Chapter 34 - Darkness Falls

8 2 0
                                                  

Find the line between the Light and the Dark and cut it in half. Then cut it by half again. In the place that remains lies a choice. Along that line travels love.

—Bellamy Clayhaus Martin, Prophet of the Light.


Untainted silence touched all of the Underworld for a single moment. Then, the whale-skin sky of the dome, black as the infinite, split in two with a mighty flash that blinded the living and the dead.

Firefall. The Hammer of Heaven.

Ethanac, Monarch of the High Houses of the Stars, Lord of Unbounded Light, the Right Hand of the Sun, burst forth from the black in a shower of golden sparks, his full aspect upon him. He had taken Jaylina's advice and, now unburdened, he was resplendent. His polished battle regalia reflected the eternal lineage of the Light across all the ages from the Beginning. Even as he flew, this epic moment magically seared into the last remaining untouched plate of his armor: A line of fire pointed into the Night. He flew like a meteor, a brilliant and steady shaft of Light in this measureless Darkness. Down He came like a steadfast bolt, the Sword of the Sun unwavering before Him, returned to its ancient owner, and on His lips the unending war-roar of the just against the wicked.

Behind Him followed like wildfire a golden host of souls, all the souls that remained, all the light of Otherworld and those that had come from Jaylina's universe to fight by the side of the Left Hand of Light to end the abomination of the Shadow Queen.

The Shadow Queen watched as He came, Her wrath spent, Her hands at her sides, palms out. But Her head she held high. There would be no saving Her Eater, the only reminder of the love She once shared with the Sun's chosen starling.

"You lie to me, Light Bringer," She whispered. "A lie worthy of the Darkness. And your clever deception comes upon me now."

"It is no lie, Lady."

"Say it to me. Tell me out loud now while my doom races down upon me, upon this platform where all eternity will witness my Fall and will call it good."

From above, Ethanac approached, the tip of the spear, the Eternal Vanguard. The whole platform seemed to glow with His radiance and his Golden Host behind him.

Michael looked at Jaylina. His violet-blue eyes wore the pain of humanity. In his eyes she saw her own pain. He spoke now not merely for himself, but for all those who had fallen during this worst of all times, but yet more was asked of. Then he looked into the eyes of Night, his back straight and his gaze firm, his wounds forgotten. Hope.

"I love you."

Tears fell from the eyes of Night, and where they touched the platform new titans stirred. Back on the dark side of the Earth, a gentle rain fell.

"And I love you. Ever more than He," she whispered, Her voice soft and broken. "But now, everything I have tried to do to protect my world has been in vain. We will all perish now. I have taken so many."

Jaylina experienced the sting of Her powerful regret. In that instant, Night seemed just a woman, like any woman. Jaylina felt her own heart reach out to this being.

"Have hope, Lady," said Michael.

Night exhaled a deep breath of resignation, waiting for the Light.

Michael looked into the face of his lover, finally rediscovered after such a long and terrible journey so choked with heartbreak along the way.

When our path takes us to a place of great pain, it is easy to forget how our destinies are woven, not by unseen forces, but by us and by our choices. It takes great courage to accept that one shapes one's own destiny. It is easier perhaps to be complacent and play whatever part we have been told is ours as if everything had already been predetermined. Easier to blame others for the woes of our own making. Sometimes, a very few of us remember that on every path, we have a choice. If we are willing to live with the consequences--and that is no small thing--then there is always a choice. In that spacious moment, Michael made his.

"I did not come this far to see you end like this," Michael said as he reached out his hands and gently laid them upon Night's shoulders. Together their eyes reflected the light of the descending Star.

"The Day has done me no favors. You are not my adversary. You are my love. You will always find sanctuary in my heart where I have kept you since the first that I met you."

The Shadow Queen, Night, Luna, lifted her hands and embraced Michael in humble submission to the power of his soul, his raw and naked love. Beholding their beauty, the power of their love for each other, Jaylina forgot to breathe. Then, together the entwined figures disappeared. Did they leap off the platform? Or had Michael crossed and taken her with him?

The very ground rumbled with the coming of the Light and as it exploded hard upon the platform, Jaylina covered her ears, shut her eyes tight. All around her the elaborate machinery of Night crumbled, and far below them the Eater of Souls came apart, releasing its energy back into the universe. She sensed herself screaming but couldn't hear it over the breaking of the Dawn upon this half-remembered place between two worlds.

Then everything faded to white and she heard no more.

The Left Hand of LightWhere stories live. Discover now