The Divide

When the world was young and people new to it, twins played in the forest.

They ran and laughed, jumping over logs and through the brush, revelling in the innocence that defined them.

They came to a clearing.

Sunlight danced off the grass in this clearing. The fire-headed twin stepped forward, entranced.

“Kore,” called her sister with the wheat-colored tresses, “come back. There’s a cave we can explore!”

Kore did not hear her sister. She kept walking, until she stood under the full force of the sun. She felt a lazy ecstasy cover her entire self as her skin drank up the light. She reached for her twin.

“The light is beautiful, Umbra,” she called. “Join me!”

Umbra looked fearfully up at the light. It did not seem welcoming to her, but she went everywhere with her twin. They were one.

She took a few steps into the clearing, intent on joining Kore. The sunlight was hot. Too hot.

“It burns!” she cried, as blisters appeared on her arms. She jumped back into the welcoming safety of the shady forest. “Kore, come back, let’s play again.”

But Kore was already half gone. Her face was turned to the sun, enraptured. She did not hear her twin. Horrified, Umbra watched as Kore floated up into the sky, beyond sight, beyond reach.

Her twin was lost.

She ran back, back towards the cave, where she hid until all daylight had faded from the earth. In the pitch black she emerged, a new sort of creature. Her pupils fully dilated to let in all light made her eyes black, to any who could see. Black membranous wings sprouted from her back, and claws and fangs dotted her hands and mouth.

She could not remember the day; could not remember the light. She did not know what life was outside the darkness. Into this well she spun, forgetting all human form, until she lost herself completely.

She flew off, looking for other beings as mad as she.


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