Death on a Sunny Day
She tried to remember when she did not feel longing. Was it yesterday or millennia? Why did she exist without Him? Didn’t They choose this place together? An once idyllic world, conquest had diminished it, until the Sunlight had faded. Where was He? Was She left to wander this forsaken land, awash in memories? She railed against the blackened sky: GIVE ME MY GOD! There were no sympathetic stars…were they hidden or did only the blackness remain? Who could tell? Drawn down here, unable to reunite with Her beloved, She was trapped beneath the clouds.
She ached at the echo of His warmth. Why keep Her alive only to weep? There was no joy...they didn’t realize what they did, these simple creatures, but someone still told Her tale, believed in Her legends, and thus She was trapped, yearning to reflect Her shining Lord.
Everything was lit by the luminescence of cold, alien growth. Where did it come from? Was this how the planet would rebuild? She wasn’t sure it worthwhile, to smell putrescence everyday. Why not live in darkness? Was it so full of horrors? She was once patron of the night, guarding those who wandered to hearth and home. Now, they scurried, more mouse than man. They bowed down to steely intelligences on thrones of dung. Where was your force and fire, O man?!
They prevented Her dissolution. She was doomed to wander, to exist. But she would find them and they would pay. Then, She would join Her mate in the Bright Skies of Night.
She had searched for ages...She was Diana. She was Artemis. She never failed to catch Her prey. She walked the dirt, looked under every rock, in every stinking pit left to humanity…
HOW DARE THEY?!
They hid well, but She would find them. Eventually, She would catch their scent above the rot on the wind, hunt them down, and shred them to bits. Then, sweet release!
She found a boulder and sat down, not smudging Her alabaster gown, face held heavily in palms. Where Her tears fell tendrils of green tried to push through the slime, though they would fail to grow without the light of Her Lord, as all Her creations did.
She was racked with pain, crying senselessly until there were no tears left to water the muck about Her. She laughed at Her plight. Laughed a bit maniacally. He was gone…but She might still know freedom, by locating the blasphemers.
The Blasphemy of the Moon, the Overlords named them, blaming Her…had She begged desperate souls to spin Her fable? What could She do? They gave Her eternal life, which was unbearable. An active temple could have done more, but no priests remained, only daydreamers who believed…believed in Her power simply because tide and women still flowed. As if She gave that any thought. It happened more in spite of Her than because of Her.
All She had was longing and indignation. She closed Her eyes, and ‘felt’ for them, spiraling outward on the stale air, looking for the zealots. She was finally attracted to a ruin about 160 klicks north, where She hadn’t yet searched. Did She dare hope? She would have to traverse foul lands, but had nothing to lose except Her chance to slip this gravity well.
She was molested at the checkpoints. They never touched Her, per se, being sensitive to Her radiance, but they had long ago figured out how to psychically despoil Her. She journeyed on, determined to kill the miscreants keeping her pinned, selfishly focusing on their few years on this sludge ball. What of Her centuries of delusion and pain? They would know Her wrath.
Oh no, not here. They had found an old temple. It was mere remnants, but She knew it well--they had worshiped Her here. Three times they had erected temples to Her in this place. A column in ruin. It had once stood as a marker on a grassy plain near a hallowed grove on a road traveled by pilgrims from all over. Now, it was rubble.
Yes, here. They were nearby and they would die. There were no longer animals to beckon, to defend Her honor. No longer did she carry Her sacred bow. It mattered not. She looked around found a sharp paving stone, perfectly rounded to Her hand, and began purposefully to explore the ruin.
The child heard the call, a priest's blood in his veins. He felt Her desire, crossed the cave, reached his tiny hand into the spidery hole, and pulled the rusting lever with more might than he ought. The door creaked, then groaned, opening mere centimeters at a time. He went back to his pallet in the corner, cowering behind his blanket and pointing to the opening portal, as adults came running, wondering why the walls had come alive.
