On the First Day

As the Sun disappears behind the horizon, even the most heoric men are forced to hide, for the darkness of the night is unforgiving. Thus it has been since the elder were born, and since their own elders were born, and since the world began.

As the sky turns to the colour of blood, the mothers call their chidlren. They must leave the streets and rejoin their homes. The fathers close the window, and the candles are lit. Thus it has been, for ever.

However, the nature of man is such, that they cannot accept their fate. They refused to eat their meat raw, and so they invented the fire. They refused to sleep on the ground, and so they invented the bed. And of course, some men refused to let the night dictate their activities. When everyone else ran to their homes and shelter themselves, they stayed outside, never to be seen again.

Sneaky Owl had always been an undisciplined boy, never listening to the sound advice of his parents, nor to that of his grandparents. He was destined to become one of those men who defied nature, and the established order of things. He would disobeyed almost every order he was given, even when he knew he would be beaten harshly for it. Like an untamable beast, he followed no rule but his own. And when his twentieth birthday came by, and he was no longer under any obligation from his parents, he decided he would break the ultimate rule: he would stay outside at night.

When he anounced his decision, his father screamed at him, his mother cried tirelessly. They knew the shadows would take him away from them, for him never to be seen again. Following his own tradition, Sneaky Owl did not desist of his idea. He thought he might be going on a journey somewhere, so he packed food and some tools. He thought he might have to fight, so he took the dagger of his maternal grandfather, now deceased, with him. It was rather rusty, and certainly unfit for war, but no one had wanted to give him anything for him to bring on his night outside. After all, they all knew his belongings would disappear.

And it is today, that he had decided he would fight against the night. The clouds in the sky are turning orange, the Sun is low on the horizon. The mothers are calling their children back, the fathers are closing the windows. The candles are being lit. In between numerous tears and cries, his parents give him a last goodbye, but the moment the Sun touches the horizon, they quickly run back inside of the familial house. Sneaky Owl is now alone. He watches the Sun slowly disappear. The clouds are now glowing red. His shadow is ten times longer than he is tall. And now, it is no more. A light breeze is the only thing that breaks the silence of the place. The first stars start to become visible in the sky. One of them, he knows, is his grandfather. He hopes that he is proud of him. No, he knows he is. As there is less and less light, he starts to wonder if there is really anything dangerous outside. Whatever the outcome is, he is not afraid. He has never been, and never will be. The light breeze is giving way to a rather strong wind. It is much colder now. However, he is still completely alone. He shivers. There is less and less light. Details become hard to distinguish. On the road in front of him, he sees a shadow moving, a diffuse spot of complete darkness. A wild animal? Impossible, he thinks. The spot is gone. His heartbeat, nevertheless, increases in strength and frequency. The wind is becoming really strong. Not five minutes away from the town, a dense forest exists, that, he thinks, will give him some cover. And so he starts to walk.

As he leaves the town, he gives it a last look, not knowing it will be the last. When he looks back to the road in front of him, he sees a multitude of dark silhouettes coming out of the woods. Other men? Men who live during the night? Something isn't right. Surely he would have known if there was another town, or any settlement where men lived, that did not fear the darkness. These cannot be men. And they do not look like wild animals. Suddenly, he feels a lot less secure. The shadows seem to be moving towards him, but without any legs of sorts. That cannot be good. He wants to run and head back to his house. But, the town is now hidden by other of those creepy shadows. He panicks.

root 2018-05-24