Why the Sun Chases the Moon
Why the Sun Chases the Moon
by Jessica Scott
The Earth flourished. As the years passed people came to live on it and they grew to love the Sun and the Moon. But they did not understand why the Sun and the Moon could not get along together. The Moon would only let the people see her face, and they thought her lovely and mysterious. They wrote songs about her, and she grew to love the people as they loved her, but she still thought of herself as nothing much to look at. The Sun continued to ignore her, but he could not shut out the songs the people sang about her during the day. He would listen intently and memorize each one, especially those about how beautiful she was. He still shined as brightly as he could, and it pleased him to see that the people loved him as well. They worshiped him and wrote stories about him, and when the Moon came out at night she would listen in fascination as the people would tell these stories to their young ones. She drank in every word and held each one within her heart.
As time went by and the Earth aged, people began to change. They did not worship the Sun and the Moon as they once did. The Moon began to hear tales that she had been made of cheese, or that her face was actually the man in the moon watching over the Earth. These descriptions amused her. The Sun, too, began to hear myths about how he rode in a chariot and how the Moon was his sister, but he mostly ignored these fables. He wondered, though, how people could have forgotten the simple truths of their ancestors. Some people, however, still loved the two celestials, but songs and stories began to fade as new tales began being written and new songs sung These were mostly about the people and things of Earth.
More years passed. The Sun and the Moon began to notice how people loved to celebrate certain times of the year. They began to wonder what it might be like to take part in such things and to walk among the people on Earth. Now, what most people don’t know is that the Sun and the Moon can come down to Earth and become human for one night every year. They had never done so before, but now, they wanted to know what it might be like. They had watched humans for so many years, and they wanted to know what it would be like being one of them. So, on that one night, a cold winter evening, during one of the celebrations the people had begun to have to welcome in the coming year, the Moon came down from the sky and became a human woman. Her hair was as silver as the moonbeams she shone on the Earth, and her eyes were the blue of the midnight sky. Her skin was so pale you could almost see through it. Her clothes were the same as the women of that time, and she wore a black cloak and mask. She did not want to anyone to look upon her bare face, for she did not want anyone to see how unsightly she was. The Sun came down, too, and became a man. He was tall with golden hair that curled like a halo around his head. His eyes were the blue of the summer sky. His clothes were also like the men of that time, but he wore a mask, a white one, because he was afraid people would see the glow that lit him up during the day and recognize him for who he truly was. So, they hid themselves behind their masks and joined in the party the people were having. They were both pleased to find that the party was a masquerade.
The Sun arrived to the party first. He walked around the room listening to the music and watching the people. Many women tried to get his attention but he only smiled, and walked away to another side of the room. He liked being among these people who laughed easily and danced with joy, but his heart was not happy. He knew there was no one there that he could love. Then, he felt a breeze touch his face. The scent of jasmine filled his senses, and he turned towards the direction the breeze had come from. A woman, pale as the snow and dressed in black, walked slowly into the room. Her smile was the loveliest he had ever seen, and there was something about her that pulled him to her.
The Moon walked into the room and smiled in delight as she saw couples twirling on the ballroom floor, laughing and talking, and having a wonderful time. She was unaware of the man walking towards her until he was next to her and had bowed and asked if she cared to dance. Her smile was even lovelier as she accepted the hand he held out to her. He led her onto the dance floor as a waltz began playing. As they began to dance people started to clear the floor. It was clear that this couple had danced together for a long time. They floated on the floor as if they weren’t even touching it. They were ethereal, and though they looked like anyone else in the room, there was a gentle glow that emanated from them, as if each were lit from the inside. They were breath-taking. They had eyes only for each other; neither of them noticed anyone else in the room. He swept her around the floor, and completely off her feet. By the time the dance finished, she was breathless and he was under the spell of her midnight eyes.
When the song ended everyone clapped, and that was when they came back down from the heavens. How they had flown up there while in human form neither of them knew, yet they had been lost among the Stars for what seemed like eternity. Now, back on Earth, they walked off the dance floor and to a table filled with all manner of food and drink. They tasted and sampled everything. They talked and walked and laughed. They held hands and danced some more as the clock slowly ticked away. It was almost as if time were standing still. But, time was still moving and they both knew that they would have to leave soon, although they still did not know who the other was.
Eventually they found themselves alone on a balcony outside. The sky was dark and filled with stars. The Sun held the Moon’s hand and pulled her into his arms. They looked deeply into each other’s eyes and then, he kissed her. She felt the fire from inside him fill her up while he felt the cool of her lips quench his heat. When he pulled away, she looked at him and knew him as she had always known him. Tears began to fill his eyes as he, too, realized who she was. She reached up and pulled his mask away, revealing the face she had always loved, the face she had known since time began. He reached up to remove her mask as well, and she tried to pull away but he held onto her waist tightly. She lowered her head, and he felt tears fall onto his fingers as he removed her mask. He lifted her face gently with his fingertips and inhaled sharply as he looked into her face for the first time in centuries. She was stunning. He had never seen anything so beautiful, so dazzling. He felt his heart shatter with her loveliness, and as he kissed her one more time, he felt it become whole again.
The Moon felt confused. Why did the Sun not turn his head away? Why was he looking at her in awe and wonder? As he kissed her for the second time, she knew she’d never love anyone else, but she did not understand why he was kissing her. He pulled away once more, and smiled as he touched her cheek. He took her face in his hands and told her she was the most beautiful woman in the universe. She laughed in disbelief, so he pulled her to a window on the balcony’s door and showed her the truth of herself in its reflection. What she saw took her breath away. Staring back at her was a woman, elegant and radiant. Her delicate features enhanced her deep luminescent eyes. Fine cheekbones angled down to soft, satin lips the color of pale pink roses, and her neck was as graceful as the swan’s. She turned to look at the Sun and saw the same woman looking back at her in his eyes. She was resplendent. How had that happened?
The clock began to strike the first strokes of midnight and they knew their time was up. The Moon looked at the Sun and pulled him into her arms for one last embrace. As she pulled away he held onto her hand and told her “I love you”, and she smiled. As she turned to run from the room he heard her words fall back to him, “I love you, too.” Then, she was out the door, and had disappeared into the night. He smiled as glorious a smile as hers had been, and he, too, ran out the door, as close to her as he could follow. When the last stroke of twelve had sounded, people began to walk out to the balcony surprised to find two masks left on the balcony railing, one black, one white. As they looked up into the sky they they were awed to see the Moon shining the brightest light they had ever seen. She was more magnificent that night than the sun, or so everyone said the next day. Even the Stars could not outshine her, though they tried. What no one but the Moon could see was the Sun shining his light onto her so the world could see her beauty.
Copyright © 2014 by Jessica Scott
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