Saturday, December 9, 2017

Summer and Winter

Once, long ago, there was a thirteenth star to be found in the constellation of the Mother.  Yellow and bright, it bore many things.  That star, yet, one day left the constellation of the Mother, looking for a new home.

She looked for years.  She journeyed through all the other constellations.  She spoke with the Mother of Wolves, and she hid from the darkness that lies between the stars.  But then, one day, she came upon a strange bird at a crossroads.

"Hello?"  She asked.

The strange bird with black feathers turned to her.  He had five eyes.  She flinched, worried it had to be something of the Void.

"Who are you?"  The bird croaked.

The star hesitated, clutching her hood tighter.  She pondered using her knife on the Bird.  She could also wait.  The two thoughts warred in her mind.  Instead, she decided to reply.

"I am Thena of the Mother.  I am looking for a new home."

"Do you have food?"  The bird croaked.

"Who are you?"  Thena asked the bird.

"I hunger."  The bird shivered.  "I am so hungry I've forgotten my names.  My two eyes have become five, and my stomach has riddled me so much I struggle to dream as I once did."

"All I have is my knife and my clothes."  The Star told him.

"Nothing else?"

Thena looked down.  She closed her eyes.  She then saw something she could give.  But she would have to cut it from herself, with the knife.  It would hurt.

"I... could give you one thing, but it is sour and all I have left,"  Thena told him.  "Why should I give it to you?"

"So many dreams, I see."  The bird croaked.  "Feed me!  I will tell you my dreams.  I see your home, I see your Daughters you will have there."

"You will tell me where my new home is?"  Thena doubted him.  The Star had always thought of having children.  But this bird, it couldn't predict what children she would have would it?

"Yes!  End this hunger and I will tell you!"

"Is it free from the void and the dark?  Is it safe there?  Safe enough for my family?"  Thena asked her voice tense.

"Feed!  ME!  I WILL TELL!"  The Five-Eyed Bird at the Crossroads cried.  "Feed me your Stomach!  Give it to me!  I know you know how!"

Thena paused.  Then she cut out her stomach.  She cut them into long strips.  Then she fed each, one at a time, to the Bird.  The slurped each up as Thena felt blood well up in her starry, empty belly.

"Black and White."  He purred, slurping up the meat.  "A place my cousins, the Ravens have found.  Black and White stars, twins.  One true, one wrong.  A world with a moon and you can hear its future crawl.

"Walk toward the Black and the White Star, toward the heart of the Constellation of the River.  Do not sleep.  When you begin to falter, when you feel pain claim your every inch, that world you fall to is the new home you seek."

Thena bandaged her now stomach-less belly.  The next day, she walked toward the River.  She didn't see a black or white star.  But she walked.  And walked.  And walked.

After two days, her throat felt parched.  Her blistered feet had started to leave red nebula in the Western night sky.  We still see in the Constellation of the River to this day.  After five days, she longed for slumber.  Her stomach-less belly had starved her, but something else had happened.

The star's stomach-less belly grew.  Upon the seventh day, she fell down.  The Star womb had swollen with two babes.  They grew so fast, so hard, that in three days they had made their mother go into labor.  She crashed into the nearest world, orbiting two stars.  One black, one white.

Thena felt the cold stone of the world under her as her two daughters stood up before her.  Twin seasons, one quiet and one warm, comforted their mother upon their fall.