The Last Eclipse

by Ashley Smith

They met the day God created them. It was the fourth day and the Earth had already been made. God created the sun first, a celestial being of pale yellow, and it hung like a glowing medallion in the blue sky of the day. “You’ll be happy here.” God told the sun. “You’ll reign over the day and the humans below and bring them the peace of daylight and the joy of friendships made on the street.”

The sun smiled and told the Lord, “I am already happy because I am alive.”

God created the moon next. The moon was the Earth’s tragically beautiful satellite. He was to reign over the night. “The night is dark,” God said to the moon. “Life will be hard because of it, but I am giving you the night because I know you can overcome its ominous cloud of gloom. No one will love you because all you will bring is pain in people’s darkest hours. People will die in the dark, but under your light, perhaps the world will be at peace.” The moon frowned at the Lord.

“I want to be happy. Why did you create me if all I will ever see is darkness?” the moon said.

The Lord contemplated the moon’s thoughts. He wanted his creations to be happy. He frowned at the thought of the pain the moon would face through the years because of the tragedies that would occur during the night. He then came to a conclusion. He looked to the moon and said, “To mask your pain, you will meet with the sun once every four years to rule over the day, it will be called a solar eclipse. I will let you see the blue sky of the day today and then again every four years on this same date.” The moon agreed.

The Lord told the moon to close his eyes and brought him into the day. When the moon opened his eyes, the moon saw a gorgeous sight, a beautiful yellow orb. “This is the sun,” God said. The sun smiled at the moon which tied the moon’s heart in a knot. The moon smiled back at the sun, yet his thoughts contradicted the appearance of his grin..

“I wish I was the sun,” he thought. “I want to be happy, too. The sun is so beautiful, as is the day, I wish that was me.”

“It is time to go,” the Lord said, interrupting the moon’s thoughts.

“ Goodbye beautiful,” the moon said to the sun as she beamed in his white light.

Over the next four years, the moon faced many difficulties. The people ignored him and dozed away every time he appeared. Those who didn’t were those struck with tragedy. The moon watched as police officers knocked on doors to inform families of the deaths of their loved ones. He watched women and men get beaten or raped at the parties they went to just to impress their friends. The disaster that struck him the most was that of a young boy in a pale yellow raincoat. It was dark, of course, yet the moon remembered the boy because the raincoat reminded him of the sun. The child was walking by himself across the street with the moon as his only spotlight. An SUV the color of white frost that hangs from the trees in the winter raced around the corner. The black tires squealed across the asphalt like a bull trying to turn a corner. As the car hit the child, wet blood splattered across the car and the pavement, and as the child lay dying on the street in a yellow raincoat, he looked up. The child saw the moon. He observed each and every opaque crevice in detail and smiled as he let out his last breath. His corpse lay in the street, smiling at the moon until the coroner dragged his limp body onto a board.

The moon wished to tell the Lord of the tragedies he endured during the night, yet he kept his pain to himself because he felt as if no one ever deserved to see or feel what he had endured – not even the devil.

During the course of the four years the sun and the moon spent apart, the sun found many wonders she wished to share with the moon. The sun had seen short awkward stick figures of humans gracefully skate across sheets of iridescent ice that glowed under her beams. During spring, she saw bountiful gardens of flowers absorb her light and blossom. On windy days, the small blossoms would fall from the trees and leaves and land lightly on the tanned noses of small children. When Autumn would arrive, the sun would observe animals gathering small brown nuts and fruits to eat during the winter. There were some cloudy days, but overall the sun knew that the beings of the Earth were happy every time she appeared. They seemed to beam under her light. She wanted to share these wonders with the moon because she felt as if she were one with him, since they both spent their time in the wide open sky. In fact, she felt a sense of longing and love every time she thought of the moon.

The pair met once again on the fourth day. The sun told the moon of the wonders she saw and the moon was fueled with jealousy. The disasters he had faced had turned his heart cold.  He told the sun of the boy in the yellow rain coat and the other tragedies he had seen. The sun’s light dimmed as she began to feel bad for the moon. The moon noticed her displeasure and got an idea. “Perhaps, if all the beings could look up at the night sky and see something brighter than me, then the tragedies will stop occurring.” This was a selfish thought, but the sun did not notice.

“I cannot abandon the day,” she said confused.

“I would never ask you to do that,” the moon replied. “I just think that giving the world a brighter light in their darkest hours would be better. The night is not for you, it’s for me, but perhaps you could give me a piece of you to give the world a brighter light, and of course, a way for me to remember you while we are apart.” The sun nodded hesitantly as a small smile began to form on her face. If the sun could blush, she would have.

“Take some of my light with you, just a few pieces,” she said. The moon smiled happily. He began to take pieces of the sun’s rays, one by one. The iridescent pieces gleamed brightly with beautiful light as he drained them from the sun. When he was done, the sun shined a little less brightly while the night sky shined brighter than ever, with stars as bright as the eyes of young children on a playground.

Every four years, the moon would ask the sun for more of her light, and every four years, the sun would comply. One year, the Lord visited the moon. It was a bright night, with groups of stargazers staring into the night sky as if waiting for it to reveal some hidden secret. God frowned at the appearance of the sky. “What have you done with the night?” the Lord asked the moon.

“I made it brighter,” the moon said. “Maybe now there will be no more tragedies, or at least if there are, there is still a light somewhere.”

“You are the light,” the Lord replied, “I did not create you to dismantle the sun piece by piece. I created you to shine in the world’s darkest hours. Pain will always be around. It will never disappear, no matter how hard you try or how many stars you put in the sky.”

“I’m trying to make the world a brighter place!” the moon growled angrily.

“No, you aren’t. You are cold and alone and you feel sorry for yourself. Give the sun back its light or else.”

The moon visited the sun again on the next fourth year. The sun smiled lightly, as her love appeared before her. “ I’ve missed you,” she said. “How are my little lights doing in the night sky?”

They’re wonderful!” the moon said. “But God is angry with me for taking away a part of you.”

“I don’t mind,” she stated. “But if the Lord is angry, you should give them back to me.” The moon sighed sadly. The pain he had endured was showing through his body language. He was not gleaming anymore, instead he had turned a dark grayish color, a resemblance of his pain. The sun noticed his sadness as it appeared, and began to feel badly for her love.

“ Never mind, what I said before, “ she said hastily, “take however much of my light you need. All I want is for you to be happy.” The word happy triggered the moon as he thought of his very first conversation with God. “I want to be happy. Why did you create me if all I will ever see is darkness?” he had said.

“ Can I have all of it?” he asked.

“ All of it?” the sun asked hesitantly, “There will be none of me left if you take all of it.”

“But then you could see the night too, and you would always be there for me.”

“I would be dead!” she exclaimed.

The moon sighed before he began his statement. “All my life, I have only felt pain. I have lived in the dark and seen so many tragedies. I’ve seen so many people die or cry themselves to sleep. I don’t want anyone to hurt anymore. I want everyone to always see light because light gives people hope and makes people happy. Please help me. Please help me make the world a brighter place.”

The sun gazed at the moon’s face and saw the sadness within it. She nodded slowly as she braced herself to give her life for the Earth’s beings and her one true love. As the moon began to drain her of her light the world became enveloped with a heavy darkness that would mark the end of the day and the endless reign of the dark night.

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