The Girl Who Captured The Sun

Submitted into Contest #151 in response to: Write about a character who keeps ending up in the same place.... view prompt


Contemporary Speculative

Silent, crouched in the cozy nooks of the bushes, the dark haired girl watched with earnest eyes, once again finding herself staring at the golden flicker of light hidden beneath the line dividing sea and sky. She recalled when it was a blazing sphere of inferno, looming above the earth. A gleaming, gargantuan garnet raising its fiery fingers into the sky. Ahi had lingered behind the foliage, plotting her ambush. When her keen eyes discerned the right moment, she pushed herself off the ground and swiftly pursued her target, careful not to startle it. But just as she got close enough to grasp the sun, it sank further into the sea, enshrouding the world in darkness as its flamboyant flames were extinguished. Ahi walked back to her dwelling, moping when she was unable to acquire the jewel in the sky once agian. She repeated her process of watching and waiting every single day, the elusive sun providing to her an impetus to succeed. But the glowing orb seemed to spill through her hands just as she was about to ensnare it, almost as if it were amused to see Ahi’s cycle of futile efforts. Sometimes it would ascend, sometimes it would descend. Ahi could never predict its moves. Then one day, she saw her father gingerly severing slabs of wood in his workshop. The potent scent of fresh pine revitalized her senses, refreshing her after yet another perpetual game of hide and seek with the sun.

She glanced at her father’s determined visage while pounding nails into place and an idea struck her—if the sun wouldn’t come to her, then she would go to it! 

“Wow Father, that chair looks exquisite! You really have a talent for bringing out the rich shades of the wood,” Ahi wheedled. "Anyone could learn so much about woodworking by just watching you!" she said, alluding to her knowledge of woodworking she had obtained by studying her father all these years. "Could I perhaps create something of my own?"

"Well that depends, what do you want to make?" her father asked.

"I'd...I'd like to craft a catapult to help me capture the sun," Ahi admitted. To her surprise, Ahi's father strongly advised against her ambition, and he was resolute in his decision. 

So, Ahi toiled secretly at nightfall, just as the sun dipped below the horizon. She was a bit disheartened that she'd have to wait until her project was completed to attempt to catch the sky’s crown jewel, but once she was finished with her invention, she would no longer need to run outdoors to see the sun- she could display it right on her nightstand! 

After numerous nights of silently sculpting and sawing, the catapult was ready.  Ahi stepped into the wide band and gradually inched backwards, tightening her grip on the sides. This was it. This was the moment she had been waiting for nearly all her life. 

Ahi pulled back one last time and let go. The next few moments were a blur through the dark. She opened her eyes and let out a yelp when she saw that her cottage was the size of a doll’s house and her father, frantically signaling with a lamp for his daughter to return, was the size of a caterpillar! Which could only mean that Ahi was soaring through the skies! As she gazed at the navy sea of stars above her, the golden globe became clearer. She had never been so close to it, and the glow nearly blinded her. Light was a beautiful thing, and after living in the dark every time the sun set, Ahi wanted light for herself. She would no longer have to stare petrified with fear as shadows crept across her walls. She would no longer need to worry about childish things like spilling her bottle of ink or accidentally slicing her finger in dim environments. The sun was so close now that Ahi grazed it with her fingertips. Nearer and nearer it crept, until Ahi grabbed a hold of it! She began her descend, but the ball of light would not budge. It was as if a thousand mountains were holding it in place. Ahi pried and pried, kicked and stomped, pushed and pulled. She heaved and hauled, but it was as if the sun was fused to the sky. Tears of frustration glistened at the corners of Ahi's eyes when she realized that her father’s woodworking knife was in her pocket! She whipped it out and began to hack a grotesque circle around the sun. When was done, she gave it a slight tap and the sky's jewel fell into her hands. It glowed like it was life's essence itself.

Ahi returned to her cottage, earnestly waiting to show her father her prize. But as she trudged back with the weight of the sun on her shoulders, it was as if she fell into another dimension. The world was dark now, pitch black. The darkness sucked everything up into its deep abyss. Ahi could barely see her cottage or her father’s workshop and everything felt surreal, leaving Ahi feeling as if time itself had stopped. She was frozen in a void of nothingness. Everywhere Ahi looked, to her right, her left, up and down, there was black. By trying to take the sun for herself, Ahi had denied everyone else an opportunity to bask in its beauty. She needed the flame to return. But it never would. It never would ascend into space or dive down to the depths of the ocean floor. Things would never be the same. Her life, everyone’s life, was sentenced to an eternal darkness. 

And so, Ahi fumbled around in the dark, trying to locate her catapult. Stumbling as she strapped herself to it for the second time, Ahi launched herself back into the sky. She locked the sun into place, but it she had disrupted nature’s jigsaw puzzle when she'd hacked the sun out of its throne in; The sun fell and fell, no longer properly fitting into the gentle curves of the sky. Ahi deftly caught the sphere of light, memories of the fun ball games she’d played with her cousins flashing in her thoughts. But this was no game. She pushed the sun back into place with all her might, but every time Ahi removed her hands, it would fall right back down to earth. She realized now, the significance of her father's admonition. Ahi understood that caging the sun's spirit meant that she had left everyone in murky misery. She felt as if her muscles would explode with pressure from trying to push the sun back in place, she felt as if liquified fire was running through her veins. But Ahi persevered, twisting and turning the sun until it finally snapped into place. That was the last thing she saw before blacking out and falling back to the ground.

When she awoke, instead of hunting the sun like she had once done every day, Ahi marveled at its glory, at its light, at its warmth. It was like a large bird, meant to be free in the wild, and Ahi never wanted to restrain it ever again. But every year, the sun becomes loosened due to Mother Nature’s antics and tumbles out of the sky, no longer precisely snapped in place after Ahi had cut it out of the atmosphere. And every year, the dark haired girl catapults herself back into the sky to drag the jewel into its rightful place, a feat that became known as a Solar Eclipse. 

June 23, 2022 05:26

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


Ava Raim
01:24 Jun 28, 2022

Ooh, I loved your concept of how solar eclipses came to be and also, the message Ahi's father was imparting to his daughter.


Show 0 replies
Chris Morris
21:08 Jun 26, 2022

Aarna, this is beautiful. It's like a long forgotten tale of folklore. And I loved how we find out at the end it's the origin story of solar eclipses! Brilliant. I think it just could do with another edit - there are a couple of typos and one or two sentences that didn't quite make sense. For example: "She locked the sun into place, but it she had disrupted nature’s jigsaw puzzle when she'd hacked the sun out of its throne in" That one is quite confusing, so might have been picked up in a careful edit. Aside from this I thought it was ex...


Aarna Vaiyapuri
02:32 Jun 27, 2022

Alright, thank you for the feedback. I'll make sure to keep that in mind :)


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
RBE | We made a writing app for you (photo) | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

Yes, you! Write. Format. Export for ebook and print. 100% free, always.