59 comments

Apr 30, 2021

Romance Fantasy Fiction


Normally, we all think it started with darkness, but what if it was light? What if light was as old as time itself?

What if, what if, what if.

So many speculations.

Now what if I took those theories and turned them into laws?

This isn’t something science can prove, so why should I bother? We all believe in science now anyways. 

Where did the magic go?

It has been washed away. Pushed to the side and labeled as foolish imaginings. 

After all, fey cannot exist. Nor can pixies, nor can multiple deities, or even deities at all.

Or can they?

Magic is one of those things that requires faith. We must know it is there in order to see it. Magic is the thing that will show you that it started with light; not darkness. Science can’t prove this.

So let me tell you a story. One as old as time, one that begins with light.

For in the beginning, there was magic. There was Light, and there was Darkness.

Light bloomed across our vision like a radiant daydream. The rays kissing our cheeks with its everlasting love. She was a beautiful woman, living her days out in a paradise, by herself.

She sat at the border of her lands, singing to the flowers, humming a melody that promised of better days. A tune that swore she would find another being.

And then the darkness came. She wished him into existence.

The forest was no longer covered in serenity and light, but now was split in half.

Luminescence. 

Tenebrous.

The two sides were separated, leaving one to dwell alone. Darkness treasured his lonely days, while Light wept in her hollow. Her paradise had been corrupted by this shadowy place, and it was her fault.

Darkness was fascinated with his fears. And he feared light most of all. He watched her. 

He watched with prying eyes. He studied her. Whenever she met his eyes she smiled. But he glared back at her. 

Afraid.

Fear corrupts man most of all.

But Darkness is no man, nor woman.

He is the second being of the universe.

And fear tortures him most of all, making him almost human, eating away at his dark, fearful, bitter mind.

When she looks at him, she smiles. Light is always like that. But this last time she looked at him differently. An expression of curiosity. 

They danced around the border of their lands. Never daring to cross the boundaries.

His eyes trailed down her lithe body, watching her auburn curls fall to her waist, tickling her shoulders and brushing against her thighs as she let it run wild in the wind.

Who are you? Her eyes seemed to say, as they studied his dark armor, his pale skin, and his long white hair.

Something tugged at her in her chest. What was it she felt?

Light looked up at him, from her flower patch. Her voice halted, and this time when he looked at her, there was still indifference, but also a hint of inquisitiveness. For what is as outlandish as the one you fear most? 

Curiosity pulled at them both. Tugging their heartstrings to the other end of the forest. 

But each had forbidden themselves from stepping into the other’s land. Darkness could not touch the lustrous, bountiful forest in which Light lived, for fear of destroying it. And Light could not purposely envelop herself in the ashy tones of his home either.

Every day, each camp to the border when the sun was at its highest peak in the bright azure sky.

Today, Light waited for her silent, foreboding friend, but Darkness did not come that day. She waited. And waited. But still he did not come.

Light battled in her mind, she could not go to him, but she must.

Light took a step. Then another.

Her toes crossed into the barren wasteland Darkness would always brood about.

He had not come to the border today. To watch. To study. This worried her.

Light's only friend, if she could even call him that, did not come.

Her feet plunged into the black sand and when she drew her foot up, a flower came underneath it. She took another step, farther and farther into his territory. More petals and grass bloomed.

Light wandered the expanse of dead, burnt trees and black sand, leaving a trail of life behind her, a stark and startling contrast to the grey. Even the trees seemed curious. Who was this sunbeam no one had laid eyes on?

Darkness stalked through the ash colored woods. He could not go to her today.

He mustn't. If he continuously watched her, he would be eaten away by his thirst. His hunger.

Then Darkness noticed a flower. A brilliant red rose.

What would a rose be doing in his desolate woods?

He picked it, and it shriveled away. it’s petals became black in his hand. His eyes filled a trail of green footsteps.

She was here.

She had come to him.

Darkness followed this trail to the girl. 

He hid behind a tree and watched as she knelt and sang. It seemed that the branches lifted a little higher, and tried to grow as well.

Darkness quietly whispered the words to her song, but as soon as the breath left his lungs, the forest drooped once more.

Light had halted her tune, and when she turned, her eyes met his, and at the sight of him, she fled, flowers blooming in her wake.

Back at the border she collapsed and wept. Darkness had followed her and watched as he always did.

How was it that tears spilled from her eyes? What troubled her?

Darkness had to know. He longed for knowledge, for it to be poured down his throat to quench this undeniable thirst.

