1.Darkness.

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Darkness.

Once again, another day of light had drifted away and ended just like that. The merchants of the little port town of Bethesda packed away their wares, the fishermen their nets even as the mothers held the little hands of the little children and led them away, hurrying as they trampled along the many cobbled pathways, past the central District and into the safety of their little stone houses.

One such mother was Neema Lithewood and she walked down an almost deserted street,  the affairs for the day having led her and her little son a long way from home and as the sun began to set in the western horizon; the mother hurried along her young six year old son through what she knew to be a shortcut back to their little cottage in the Western District of the town.

"Come on Killion. Do hurry up please!" the mother urged on her son pulling his little arm and the little boy jerked forward, his little legs struggling to carry him as fast as they could.

As they walked on, the mother and son duo left the little shops and wooden sheds that made up the Market district behind and soon enough they found themselves surrounded by the storied apartments and little cottages that made up the suburbs of the small seaport town of Bethesda. Either way, the two were still a long way from home and time was also running out.

As they soldiered on westwards, the suburbs let out into a more elite zone, the Central District where mammoth buildings rose up high into the sky, filling up the spaces that were before them, towering over them and casting dark shadows on the street that they continued to tread on. A cold winter wind blew across the neighbourhood and the little boy shivered as he stared up at the huge derelict mansions. They were bigger than anything that he had seen in his life, their own home and many others on Bethesda being much smaller than the smallest of these gigantic homes.

"Mama, what is this place?" the little boy inquired even as he jumped back at the echo that had just been thrown back by a nearby building. His mother smiled and pulled him closer. She did not show it, but like her son, the ghost town was spooking her as well.

"It used to be a rich neighbourhood." She told him, the quiet evening filling up with the soft lull of their conversation.

"What happened there?" the little boy, with fervent inquisitiveness asked even as he pointed to a more elaborate building that had massive pillars and strips of peeling up paint.

"That was a temple to the Great and Eternal Light. The people who lived here, they served him, but they're now gone."

Where to? The boy wondered but that was not the question he turned to ask. As it was, his mind had hit a roadblock and even then he struggled wondering what that particular word meant

"Ma, what is a temple?" the little boy finally questioned and his mother, the woman was holding his hand sighed wearily. She looked down at her son and smiled with a pair big sad eyes.

"It is a place of worship Killion."

"Worship?" the boy puzzled even more, sounding and looking more confused than he had been before. All these new vocabulary, they were not anything that he had encountered before.

"Yes Killion, worship."

"What is worship and why is it like that? Can I worship?" he questioned sensing that was something that he or they could do. "Why don't we go to worship there? What happened there?"

The mother laughed despite her once sombre mood. Her son's many questions usually had that kind of effect on her.

"One question at a time," She scolded him albeit playfully.

"Yes mother." The boy replied sullenly.

"To answer your question though, the temple is like that because it was abandoned. All the priesthood left."

The boy now frowned and tagged at his mother's hand twice to stop her.

"Why?"

"Even I do not know that Killion. They just did. My mother, your Nana told me that one day they just got up and left. All of them. All the temples to the Great and Eternal Light are all like this now, all over the land." And as she said those words, the young mother's mind flew back to the folklores, the tales that her grandmother had passed on to her. They were tales of legends, stories of a land between heaven and earth that glistened and glowed in a never ending light. These stories were of a place that was built with gold and shone with diamonds, surrounded by huge clouds that kept it from the view of any man that walked the land below.

It was said that only the Priesthood could find it. They were the servants of the Great and Eternal light and only their blood was pure enough to take the stairway to this other world, where they prospered while serving the Great and Eternal Light in the beautiful glistening halls of its Sanctuary.

"Ma, what will happen now?" her son whispered, pulling the young mother out of her short lived reverie.

"I do not know Killion." She replied even as her eyes wandered to the setting sun that was now casting an orange glow over the temple's tattered roof top. "It is getting late. Let's get home before darkness truly settles in."

The boy nodded. He looked around as he hurried up, his sharp eyes showing understanding and an experience that was way beyond his years. He knew what it meant to be caught outside and even as he thought on this, a roar so sudden and so loud filled up the evening air, tearing it up as it shook the ground and the buildings around it and with it the orange telltale sign of flames flickering up before going out over the roof tops beyond them.

The mother gasped and pulled her son into the temple. There was nowhere else to go now. Nowhere to run. Darkness had finally set in and with it, with the final sinking of the sun deep into the western horizon, Bethesda became a dangerous place to be up until it the  moment the sun rose up again and delivered them up from their torment.

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