.” Moss drew the blade at his hip.
Race Against Time
Melissa watched Erykah writhe on the grass. She glanced up in the sky at the sun, feeling like she could actually see it creep across the sky, and wishing she could hold it back.
A car pulled into the driveway in front of the house.
A few seconds later, Ramona ran across the lawn, shopping bags in her hand. “I’ve got the sage!”
“All five pounds?”
Ramona nodded. “Measured it myself.” She looked down at Erykah, worry etched on her face.
Melissa couldn’t help but look at her friend. The fungal growth had spread up her neck.
“Is there anything else I can do to help?” Ramona asked.
Melissa shook her head. “I need Clay and Francis to get back with the crushed shale before I can set up. And the others to come back with the other materials.”
The one that worried her the most was the herbs she needed from her friends in Oakland. Ryan had the fastest car, so she sent him ahead to intercept them at Buttonwillow.
She looked back up at the sun. “Maybe give Erykah another spritz. She may not be feeling it, but she’s probably cooking out here.”
Had to be done, Melissa told herself. The sun was inhibiting the growth of the fungus, and keeping it from eating her brain.
Ramona nodded and grabbed the garden hose, spraying the cold water on Erykah. As it hit her, Erykah’s thrashing calmed to mild twitching.
Melissa’s phone rang. It was Ryan’s number.
Melissa answered. “Hey Ryan, tell me good news.”
There was a long pause. “I’m at Buttonwillow now, but your friends aren’t. There was an accident on the interstate, and they said they’ll be delayed. Maybe by an hour.” The fear in his voice was palpable. He sounded like he was crying.
“Ryan, calm down. I’ll figure something out.” Melissa said, trying to keep her voice calm. This was a complication they didn’t need. The ritual needed time, and another hour could put them past sunset.
She glanced at Ramona, still hosing down Erykah. “Ramona, is your helicopter license up to date?”
A Desperate Retreat
The young soldier’s face pales when he’s assigned to escort a caravan through the Demon’s Wood. Too many men weren’t returning from the forest. Too many King’s Men.
He believes the stories, about the thing, the beast, that lives in the woods. He believes the Dark One and his servant are lurking in the shadows, and while he doesn’t know what they want, he believes they’re dangerous.
He doesn’t have to believe anymore. He’s seen it.
Now, he’s running away from the remains of the caravan, hugging the treeline near the path to try to avoid getting lost as the light fades. His shoulder throbs, the wound made by man, not beast, and he can feel the blood trickling down off his fingers. It’s too much blood. He’s leaving a trail behind.
He has to make it back before dark. He has to reach some kind of shelter before the sun sets. There’s no moon tonight. He’ll be helpless and lost. He doubts darkness will impair his enemy. The beast will find him.
His breathing is getting heavier. It’s a warm summer evening, but he can feel the cold creeping into him. It’s hard to focus on where he’s going.
The light is fading. The sun is sinking toward the horizon. Then he sees it, the spire from a castle tower, above the treeline. But it’s too small. Too far away.
He isn’t going to make it.
He stumbles back onto the path. He draws his sword with his off hand, but it feels heavy and wrong. He flings it weakly into the trees.
He rips off the King’s badge from his cloak, curses the man, hurls it to the ground, and spits on it. He will not die wearing his mark.
The voice is sudden, but his reactions are slow, his vision barely holding focus. A young man stands behind him on the path. His hands are on his hips, and he’s smiling.
The soldier has seen this man before, but, between the dim light and the blood loss, he doesn’t recognize the very man who stabbed him.
Safe for Tonight
By Adrian Solorio
The smell of approaching night seeped into the newfound shelter, creeping in through the many small holes and slits in the decaying walls, and settled heavily in the room. Charles worked in a frenzy filling the gaps, rushing to stop anymore air coming in, stuffing rags and loose papers into the holes, he worked with his brow knotted, and shining with sweat. If even one opening was left after nightfall, they would both be dead before morning.
“Are you almost done yet, daddy?” From the furthest corner of the room Mikala watched her father with eyes as wide as saucers. “Mr. Teddy says we’re safe here.” She tightened her arms around the stuffed bear in her arms.
