A Fairy Tale: The Sun and the Moon

Once upon a time, the Land of Not was one great land, and the Creators who began it made all their children to be very special, very powerful creatures full of love and devotion to keeping their home bright and beautiful, full of eternal sunshine cast by the King and Queen. Not was bountiful and wealthy, and possessed some of the brightest colors anyone could ever imagine. The King and Queen, beloved by all, came to expect a child, and the whole kingdom rejoiced, except for one.

Then, the unspeakable happened. The Queen’s baby was lost, and a rift formed between the two great Creators over this tragedy. Still the kingdom tried to do what it could to keep everything running smoothly. All except for one. Angered by the Creators for becoming so upset over their loss that they forgot about all their other children, the Great Witch cast a spell upon Not, and the sun’s spirit was cast down from the sky. It landed somewhere on the earth, causing colors to fade from the lands. All that remained of the sun in the sky was a spectre of its former self, which casts a grey light upon the grey world. In their greif for the loss of the color, the people of Not became depressed, and lost many of their powers, most only retaining one.

The Sun still found color in the place where she landed, an Oasis of green and pink and yellow, with a clear spring and pool of the purest water, hidden deep within a tropical forest. But the Sun could not stay there forever. She wanted to help the Land of Not’s children, and so she began wandering the earth to search for a way back into the sky, disguised as a beautiful maiden who brought color to all the things she touched.

Meanwhile, the Great Witch searched for a way to replace the Sun that once was with a her own watchful servant in the sky. After poring over spells and curses for the longest time, she finally created the Moon, a ghostly twin of the Sun who was powerful, but could still only preside over the earth for half the time as its predecessor. The Moon was a faithful servant at first, but saw many things as it watched during the night. Darkness flowed over the land and bad things happened during the Moon’s watch, many of them the cause of the Great Witch herself. And most of all, the Moon longed to see color, for he was forever trapped in a world of black and white, mostly black.

Angered at being a slave to the Witch and the things she had caused, the Moon cast himself down from the sky, but at a price. His light was left behind, and still hung in the blackness like a beacon. Without its full strength, the moon left in the sky only had the power to become full once every few weeks, weakening and then growing stronger again after a rest.

The real Moon landed in a forest full of shadows. Blinded by the darkness, he eventually found his way out by following the light of someone up ahead on the path. When he finally caught up to her, he found a maiden with beautiful hair, shining white and flowing all around her. Her touch brought colors to the trees and the grass around them, and the moon was mesmerized by all of it. He begged the maiden to allow him to travel with her, and after looking upon him, with his hair as black as night and his eyes of burning red, she agreed to let him come with her. The Moon found that when the Sun cast her light upon the world, he was able to use the shadows she created to do his bidding.

Together they traveled for many years, usually in disguise, for the people of Not seemed not to recognize their true forms and answered their presence with hostility. The twins explored all the land. The Sun showed the Moon her brilliant Oasis in the tropics, and he became so enthralled by all the colors that he longed to show her the place where he fell to the earth so that she might try and light that dark forest with colors as well.

The forest was deep, however, and they could not be sure of the way back out, so the Sun touched things here and there as walked, leaving a trail of lights and colors for them to follow when they were ready to turn around.

They walked for hours, talking and laughing as they went, until finally they reached a clearing that was pitch black, and the Moon stopped. This is the place, he said. He could feel the darkness enveloping him, and became seduced by the power of the shadows. He wanted to show the Sun what he could do, that his gift was just as wonderful as hers. But while he twisted the darkness around them, creating fantastical shapes and creatures out of the shadows, the trail left behind by the Sun disappeared, swallowed by the Moon’s magic.

Lost and distraught, the Sun and the Moon wandered through the forest, but they could not find the way out. The Sun wept, her tears becoming glistening drops of light in the darkness, like fireflies. The Moon became angry, and tried to howl to the wolves for help, but those who were once his friends seemed no longer to hear him.

Just as they were about to give up, a voice from the darkness called to them. They followed it to a castle near the cliffs, and found the gates open when they got there. Relieved by the sight, they eagerly went inside and tried to find the person who had called to them. The place seemed to be empty, their calls echoing and then dying without any answer. They decided to stay the night, and to try and leave the forest again in the morning, when the sun’s ghost would at least give them some aid.

In the castle they found a grand parlour, soft beds and a dining table full of food. There were fruits of the brightest colors, red apples and green ones, rich purple grapes, a roast chicken that was brown and juicy, and bread that was still warm from the ovens. They became ravenous and ate nearly the whole table empty, and when they were done they were so tired they went straight to bed.

When the morning broke, the Sun and the Moon awoke, but they were no longer in their soft beds. They were trapped in the castle’s dungeon, the thick doors locked and barred so their was no chance for escape. Outside their cells, they heard laughter, and peered through the bars to find the Great Witch herself, cackling at them.

You see, it was her castle they found, and the Witch was angry with the Sun for trying to restore colors to the Land of Not, and even more angry at the Moon for leaving her service. She vowed to keep them locked up forever, and there they have remained, waiting to be rescued. The sun and moon we see in the sky are nothing but ghosts of their true selves, waiting to be restored, and the children of the true Sun and Moon roam the earth restlessly, quarrelling with one another and feeling lost without them.

This was a fairy tale I wrote a while back on a roleplaying game site called Land of Not. It was written as a fairy tale that was popularly known by a race of people in the Land of Not known as the Children of the Light. It won a contest on the site! ^_^

Sun and Moon Image via Tumblr

Castle Image via Loadpaper.com

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