They were powerless against the onslaught. They had heard tales, but hadn’t seen Her majesty, nor anticipated Her madness. A magnificent image of destruction, as She wielded the powerful stone. Pilgrims had walked here in devotion for a thousand years. When turned to violent ends, something changed…It became a tool of anger not love, and it rained terror upon all within reach. She cackled as She slaughtered Her children. Evoking a sacred dance, She slit their throats, impaling one through the chest as he kneeled to beg forgiveness or to be spared. She would never know which. On She came, like Death on a sunny day, light glinting off the scythe as He reaped the souls whose time had come. Had their time come? Had Her's?
She took them, with no hesitation or discrimination, and they fell at Her feet, blood covering everything except Her stainless raiment. She pulled a cowering young man up by his hair, opened him from stem to sternum. She dropped his broken body in the growing pile, as entrails spilled from his lifeless husk. She laughed and cried as they fell before Her, pleading for their lives…detailing transgressions, never understanding their faith had driven Her mad.
The boy again felt the pull and rose approaching Her, ignoring hemorrhaging playmates. "Stop, my Lady," He said, raising hand in universal gesture, with a voice that carried the weight of Her lost Lord, and She ever heeded His call. She stopped eviscerating an old woman, and dropped the improvised blade to the floor from limp hand, where it crashed and shattered.
"My love," She whispered, collapsing. The few remaining worshipers removed the bodies, cleaning the chamber. They moved Her to a bed inside the catacomb and watched Her fitful sleep, as She relived this violence and ages of madness and torment in Her dreams.
For years they had sought Her and now She had come to destroy them. They had invoked the Sun too soon, but the avatar was ill and they couldn’t wait another generation. He would grow to manhood in days, quickened by the God within, but had they taught Him all He needed? Could He heal Her?
Already a young man when She stirred, He sat beside Her, holding Her hand, willing wholeness. She woke calm and found Her voice, afraid to ask, "My Ba'al?"
"Yes, My Anat. We have found You." She didn’t know that She’d been lost. She then cried tears of joy--a river’s worth renewing Her radiance, cleansing Her soul, allowing Her to better reflect His brilliance.
"Come," He commanded, and She heeded struggling to rise, holding on for dear life. When had life become dear? She chuckled to Herself. When Her Lord returned. He led Her around the temple, pointing out pictographs and repeating what His teachers had said: the Overlords had come, filling the sky with darkness; men had flown against them in great sky armadas. She had been damaged, the moon half gone, throwing the world below into chaos. He had sacrificed His avatar to save Her, but She had wandered lost, descending into lunacy, until centuries later a small band found this refuge, and had performed the ancient rites. Born into this world seven months later, he had the resplendence of the Sun. His parents had visions of His importance and when had He stood on the threshold of death they performed the invocations, trading their very lives, that His Love might heal them all.
She ached at the pain others had felt for Them, and raged no more. He took Her hand, leading Her to bed. "Sleep, my Queen, for tomorrow We return to Our realm." She relented.
She woke to a drumming, surrounded by seven men and women in robes, reflecting a mysterious light. He was with Her in bed and the light came from Them. She understood. She untied Her gown letting it fall from Her frame and turned to Him. He was beautiful with a shining halo as His crown. He reached out, "Come, my Moon, be clothed in the light of Your Sun."
She climbed on top of Him, enveloped Him. Eyes locking, she beckoned...His Spirit came to meet Hers; He filled Her cup, Their souls entwining in that most ancient of rites. They made love for an eternity, unaware of the magicians around them chanting barbarous words, feeding life's energy into the rite. A light appeared around the divine couple, encompassing Them in its scintillation, as They dissolved, Two into One into None. As the ritualists in turn fell exhausted, the Light grew brighter and brighter, until they could no longer look. It burst from the temple in a column of pure energy, rose through dark skies, illuminating the land, pierced the veil of clouds that surrounded their meager planet, and fused with the moon’s shell, reforming its once great orb. It was bright as day, burning up the clouds in its wake, and settled eventually to the brightness of a full moon.
This was the awaited sign, and everywhere, pouring from catacombs and caves, came the soldiers: men, women, and children, to destroy the occupiers, and take back their land. They were more than decimated, but victorious, Our little humans, and they returned to the old ways. Our ways…the ways of love and light.