Fiction Lesbian LGBTQ+

Do you know how the sun fell in love with the moon?

When the wind howls around a cottage in a forest on a mountainside, you hear it more clearly from inside than out. That was how she felt when she stepped inside the cottage, wanting a place to stay for the day until night came and she would have to leave once more. Pulling down her hood, her long, wavy, silvery hair tumbled out and down her shoulders and back. She drew her bluish black cloak around her and shut the door behind her, looking up at the owner of the cottage. She knew the cottage was a place that travelers would often come to rest during seasons of storm, so when the owner came to her she smiled and asked if she could stay the day to rest until night when she would have to leave. The owner insisted that she should stay the night as it’s far too cold for traveling and they had a spare room she could sleep in. However, she simply smiled, thanked the owner, and said she would have to leave at dusk.

Sitting by the fire, she removed her cloak, undoing the intricate silver clasp at the throat. She let it fall to the ground as she gazed out the window, seemingly entranced by the breaking dawn. The owner offered a hot drink, such as coffee or tea, but was politely declined. The woman continued watching the sun rise higher and higher into the sky, its rays illuminating everything they touched. When asked what brought the traveler to their cottage in such weather, the woman turned to her host and gestured for them to sit.

“There are great forces in this world that are incomprehensible to most. Yet love is one we can hardly hope to clasp in our hands for the second we think we might hold it, it seems to escape.” She glanced back out the window. “We spend our lives hoping for more, wishing for more, and all that time we spend it hoping, wishing, longing for some great event to come to us. For love to find us where we are, instead of needing us to chase it. Instead of needing us to search. Yet we do need to search for it. And I have found it in the most dreadful of places. My love is held too far for me to reach. Always so close, yet never will I be able to touch her. She is always too far for me to love. And I love her nonetheless. She is always too far for me to confess my love. She burns bright and lets so many others live and love and be happy, yet will always be alone and always be missing her own love. She will never know of me. Of my love for her. I long for her to see me and recognize the love I have for her, but I fear those hopes of mine are in vain,” she sighed, “for I can never tell her how much she means to me, for if I do I am afraid of what she might inflict upon those she sustains. So instead I hide here, taking the break from my travels to hide from her and admire her instead from afar as she remains ignorant of me.”

Upon finishing her story, the woman fell silent once again and remained by the fire for the rest of the day. The owner busied themselves with attending to the garden, to feeding the birds nearby, to collecting firewood. All whilst trying to understand what they had been told earlier in the day. When they returned just after dusk to their cottage, they found their visitor had gone, as promised, at dusk, but had left a simple note in flourishing handwriting on the mantelpiece. It read: ‘I thank you for your hospitality. I will likely return before too long, and I hope you are able to remain warm and safe during the bitter cold of winter during the long nights that await us. - L’. Just as they put the note back down, they heard a knock at the door, which proceeded to open. Another traveler entered, asking for a place to rest for the night from the cold storm on the winter night. She pulled down the hood of her reddish brown cloak to reveal locks of bright red hair springing out from its confines of the hood. She ruffled her hair with her hand and stepped forward, promising to leave before dawn. The owner of the cottage agreed at once, asking if she needed any food or drink, to which the traveler declined with a bright smile, insisting that a place to rest was all she needed. When asked if she wished to be shown to the guest room at once, she smiled and thanked her host, but said she would rather stay by the fire for a while.

She removed her cloak as she sat by the fire, upon the stool that had previously been occupied by the previous visitor of the day. She gazed out the window as the moon rose steadily in the sky, its gentle rays making the trees seem even more ghostly as they were cast about in the wind. Her host came to sit by her after ordering the firewood they had collected and adding a few logs to the fire burning in the hearth. They asked, once again, what brought their visitor to their cottage in such weather in the bitter winter. She smiled at her host and began her story.

“Time is a funny thing, you see, as it can stretch the shortest of times to feel as though they have lasted longer than I, yet can make the years I have lived seem as though they passed by without my noticing. For all this time, I have experienced and watched many a story play out, yet there has always been something missing from my life. Something I have chased many times the world over, all in vain as I remain none the wiser as to what this mysterious thing is. I know not even if it is some physical object or abstract emotion. An experience or person. I do not know.” She glanced from the window to her host, and back to the window once more. “There are many things I know I do not need. There are many things I have lost and gained and removed and found and discarded. Yet I know it to not be any of those. It is something larger, something more profound, something more encompassing. Yet I know not what it is. I am sure that I will find it, though I begin to fear that upon the find I will experience a bittersweet parting. I long for something I am sure I cannot have. At least, not for very long. There are so many that depend on me, and I have found a way of life that can help them and keep them happy. I am scared that if I find what I search for, that may be lost. That some may be lost. So instead I run and hide in my search, continually trying to keep the search from ending. And here is where it has brought me, my dear host.”

She lapsed into silence and remained by the fire, watching as the moon came to be accompanied by the stars glittering in the night sky, seemingly at peace, whilst the wind still battered the cottage. After a while, the owner of the cottage retired to sleep, hoping their guest would soon do the same. They dreamed of loves lost and found, of a wind howling the secrets of the sky into the world, of a world on fire. When they awoke and came downstairs at dawn, they found their visitor had gone, but had left a note upon their desk, which read: ‘Thank you, dear host, for your generosity and hospitality. I wish not to burden you with my time, so take my leave as promised. There is little doubt that I will return to you before long. I hope you are able to find peace and warmth in this bitter winter and are able to find your way through the forest during the day by light, however weak. I wish all the best for you, and hope you are able to remain warm. - S’.