“That’s about it, honey,” said Charles. “Mr. Teddy was right, we’re safe for tonight.” All holes covered, the corrosive smell seemed to lighten. Charles released a deep breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding. His hands shook, and his vision was blurry. He felt light-headed, a bit drunk. “We’re alright, honey-bunny,” he said. “Everything’s alright. We’ll look for food in the morning.”
“Will you tell us a story, now? About the before times? And mom?”
“Sure,” he said. “Sure.” Outside the night-winds rattled the walls of the old building. Charles thought of The Three Little Pigs, but he knew Mikala wouldn’t like that kind of story. His hands trembled, and he hid them in his pockets. Mikala knew the signs as well as he did, and if she saw him shaking with the sickness, she would know he didn’t have much time left. “Sure thing, sweetie.”
Charles closed his eyes and told his daughter about the before times: when the land was green, and the people would walk outside day and night. When birds flew and bees flitted among trees and flowers. The times before mother-nature’s death and revenge. Killed by her most destructive creation—humankind—nature’s revenge was biblical. He told Mikala about the times before this, before mother-nature’s death poisoned the earth with night-fumes. Air acidic and corrosive that cleansed the planet of remaining life.
But soon, before he could finish, Mikala slept.
The Dusk of Life
By RVMPLSTLTSKN (The Saga of The Deep One’s Wake)
Klajonas shriveled. Her flesh atrophie, locked deep within his temple. She felt the muscles in her wither away to almost nothing. While her hands, never quite clever, lacked the will to move, her mind moved quickly.
She began to understand her predicament. She should have died in those days between meals. She knew this by the swell of her empty stomach and the clarity of mind freed of its body. Yet, she had already passed over the reaper’s threshold and stayed as his guest, only to be released. Even he would not keep her.
She seized every opportunity to plant the seeds of her escape. Her jailers brought food and arguments, debated her simple experiences with high-minded apologetics. She answered them with stories and riddles, trying to reach past their thoughts and touch their souls’ desires. She told them that there was always help in the dark, always a quiet voice that would whisper answers and advice.
It wasn’t enough and she began to fear the obscurity she found herself condemned to. She feared, most of all, that she would be tethered here. A household vengant in the bowels of the temple. Her future cut short and her legs withered so that she must crawl, even in death, clamoring at the barest level of ascension.
She heard it clearly, lucidly, when the voice first called her.
“Whisper in the dark, which way leads to safety?”
Her mind laughed, but her tongue lacked such vitality. It would have broken the spell, she thought, but so would not answering.
“What is the danger?”
The replies drew her slowly away from her prison. She felt fresh air upon her brittle skin, tasted smoke and had her eyes assaulted by firelight. As she blinked away her tears, she saw how pathetic her savior truly was. A young man, alone, with a limp foot and crude crutch. He bled from a bruise in his side. He had fallen and broken several things.
“You should go back to Tukminaluk,” she told him. “That’s the safest place for you.”
“Who are you?” He was staring, aghast.
Soulfire (Dawn Collection)
Over the years, Lucian had left many stone prayer tags to burden branches along the mountain, yet after the war, his wishes were buried among much more. In the clearings, groups of torches burned soulfire, connecting the living to their dead. Lucian looked for the ones marked Elena and Zoran.
He found them burning blue and purple alongside their fallen comrades. He bowed before the flames and said, “my dearest friends, I’m sorry I’ve been avoiding you. Each time I come up this mountain, I feel the weight of more souls pulling me back down. So many have died on my orders. I still hear them calling after every ceremony. Please tell those spirits that they don’t have to fight anymore, the Shadow Master is dead, I killed him.”
To prove the feat, he laid the Shadow’s crown down before the torches. It was crushed and melted, which satisfied many soul flames. Some were extinguished and their smoke was carried away into the sunset. It got much darker, and Lucian hid himself in the middle of the remaining flames.
“Those of us left still have to remind ourselves that the battle is over, but we can’t help fearing the dark,” he said.
Elena and Zoran remained, burning brightly with anticipation. The dead had nothing left to fear; they were only waiting to hear about the daughter they left behind.
“I have watched over Dawn, as promised,” Lucian assured them. “She’s been getting into a lot of scraps and she always yells at me, but I’m patient. I lost more than I could ever say, so I understand.”
Gazing out on the sunset, Lucian musingly said, “the sun will rise another day as it always has and always will. I hold onto the belief that past her grief, a new life is waiting for us to share.”
