“Tell us the story of the sun and moon, Grandpa!”
Shell smiled her best smile at the old man and he returned her smile warmly.
Faun, her older brother looked up from his play and scowled, “that isn’t right. It is the tale of day and night, not the sun and moon.”
Grandpa smiled again, the same smile for the boy as he had had for the little girl, “both are right in their own way. After all, you cannot have day without the sun and the moon lives in the night.”
“Please tell the story, Grandpa!” she tugged the leg of his trousers as though she were bell ringing. She would only ever do this to her Grandpa and yet her own daughter, having never seen the gesture, would do the exact same thing to her Gramps, and so the ritual would cascade down through the generations.
The little boy rolled his eyes, the affectation did not mean all that much though. He came closer as the old man began to speak, his attention on his Grandpa and the familiar words that soothed him and reminded him how loved he was…
There are places and worlds beyond this one. We are but a spec of inconsequential dust in the scheme of all things, and we should be thankful that we do not feature highly in the lives of the Higher Beings, lest their eyes fall upon us and we become pawns in one of their feckless games.
The lord of all is named Chaos. Chaos existed before all else and he will remain long after everyone and everything is gone and forgotten. He is the beginning and the end, and he is forever angry because he knows little else. He is also angry because he knows the biggest secret of all and that secret is that he is not really the be all and end all. He knows that there are days beyond his. Days where his reign of chaos will be at an end, and in those days there will only be order and peace, and in that peace will be a joy beyond comprehension. The knowledge of this secret makes Chaos a vengeful sort, and it does not do to fall foul of him. Alas, there is no escaping this fall, nor is there escape from his harsh and terrible vengeance at each and every perceived failing and slight.
Allaya, the goddess of the night, and Soulus, the god of the day, found this to their cost. This is their story, and the story of Choas’s petty vengeance upon them.
Allaya, the goddess of the night, was not only the most beautiful of all the Higher Beings, she was the wisest. She was possessed of a loving wisdom that made her the most beloved of all the Higher Beings.
Soulus, the god of the day could not have been more different. He was possessed of a harsh beauty that reflected his haughtiness and arrogance. He was a proud god and quick to sing his own praises. As a result, the other Higher Beings distanced themselves from him. This only added fuel to his fires, fires that burnt fiercely and as far as Soulus was concerned those fires burned to shine further light upon his glory.
Chaos as the lord of all, was not immune to Allaya’s charms and he favoured her the most of all of the Higher Beings. Allaya, aware of Chaos’s formidable power and the anger that roiled up beneath it, humoured the rage filled god and sought to calm him as much as she was able. This attention that she bestowed upon Chaos was misconstrued as affection and in time, Chaos began to think of Allaya as his consort.
Unfortunately, Allaya did nothing to dissuade Chaos of this misconception of his. Why? She was oblivious to it and none of the Higher Beings who saw the way Chaos looked upon Allaya and tempered his behaviour around her ever warned her of what was developing between them. They were happy with this state of affairs and did not want to be the one to rock the boat. No one wanted to come between Chaos and his most valued prize.
No one, that is, except Soulus. Soulus was also blind to Chaos’s feelings for Allaya. In the beginning, this was all due to his absolute focus on himself and his total magnificence. Soulus spent the predominance of his existence, basking in the heat of his own flames, for he could think of nothing better to do and no one he would rather be with than himself. As far as he was concerned, he was the best there was and the universe revolved around his wonderful and unending flames.
It is not clear what changed in order for Soulus to at last notice Allaya. Perhaps it was Allaya who saw something in Soulus that no one else could see. There is a form of magic that can happen between two people, when one of them sees in the other something that no one else can, not even the person who possesses it. Once seen, the whole world has the potential to change.
And it did.
At one point in the history of the universe, Allaya and Soulus were oblivious to each other and then everything turned as they saw each other as though for the very first time. The love that grew between them was a patient love. This love was confident and it was strong from the very outset, for it knew it was here to stay. Once it came into being, there was no turning back and no end. Love is like that. Love is eternal.
Soon enough, Soulus found a different light to bask in and he delighted in the chimes of Allaya’s laughter. For her part, Allaya felt transformed and lighter somehow in the warm fires of Soulus’s presence. What was evident to all was the way both goddess and god shone all the brighter for being around each other, and it was a joy to behold.
It was a joy to behold for all but Chaos.