He stepped across the border and she screamed. Another step and her voice crept into his bones and chilled his soul. He dropped to his knees next to her and put his large hand on her bare, delicate back. He traced the outline of the dead rose with his finger, in the center where her green dress dipped to the small of her back, making the perfect space to sketch.

He placed the rose in front of her as she continued to sob.

Light reached out and touched it, shivering as he drew his hand away from her. Instantly, it bloomed again. She lifted the rose up and handed it to Darkness. Together they held the rose. Their fingers entangled around it’s green, yet lifeless stem. The base of the petals a vibrant red, and it’s tips fading to black. A perfect balance.

Light and Darkness, Darkness and Light.

Fear corrupted darkness. It haunts a man, but what haunts a woman?

Loneliness.

Light hated the endless days by herself, alone in her paradise. 

So loneliness shrouds light.

Both sides had mixed.

Light and Darkness, Darkness and Light.

Light was the first one. She crossed the border first, and Darkness followed. 

She is still his fear, but now he is terrified in a different way. He watches her, constantly astounded by her alluring inculpability. 

And Light watched him in turn, daunted by the impending catastrophe that would befall them if she let him nearer. But Light couldn’t stop this. Sometimes destruction was a good thing. Ripped down to be built back up. Be remodeled.

At this very moment, Light dreamt of being torn to shreds. It meant he could piece her back together, and she craved that.

Darkness leaned forward, and let his fear enrapture him. Consume him. And Light leaned into Darkness, and let the annihilation destroy her.

This was the moment we all turned to science. When darkness and light could no longer be discerned. This is when we started to speculate, to change our beginning. This is when we lost our magic.

When Light and Darkness were fearful and lonely. When they crossed over, our magic washed away.

And our world was covered in Darkness, for he drank in the light, and left nothing for the world, covering us in darkness.


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59 comments

Cole Lane
00:04 May 04, 2021

Charli, this was huge! What a beautiful way to approach this prompt, it was epic. Taking an idea that light and dark were entities that really want to be together but it would bring the loss of one or the other until they found the balance. The only tragedy was the loss of magic. There has to be a 'chosen one' story in this to bring magic back. :) Science is so boring. I am a big fan of the sequels, can you tell? lol. I want this one to win.

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Charli Britton
00:18 May 04, 2021

Thank You so Much! You literally my most favorite person right now. your comments are the best. :))))) I want this to win as well! As I miiiiight have mentioned before, this, and "Slaughtering Silence" are my two favorite submissions. :)

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Charli Britton
14:12 May 09, 2021

Also I would like to thank you for your comments on my story. They have always brightened my day. Your enthusiasm is infectious.

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Charles Scandura
20:42 May 13, 2021

The personification of light and darkness is no easy task, but you navigated the path well. There are inherent philosophical ideas that you managed to contain in this story without getting too bogged down. There is the idea that humans perceive and distinguish the difference between things but ultimately that all things are one. That light is the absence of darkness and that darkness is the absence of light in varying degrees. I also like your exploration of the idea of magic. The more we try to explain or understand things, “Darkness had ...

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Charli Britton
23:35 May 13, 2021

Oh wow. This has to be one of my favorite comments ever. Thank you so much. It means a lot to me, and I completely agree with everything you said.

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Gerald Daniels
17:52 May 12, 2021

Great tale, loved it.

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Blueberry Elf
16:52 May 09, 2021

So so so beautiful! I really enjoyed reading this story! The language is beautiful, and the imagery is incredible! I really like the idea expressed in this story, how first was light, then foloowed darkness and then they became one. it is truly a very beautiful and well written story! I loved this line, "He longed for knowledge, for it to be poured down his throat to quench this undeniable thirst." And the entire ending...just beautiful!

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Blueberry Elf
19:17 May 09, 2021

I just published a new story, and if you would be willing to check it out, I would really appreciate any feedback or comments you may have. Thank you :)

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Charli Britton
11:34 May 10, 2021

Thank you. I will definitely check it out!

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Juno Y.
14:46 May 23, 2021

I love this so much, this kept me at the edge of my seat. Also, I learned a new word: tenebrous, so yay! One small nitpick though, when you said "fey", did you mean "fae"?

