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Short story vignette: “Sun and Moon”

A story dealing with my characters from my story “Meeting Adjourned”, it’s not quite a sequel, but it takes place in the same universe, using the same premise. I suppose I should mention some characters get naked, but I don’t describe their state of undress…Nothing naughty happens.

——-

The woman strode through the doorway like she owned the place. Her long robes seemed to crackle and pop as they touched the ground, rubbing against the door frame and her long white hair seemed to glow like molten silver. She stopped just inside the shack and let her crimson gaze wander across the room until they finally settled on Charles sitting alone by the table.

“You’ve grown older, my friend”, she said and smiled, indicating towards his greying hair.

“We can’t all be near-immortal gods”, Charles responded with a wry grin, but he got up all the same. It was hard to remain sitting in the company of such as Amaterasu.

“It’s not all that it’s…cracked up to be anymore”, the woman said and shook her head, her gleaming hair flowing like silk as it moved. She let out a small sigh and moved over to slowly fold herself and her robes into one of the empty chairs around the table.

“It’s good to see you all the same”, Charles said and extended a hand across the table.

Amaterasu smiled and covered his grizzled hand with her own daintier one.

“I must apologize for my brothers”, she said. “They felt they could not leave our homeland. There is…so much to be done for those like us who are finding it hard to carry on.”

Charles assured her that there was no need to apologize, but he still frowned. It was easy to forget that there were others like them in all the countries of the world and not all of them had the same kind of support system to keep themselves alive in these changing modern times. He supposed he was lucky in a way, for having such a support system in place. Though his companions were quite trying at times… The last time they’d met, Stephan and the Trickster had gotten into an argument and somehow that had resulted in a nearby piece of parkland temporarily turning into pink taffy…And Loki ending up with a very bad haircut. Charles must have made a face because when he looked up he saw Amaterasu giving him a concerned look.

“I was just…thinking about some of my…associates”, he said, shaking his head. “They can be quite a handful.”

He sighed and ran his hand through his unruly hair. Amaterasu stopped it and carefully cradled his hand between hers.

“Your scent is strong today”, she said. “It is time for your change soon, is it not?”

Charles nodded. “I had hoped you’d arrive tomorrow, to be honest.”

Amaterasu smiled and reached over to cup his face, one long sleeve trailing along the surface of the table that separated them.

“Do not worry about me, Charles” she said. “You know who I am and why I am not bothered by any aspect of you.”

She withdrew and her facial features seemed to shift ever so slightly, her almond shaped eyes slowly narrowing and her face thinning out. “Or have you forgotten what Amaterasu can do? What all her children who still look up to her for guidance can do?”

Charles shook his head. “I’m sorry; it’s easy to forget…Logical thinking becomes less important when you can smell a person’s intentions from miles away.”

“And what can you sense of my intentions right now?” the woman asked as she leaned back in her seat, her pale hands moving, dancing across the intricate belts and ties that kept her long robes wrapped tight on her frame.

Charles mind was flooded with the most primal of imagery and for a split second the other one almost took over completely.

“You…Are going to run with me”, he choked out as he quickly got up from the table, fast enough to topple his own chair and sending it clattering to the ground.

Amaterasu got up as well, her robes slowly sliding off her like they had suddenly turned into molten butter, like they had become as intangible as Melanie on a good day. She was next to him in a heartbeat and he became acutely aware of how warm she was. Well, it would make sense for a Sun Goddess to be warm.

The next thing he knew he was wrapped up in Amaterasu’s arms…Arms that were much stronger than they looked. “Be calm, Charles. I will be with you until your change passes tomorrow morning.”

She smiled down at him and he reflected numbly that anyone else might have thought that those red eyes in that pale face looked frightening, but Charles was used to frightening things. He was one of those frightening things.

But then…Humans didn’t find things as frightening anymore. That was why he even had the Sun goddess here, in his shack, on the very night of the full moon, a time normally spent in solitude in the past.

And it was in the arms of the Sun goddess that the other side of him took over. When the fur grew out and teeth sharpened into fangs. When his body changed shape and his eyes grew accustomed to the darkness. But this night, when he’d normally run through empty streets until he had worn himself out, he wasn’t alone.

Beside him in the night ran an overly large white fox, with eyes like rubies that shone in the night and wherever its paws touched the grounds sparks would shoot up into the night sky to join the faint stars up ahead.

The next morning he awoke to the sound of someone snickering and when he opened his eyes he caught sight of a familiar shape in the corner.

“What a sight the pair of you make”, the Trickster God said as he emerged from the shadows, his green eyes gleaming with mirth.

“Good morning, Loki” Amaterasu said as she unfolded herself in one fluid motion, flowing seamlessly from her quadrupled form to the shape of a woman once more. “I forgot how curious you children can be.”

Loki frowned and almost seemed to flush. “If anyone should be considered a child, it’s that one.”

The Trickster God gestured towards Charles who had managed to find his discarded clothes and had already pulled on his pants. Amaterasu did not seem as bothered by her own state on undress however.

“Oh, though Charles is younger than you in body, his mind is not”, she said and sat down on one of the chairs, crossing her legs. “I remember watching you Aesir when you were young; your play amongst each other amused both me and my brothers.”

Charles wasn’t sure if she was having a go at Loki or if she was being sincere. In the end, it seemed to have the desired effect, for the Trickster God finally left, muttering “Batty old grandma” under his breath.

Only then did Amaterasu make a move to put her robes back on. Charles had to admit that it was a small relief. Though he was far too old to be embarrassed by nudity and certainly as a werewolf he’d had plenty of exposure of it…It still bothered him.

“It is the humans who created clothing to dress them even when they were not cold”, Amaterasu had said once. “But I quickly became intrigued by the many ways they would adorn themselves.”

Considering her age it wasn’t surprising her fashion sense was a couple of hundred years out of date.

When she had finally put on all the layers of robes and belts she let her hands touch his face one last time, rubbing her pale fingers along the stubble that covered his chin and jawline. “I promise my next stay will be longer.”

She rubbed her nose against his and turned to leave. When she closed the door behind her it was as if someone had turned off the lights.

A voice emerging from behind shelf along the far wall almost made him jump.

“Oooh…She’s always so bright!”

Ombra’s dark shape poked itself out slowly until she girl was standing next to the shelf, her large eyes blinking.

“Her brightness makes me feel nice though!”

Charles grinned and sat down in his customary seat, sighing. “She makes me feel pretty nice too.”

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