At twilight, he at last gathered his things and gave his farewells. “Thank you for your sacrifices,” he said. “Now all I ask is that you rest. Let there be peace in the dark.”
And then there was darkness.
Saturday Night (Students of the DiamondBridge Academy universe)
by Carrie (Glaceon373)
It was a Saturday evening.
For most of the students of the DiamondBridge Academy—for most teenagers, really—it was a time for celebration. Maybe getting some extra sleep. Maybe getting none at all.
But not for Callisto.
She sat at her desk with her knees to her chin, one arm stretched forward, squeezing a pencil. In front of her rested a stupidly simple homework assignment that she just couldn’t seem to complete.
All the math worksheets she’d put off that week, all the readings she’d never annotated, even permission forms now signed with forged signatures— they had all been completed and filed into her backpack.
So why was one stupid physics assignment about to make her tear her hair out?
It was just falling object calculations. She was good at those. She could even demonstrate them by dropping a flower pot, right now. Watch it shatter into a million pieces. Disappoint her younger sister for the millionth time along with it.
“Not all of us can be calm, respectable child prodigies, Bianca…” Callisto growled.
She checked the clock and her stomach sank.
In less than an hour, the sun would set, and a full moon would rise. And Callisto would wake up tomorrow covered in mud or dirt or blood or guts or whatever it would be this time. And then her and Bianca would spend all day Sunday cleaning themselves up.
It was a monthly tradition. Unavoidable.
“Screw this,” she grumbled, shoving the half-finished homework in her backpack, blinking away frustrated tears.
There were tricks to maintaining control during a full moon, she knew. Oh, she knew. Every single one, in fact. They never worked.
This month’s pointless attempt was appetite suppressants. She popped a triple dose, then threw some painkillers down with it.
She chucked her phone and her nice jacket onto her bed, ignoring the mountain of missed texts.
“Bianca!” she called. “The sun’s gonna set!”
“I’ve already locked everything!” her sister called back.
“Good.” Callisto locked her bedroom door and snatched up a ring of car keys. “Let’s get far away from here.”
I hate the night.
I’m not even safer during the day. But they all have such better eyesight than me. It’s so much worse when I can’t see them coming.
“I… brought you food…”
“Thank you, Nisha.” I force a smile as I accept the sandwich, trying not to freeze up at her voice.
It doesn’t help.
Nisha sees through the smile and frowns in response. “I… messed up again, didn’t I?”
I shake my head. “No! This is good. It’s… cooked this time and everything.”
“I got it from the grocery store you spoke of!”
My eyes widen a bit. “Nisha… did you kill anyone getting me this…?”
A grin forms on her beautiful face, but it’s too wide and momentarily breaks the illusion.
I focus on my sandwich.
“I only ate one person this time! And nobody else saw me!”
I wince as Nisha looks at me, beaming with pride. It’s kinda cute. As long as… I don’t think about it too much. “You did… good…”
Her smile fades again. “You’re upset… I really am trying my best… What can I do?”
“I’m… just tired of being stuck all the way out here.”
“You… want to go out again?” Nisha growls, her face contorting in her fury. “Okay, FINE! Let’s do that! You’ll leave here and they’ll find you just like last time! I’m just trying to protect you! Why am I the bad guy?! It’s not FAIR!”
God, I hate it when her human form breaks apart like this. She’s just… teeth. Rows and rows of teeth and eyes where there shouldn’t be eyes and tentacles and veiny flesh and appendages I don’t even want to try to figure out.
All of Nisha’s eyes widen with realization as she rebuilds her illusion and hugs my leg. “I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to do that!”
I remind myself that without a protector, I’m dead or worse. I remind myself that Nisha killed my last protector. I remind myself that it could be worse.
And I take another bite of my sandwich.
By Gerrit (Rattus)
Narine watched as the light slowly faded from the sky, the joyous blues giving way to reds and oranges that spelled the end of celebration. The festivities in the town square wound to an end, many of the younger and more vulnerable already back inside.
The first night after Light Day was always the hardest. Being forced to spend a full day hidden away made the demons more voracious. There wasn’t a doubt in her mind that they would be out in full force tonight.
But that wasn’t what she was afraid of. Not anymore.