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Charli Britton
11:03 May 24, 2021

I don't know, people spell it different ways so I just went with what was easiest. Thank you! New words are always fun ;)

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Philip Clayberg
21:17 May 20, 2021

A very interesting story. Thank you for writing it. It reminds me, in a way, of the part of the Disney animated movie, "Fantasia 2000", when the Firebird is reborn and the green returns to the dead areas. Except in your story, it's the other way around. Editing comments (I hope that I didn't leave too many): Where did the magic go? [Maybe change "Where" to "Then where", delete "the", and change "magic" to "Magic".] [Magic - instead of magic - because it's a proper noun like Biology, Chemistry, etc.] [I think the point you're making i...

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Charli Britton
23:46 May 20, 2021

I will make those changes for the story on my doc, thank you, but sadly it won't let me edit because the contest is over. Thank you for reading!

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Philip Clayberg
00:57 May 21, 2021

I forgot to add one thing: I *did* enjoy reading your story. I just wish I could read stories on this website more for enjoyment than to help out with editing them. Apparently, I've earned quite a reputation for laser-like editing skills. ----- You're very welcome. Glad I could help out. You have a wonderful (and unusual (in a good way)) imagination. I look forward to reading more of your stories ... but hopefully more for enjoyment than editing. ----- I still make changes to my offline versions when I find mistakes after a weekly ...

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Cal Carson
03:55 May 14, 2021

Your descriptions and figurative language are so vivid and evocative, this was definitely one of the better stories I've seen. Keep up the good work. I especially loved the line, "She sat at the border of her lands, singing to the flowers, humming a melody that promised of better days. A tune that swore she would find another being."

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Charli Britton
11:31 May 14, 2021

Thank you :) It was especially fun to write.

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Rayney Day
17:17 May 11, 2021

Loved this and the way it was written by breaking up the sentences into short little chunks. I loved the plot and the characters, one can't help but root for both of them. So many of these stories are so beautiful oml. A little bit disconcerting for new authors like me XD Anywho--bravo, beautiful job

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Charli Britton
17:28 May 11, 2021

Thank you so much. It means a lot. I am fairly new at this myself. I have been writing my whole life, but it never really counted until about a year ago when I co-wrote my first novel (No, it's not published). I have found that writing skill improves as you go on. It is true, practice makes perfect. There are several Reedsy websites and one has writing classes you can sign up for. (don't remember which website it was) I am happy to offer advice when needed and I will be sure to read your stories as well :)

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Rayney Day
18:40 May 11, 2021

<3 appreciate itt.

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Rayney Day
18:40 May 11, 2021

<3 appreciate itt.

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Rayney Day
18:40 May 11, 2021

<3 appreciate itt.

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Ryan Lm Colli
18:32 May 10, 2021

Join this: https://www.guilded.gg/i/0k80xDmk Oh no... ouch. I definitely teared up by the end. I really can’t say enough good things about this story. I’m a Chinese-American young woman - who has a fondness for Mandarin scattered throughout English - so it especially hit hard for me. You captured so many bits of the culture incredibly well: 哥哥, 妈妈, offering food as a comfort tactic. All of it feels so loyal and true to real life. I absolutely love the tie-ins to other Chinese characters too. It’s a funny language. (I created my pen name with...

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Sarosh Jafari
08:25 May 09, 2021

I really liked this writing style. It was very engaging and the opening was perfect. I felt the end could have been better. But over all I liked it a lot.

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Charli Britton
14:09 May 09, 2021

Thank you. I agree. I really want to take this story and sculpt it into something more. Now that the competition is closed and it has been approved, there really isn't any point to editing.... but I would love to go more into detail sometime

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Sarosh Jafari
14:53 May 09, 2021

Mine's not approved yet. My first submission so I don't know much. Does it take time?

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Charli Britton
15:44 May 09, 2021

It depends on the time you submit it. If you submitted it in the first day it should be approved the first day the contest ends. If you sumbit it later it will be approved later.

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A. Kangiser
01:53 May 09, 2021

Great job. I've read maybe 15 different submissions and I like this one the best. It feels more complete. I dig the route you went with it. I am new here and submitted my first story, just checking out the competition ;)

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Charli Britton
14:08 May 09, 2021

I do the same thing. Thanks!

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Elizabeth Atkin
01:31 May 09, 2021

Wow. I think the best word for this story is “thought-provoking.” (Or is that two words?) I really liked the whimsy and poetry that you convey through your tale of Light and Dark but I do agree with previous comments which said that maybe it would’ve been better to show some things happening rather than telling. However, I often fall into the same trap myself, and you still have a beautiful writing style. All in all I really liked it and think it would make a really interesting fairy tale or myth. Would you possibly read my story, “You Can’t...

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Charli Britton
14:07 May 09, 2021

Of course I will. Thank you. I agree with all previous comments as well. It's just hard with word limits, ya know?

