The Daughter and the Serpent

Long ago, in a time before the age of men and their cities, before the age of giants even, was a time governed by light and shadow.  Day and night held no distinction as suns and moons swirled past each other in the sky.  The land below blazed with beings of light, and underground, hidden in caves and deep places in the seas lurked creatures of shadow.  Among these there was one named Omig, greatest of all the serpents of cave or sea.

Omig swore to his kind that someday the world would be a cool, dark place, where they could roam in freedom.  No longer relegated to the places beneath.  Omig grew strong, and hungry.  Omig the Fire Eater they named him as his appetite increased for prey in the aching bright light above.

Omig grew so big and so hungry that the beings of light upon the surface of the world no longer satisfied his appetite.  Daring the heat of the skies he leapt into the heavens and swallowed a moon.  It was a small moon, but it helped Omig grow large.  A sun wandering too close was Omig’s next meal.

The world began to dim with Omig’s attacks.  The celestial spheres above slowed in their dance, wary of this world with the shadowy serpent.  Omig began to hide in the dark spaces left in the sky, waiting to attack.  One by one, suns and moons disappeared and the world below grew cooler.  The beings of light suffered increasing attacks from the emboldened creatures of shadow, daring for the first time to venture to the world above.

“Something must be done!” called the remaining suns and moons to each other.

Several merely left for other worlds.  Many more perished before one sun and one moon came forward.

“We have a daughter,” they admitted.

A great silence followed.  Everyone knew that suns went with suns and moons went with moons.  No children had ever come from a sun and a moon before.  What sort of abomination would she be?  But she was lovely, this child that sang both sun and moon songs.  She lit the darkness around her like a sun and reflected the light from others like a moon.  The sun and the moon placed their dear child onto the dangerous surface of the world and separated from each other so that one could watch over her at all times.

The others did not understand.  One after another, the bright spheres that had dazzled the world for time unknown departed for other places.  Some were eaten during their escape by the ever lurking Omig.  The world went cold, and where the sun failed to reach, dark.

The creatures of light huddled against the daughter’s light and she added to it and reflected it into the sky, searching.  She sang in both the tongues of her parents, and a new song came forward.  A weaving of both lights.  She found Omig then, illuminating his grotesque, bloated form.  Omig squirmed in discomfort at the unbearable sound.  It was far worse than the light had ever been while the sky was filled with suns and moons together.

Omig let out a shriek of pain and the sun and moon pounced, adding their songs to their daughter’s.  The beings of light lifted their voices until the world shook with the sound of light.  With a final, terrible cry, Omig burst apart, letting the tiny burning fires that remained from his meals fly into the cold void.

“Go after them,” instructed the daughter.  “They will be frightened and alone.  Help them find their place in the dance again until they can grow large and strong as they once were.”

The beings of light obliged, shooting into the heavens after the sparks that remained of their old friends.  It took time, but slowly the sparks were placed throughout the sky and began their movements in a new dance.  The world below remained colder than before, and spent half its time submerged in darkness, lit only by the moon’s reflection of her beloved sun, and the small sparks that were her old friends and would be again.

Below, the daughter remained; fighting the shadows that grew too bold and teaching the creatures that came after how to find the light.  And to those who would listen, she sang.