Wrapped up in his own world as we all are from time to time, Chaos did not see the developing romance between the two Higher Beings. He did not see it and then he refused to see it. In Chaos’s world Allaya was his and his alone and there could be no possibility of her finding another.
By the time Chaos saw things for what they were, it was far too late, for they were now lovers and their fates were irrevocably intertwined. Anyone who saw them in the same space together regardless of their physical proximity, could see that the roots below them were as one and there was no separating them, not without causing damage and pain to them both.
However, Chaos was not built the same as the others, even before a jealous rage overcame him. His unrequited love for Allaya was a hot lance that undid him and made his anger burn all the more.
He looked upon the radiant faces of the object of his love and her lover and he resolved to punish them for an eternity. Never again would they know one another in the way that they did now. Never again would they be together. He would rip them asunder and leave them in a chaos that crushes; their loneliness was to be his punishment.
In a fit of horrendous rage, he stormed the Hall of the Higher Beings and, grasping Soulus’s golden locks, he dragged him away from that place and deep into the realms of Chaos. He took Soulus far away from his home and the goddess he loved and adored, and he left him stranded and unable to return. Forever banished from the Hall of the Higher Beings and his love.
“This is your punishment!” roared Chaos.
“For what!?” retorted Soulus.
“For loving Allaya!” shouted the jealous god.
Soulus laughed at this, “is that all?”
Chaos was stunned by the haughty god’s response.
Soulus shook his head, “you have always envied me my flames and my radiance. You resent being in my shadow.”
Chaos grinned a cold and callous grin, “you mock me and you should not. For that, I will punish you further. I will punish you for your vanity. From hence forth, any mortal looking upon you will risk the sight of their eyes. You will blind them with your so-called magnificence!” And with that, Chaos left the god of fire to the solitude of his exile.
Upon Chaos’s return, Allaya attempted to reason with the jealous god, but he was not for listening. Not one of the Higher Beings interceded for her or her wronged lover. Not one.
As Chaos pronounced the same punishment of eternal exile for Allaya, she turned to the cowardly Higher Beings and cursed them all. Each and every one of them cast their eyes down as she looked upon them with furious disappointment.
“You will be forgotten and forsaken, but no one will forget my face, nor the face of my beloved Soulus!”
Upon hearing that name, Chaos roared “so be it!” before dragging her away from the Hall of the Higher Beings.
“I will place you here,” Chaos screamed at Allaya, “in the sky above these mortals so that they can witness your punishment and your shame!”
“Good!” retorted Allaya, “for I have no shame! It is you and all the other Higher Beings who should be ashamed!”
And so it is, that we see the face of the night goddess Allaya every night and in the day there is Soulus. But we cannot look upon him for to do so would be to turn our eyes towards flames that would burn our very sight away.
Chaos did not get it all his own way though, for the light that shines from Allaya’s countenance is the reflected light from Soulus. In our ignorance, we think she gazes down upon us, but the truth of it is that she has never stopped loving Soulus and she gazes upon him always. This is why she turns her face from us each and every month, she never breaks her gaze from the face of her eternal love.
And although Chaos will always ultimately rule the universe, Soulus comes to us each and every day. He brings us light and he brings us the warmth that allows life to thrive. At the end of every day, Allaya arrives, bringing the peace and solitude of the night.
Never can there be night and day in the same place, but the lovers have found a way to defy the endlessly jealous and angry Chaos, for they linger a while each dawn and dusk and there they interlace their fingers and catch a hurried moment right under the nose of Chaos himself.
That is why there is magic to be found in those snatched moments. You can feel it if you still the chaos of your mind and rest in the presence of the two lovers as they make the most of their short time together.
Dawn and dusk are a time of myth and legend. The names of the Higher Beings are long forgotten and so few know the names of Allaya and Soulus, but they know them all the same, and we certainly know Chaos, for he rules even now and it is for us to defy him just as well as day and night do.
“And how do we do that?” Grandpa asked his grandchildren, Shell and Faun.
They did not answer with words. They knew the story well enough by now. Instead they stood and gathered near and Grandpa took them both in his arms and the three of them hugged each other fiercely. They hugged like they meant it. They hugged for all they were worth, like their very lives depended upon it.
“We fend off chaos with love,” said the old man, a tear rolling from his eye as he looked over to a space in the room where his own Allaya once used to sit, and for him and his old rheumy eyes, sat still.