As a child, she had been taught to fear the First Dusk of the week. To make sure she was back inside long before the sun vanished behind the horizon.
Now she found herself walking towards the sun, pack slung over her shoulder, Sunrender held loose in one hand. Night would come soon enough, and she intended to be far from the village when that happened.
Narine felt the now familiar feeling stirring within her. It had been almost a month now since she had awakened. Her grasp on that half of herself was still tenuous at best, a mere illusion of control.
Light Day was her only reprieve now. Once, it had been a time of joy, of peace from the monsters lurking outside the town. The smell of fresh baked bread wafting through the air. The sounds of revelry dancing across the wind. Frolicking in the town square with the very people who would now put her to the sword should they meet her on any other day.
The sun was almost set now, her skin tingling in the last vestiges of light. She spared one last look over her shoulder, to the buildings shrinking along the horizon. To the town that was once her home, now only an occasional acquaintance.
The next Light Day wasn’t so far away, she supposed.
Death is a Mercy (The Will)
The campfire hissed venomously as it extinguished.
Skore knew camping out in the woods of Fel Kass was a needlessly dangerous endeavour—they called them the “Woods of Death” for a reason! And now they were stuck in the middle of a cursed forest without any light, the snapping of branches around the three of them!
“Y-Yaskjer?” the terrified wulack mercenary whimpered as he backed closer and closer towards the embers. “Where a-are y—?”
Yaskjer’s scream ruptured the darkness beside him, stopping Skore’s heart. The thump of his brother’s body hitting the ground was quickly followed by his cries being smothered by distance.
Another panicked scream rang out—Haval’s—as he, too, was dragged away into the darkness at unnatural speeds. Was the forest itself taking them?! Was it the tortured souls of the Kine family?!
The last mercenary stumbled over his traveling pack and lost his sword to the cold, thick air. Skore quickly fell to his paws and knees, massaging the needle-bed of grass for his soft sabre. Instead, his paw touched something cold and wet.
Skore’s screams permeated the entire forest when it touched back.
It snatched his arm into the ground like they had been camping in a bog this entire time. When the other arm supporting his efforts to pull free began to be consumed by the black tar, despair set in. When his legs sunk beneath the surface and he felt the hands of the dead pulling him under, he knew it was already over for him.
Sacrificing his last bit of hope, Skore pulled with all his might to free his arms, but to no avail.
He would die on his paws and knees like the dog he was, knowing he would never see the sunrise again. All the mistakes of his life left to stain the memories that flashed before his eyes. The regret washed over him. He realized he didn’t want to die.
And then it stopped.
The tar returned to soil and Skore was left with just his head above the ground.
It was silent—then he heard boots.
The Sufferer approached.
A new Type of Night
by Exce, edited by Luna
Above them stretched a newborn blue sky. The rejuvenated sea was lapping at the white beach, and a breeze rustled their hair like the first intake of air out of the womb.
The four gods had performed their most holy of duties: reforming the emptiness of shape into a new planet filled with life one last time.
They let go of each other’s hands, the sand around them having crystallized into a spiraling pillar high into the sky. As the three gods of Morning, Dusk and Noon turned to congratulate each other, the fourth stepped forward. Sparks of creation still shimmered in her silver eyes. The Queen of Night spread her arms before looking up the hollow center of the pillar as if in supplication.
She had asked each of her siblings for their concession, a freehand to create her own realm in this last world.
Now the Queen grasped those sparks, fanning them into flames one last time.
Her cloak fluttered upwards, spreading outwards like a slice of deepest night, then it wrapped around her body, and a beam of pure darkness shot upwards, leaving the pillar in a heartbeat before piercing the sky itself.
“My dear siblings. I do not begrudge you your place in the sun. But I demand equality. You can have this planet, an oasis of life. And I will make my own of the night and death.” Her voice came clearly, despite the wall of black between them.
The sunlight began to fade. From where the stream kissed the sky, a dot of darkness began to spread. Greater and greater it grew, above the clouds far above the fetal planet.
Slowly the sunlight of noon began to cease, growing thick and orange before being wholly covered.
Finally, an untimely night reigned across the whole of the world as an enormous black razed planet had been placed between it and the sun.
“A planet of death, a month of night. They shall be my realm and home, as LumenOrbis shall be yours.”
With that, flow and the queen within vanished into the enormous planet above.