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22:00 May 08, 2021

Hey, this is your first work that I've read. I debated about weather or not to comment but It is my goal to become a better writer and I'd rather receive genuine feedback than ingenuine praise. Please know that I am coming to you from a place of respect. I didn't like this story. It read more like a lecture than a myth to me. Instead of giving me two plus two and letting me put the pieces together myself, this story gave me four. More than that it was a cosmic four. I think your story begins at "In the beginning..." ironically enough, a...

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Charli Britton
22:12 May 08, 2021

Thank You, I 100% agree. I would rather receive constructed criticism than ingenue praise. You put that nicely. I can see how that would come across. I am a more fanatical writer, and I tend to favor the more whimsical side of things. I can see how my story would come across as 2+2=4, and it is often times better to come up with your own solution... but what if your not good at math? I don't see how it comes across as a lecture, but I get what you are pulling at. Thank you, It is nice to know someone isn't all sunshine and rainbows on this...

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22:35 May 08, 2021

Oh thank god, this place is almost inhumanly positive, I was afraid I might come across as...well...a jerk. When in fact I'm just trying to read and write critically. "What if your not good a math?" BAHAHAHAhahahaha nothing like belly laugh thanks for that. By lecture I mean the story just states the way things are, darkness is consumed by fear and Light is consumed by loneliness but I didn't get to see it happening. I'd rather see the loneness torture light until she wills darkness into being (essentially her own destruction) , I'd rathe...

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Charli Britton
01:26 May 09, 2021

OHHHH Okay, when you put it that way it makes MUCH more sense! So like show don't tell? Yes! I get it. xD Like show don't tell? I would TOTALLY do that, but I have that stupid word limit! It's VERY annoying. This place is so positive right? It's mostly people reading other peoples stories and pretending to like them and comment on them so they can get comments on their own stories. (I have to admit, occasionally I do the same thing when I am bored) Can I make you a deal? Maybe every week we can read each others stories and bring each other ...

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19:13 May 09, 2021

DEAL honesty it is best deal I've made in a wile!! *Spits in hand and holds it out for a handshake* We read each others work and give feedback as best we can. Please know that my only qualification is a few creative writing classes I'm not published or anything like that. geeeezzz I hear you the work count is a challenge in and of itself.

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Charli Britton
11:41 May 10, 2021

I have just about zero qualifications, but I am a reader and I own over 300 books. I am pretty sure I know when I am reading something good or not. *Spits in and and shakes yours, then wipes hand on jeans because thats gross* also, you misspelled while. :)

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Chloe B
20:02 May 08, 2021

I really liked this story! I especially loved the beginning - it was very captivating. Just one question - for the sentence "Her eyes seemed to say, as they studied his dark armor, his pale skin, and his long white hair.", did you mean to say 'they' or 'she'?

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Charli Britton
20:12 May 08, 2021

Um... I guess I could have meant She? I think when I was writing I originally meant "they" as in they eyes themselves. They just sounds better than the eyes? although in foresight it probably would have been better to say "she" Thanks for pointing that out!

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Chloe B
20:14 May 08, 2021

Oh ok yeah that makes sense. No problem and I really enjoyed the story!

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R Vairagi
14:58 May 08, 2021

GREAT STORY !

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Charli Britton
17:45 May 08, 2021

THANK YOU!

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Pranavi Ch
14:52 May 08, 2021

I have never read such an interesting short story,well done👏

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Charli Britton
17:44 May 08, 2021

Thank you!

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Angela Guthrie
12:09 May 08, 2021

This was a vert unique story. I liked how you used personification to show the difference between light and dark. Would you read my story “Stygian” and give me your opinion?

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Charli Britton
12:33 May 08, 2021

Thank you! Of course I will, just give me a bit of time to get over there.

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Nainika Gupta
17:02 May 05, 2021

OOOOH holy smokes. I loved this story, it read kind of like a myth or a fairy tale OR a fAe tale :) It was amazing how you broke it up into sections...that was really interesting! amazing job!

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Charli Britton
18:32 May 05, 2021

Thanks so much! It was especially fun to write. :)

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Geo The Writer
16:47 May 04, 2021

Wise use of the prompts and captivating story. Sounds biblical ;)

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Charli Britton
16:47 May 04, 2021

Thank you

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Marie Bishop
13:13 May 04, 2021

This is so beautiful and a great interpretation of the prompt.

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Charli Britton
14:18 May 04, 2021

Thank you

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