Over the next few weeks, the same visitors came to the cottage in the forest on the mountainside every night and day. The first would arrive right at dawn, her pale skin reflecting the bright colors of the sky. She would always leave right before dusk. Whilst the second visitor would always arrive right at dusk, her warm, dark brown skin setting off her bright red curls wonderfully in the moonlight. She would leave right before dawn. They rarely spoke to their host, other than to inquire if they could stay the night, to politely decline any offers of drinks or food, and to thank them for their hospitality. They never met or seemed to be aware of the other’s existence. The days began to get longer, the nights getting shorter. One day, as spring began to be more than just a figment of the imagination, the calm visitor asked their host if more wood could be put on the fire. They immediately went to find more wood, as the pile next to the fireplace had been used up, but upon their return, the owner of the cottage could not find their visitor. They checked all the rooms, but it was in vain as they were nowhere to be found. They stepped outside, but there were not footprints in the earth. They gazed up towards the sky, avoiding the sun, and admiring the clear, cloudless sky. They almost didn’t notice it beginning to get dark. They almost didn’t notice that they were beginning to squint as they looked between the trees. They almost didn’t notice that the sun’s light was weakening. But they did notice. As they looked up, straight towards the sun they had previously avoided, they realized the cause: the sun was black. It was being blocked out by the moon. They kept staring at this wonder of celestial bodies, unable to break away, aware of the pain their eyes were experiencing. Slowly, the moon entirely blocked out the sun, and the forest around them was dark.

Half an hour later, they heard a knock at the cottage door. They invited the guest in, and was puzzled upon the arrival of the visitor who had left not an hour before. Her hood was already down, her hair slightly singed, and her cheeks were flushed a cool red. Her eyes were bright, and she seemed to be slightly out of breath. Her host immediately invited her in, and bid her to sit down, asking if she was okay. The visitor turned to look at her host and replied with an uncharacteristic vigor.

“Am I okay? Oh, my dear, I’m far better than simply ‘okay’! I have tasted the world’s secrets. I told you my love was held too far from me to reach, and I was not wrong to say such a thing. I fear I will not see her again for some time – perhaps not properly for over a year – but to see her, to speak to her, to hold her. To touch her. It was everything I had ever hoped. She held me back, and brushed my hair from my face. She fell into my arms and let me envelop her into my cloak, shielding her from the world. I held on for as long as was safe. But I knew that to hold on for too long was to risk the loss of everything we both hold dear. Neither of us can expect the other to sacrifice the world for our love. To be so selfish would be to test the Fates more than we already have. Love is a powerful force, yes, but should not be sought after at the expense of others. At the expense of life. We cannot hope to hold in our hands the secrets of the world without tearing apart the fabric of the universe. So I will wait. I will wait for her, until I can see her again, and will temper my love so it does not consume us all. I hope you will forgive me, my dear host, for the intrusion I have made this fine day of leaving without a word and such an ungracious return. You are a wonderful person, and I take great honor and delight in knowing you. I thank you, once again, for your kind hospitality.”

By the time dusk fell, she was gone, to be replaced by the owner’s visitor of the night. Her hair seemed to be slightly more muted than its normal, vibrant red. Her eyes glowed just as brightly as the previous visitor’s, but her cloak seemed almost more black than the reddish brown that her host had become accustomed to. She, too, was more energetic than normal, and took her host by the hand as she sat by the fire, explaining with enthusiasm her joy.

“My dear, dear host! What a day it has been! Certainly, all around the world must have experienced something quite extraordinary today! I have finally found what I have been searching for after all this time. I have found it in someone who takes my breath away. With such a delightful smile and welcoming embrace. She found me – me! – when I was simply continuing with the day as normal, as if it were any other day. Any other day! It was anything but. She held me close, she ran her fingers through my hair, she encompassed me in her arms as I was protected from the entire world in her embrace. She is so wondrous, I am lost for words – how did I never see her before? How have I lived my life not knowing of her existence? She is my guide, and I fear I won’t see her again for some time – I do not know how long – for she left me in such a rush, crying about destruction and fear and loss. But how can there ever be loss in a thing so powerful as the love she has shown me? The love I have found in myself? I refuse to believe such a thing could be possible. Yet I will wait and allow her to come find me when it pleases her. Until then, I will let my love for her burn inside me, tempered, like a candle rather than a blaze, yet strong enough that there is no fear of its being extinguished.” She sighed, seemingly lost in her memories, when she looked once more at her host. “I do hope you can forgive me, my dear, for this outburst! I am beside myself with joy at this found love I now have. Thank you, my delightful host, for being such a wonderful force and steadfast friend in my life. Thank you for your hospitality.”

Not fully understanding the consequences of the day, the host went to sleep dreaming of loves found and reunited, of the world on fire as the sun and moon danced in the sky, hand in hand, a cloak of darkness forever lost as the two brightest lights in their life found each other.

The next evening, they found a note. It read: “We are all only dreams and stars. That is the stuff we are made of, my dear. - L’.

And that, my dear reader, is how the sun fell in love with the moon.

April 10, 2024 18:38

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Tamarin Butcher
14:11 Apr 18, 2024

very beautiful! Thank you for writing. I enjoyed the symbolism and the love story immensely.


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Kristi Gott
06:12 Apr 16, 2024

What a beautiful story! The imagery, symbolism metaphors, and poetic style are skillful and full of imagination. It reminds me of the mythopoetic genre and the magical realism genre. Lovely!


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