Friday, October 27, 2017

In the Night

In the Night
Bobby Derie

The Night City slept during the long, bright day. Above their heads, the day people moved on the burning streets, and slid through wet gardens where water the heat of blood splashed against ankle and calf. Their laughter and tears and rage came down to the night people and worked into their dreams.

In the summer, the sun was a long time dying. The early risers sat guard, eyes burned from too many peeks as the twilight came on. In the gloaming the Night City awoke. Multi-colored lanterns were lit as the stalls unfolded, and the drains gurgled as they discharged their sleepers. The day people locked their doors to the sounds of the Night City, the heat of the day draining from the streets beneath the tread of those who dwell beneath.

All save for the adventurous few, the foolish, the mad, and the unfortunate. Here a husband who quarreled with his wife, locked out, wanders into the Red Market; there a woman has drunk too much, has stumbled into an alley for a piss, and a dweller seeps up from the sewer to try out its new home. A prince with sword drawn watches the nightly consecration of the temple, and shudders at the Queen who rules by night.

In the night, a day child hugs the shadow that was once their brother; they have only this time together, in the twilight of dawn and dusk. Until one day she too goes down into the Night City, to sleep away the burning time, until it is their time once again.


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