The lights bobbed in the distance, as if the land had turned liquid and they were beacons moving up and down with the swells. Blinking my tired eyes did little to stabilize the view. This was nothing new, though. My weak eyes had long had problems with lights at distance in the dark. That sentence would remain true if it had just been distance. The dark only made it worse. Lights were a trick I would always fall for, a riddle I could never solve.
The lights continued to bounce and I carried on, trying to ignore them and their trickster commentary on my shortcomings. The day would come and the lights would fade behind me and out of my memory while the sun took its place in my horizon. The distance would solidify once more. My sight would improve. And the two, intertwined, would improve my mood even if only for a short time. Sometimes that is all that is needed, a small moment of hope and brilliance, of clear sight, to fight against the darkness of our days and thoughts.
The lights crashed and retracted. My mind raced. The road beneath my tires slipped by from the darkness ahead to the darkness behind, the dashed yellow line ticking off the miles. The lights, moving unnaturally in their swaying, hypnotizing, distracting way, tried to grab my attention, tried to suck me into their depths and I ignored them. But, not entirely. They held too much sway in the way they moved, like buoys on a rising sea, for me to forget them entirely.
The gods lit the heavens ablaze and dragged their bloody fallen across the sky in retreat. They had fought. They had tried. They had hoped to make a difference, but in the end they had to admit defeat and relinquish the world to the mortals.
They would hide away, mostly forgotten, until the fools who rose to power below ended up sacrificing all of humanity in their pursuits of greed and cowardice. The gods, those who had survived, had only to wait and eventually the earth would be theirs to shape again. They would regret those of their own they had sacrificed and those of the mortals who they had tried to save.
Fueled by anger and grief they would forge a better world. It wasn’t the first time they’d had to start over, and it likely wouldn’t be the last. Each time the new was better than the old had been, so there was hope one time they would get it right. They had as much time as they needed, so the odds were in their favor.
Anyone up for a flash fiction challenge? Steal this picture and write something of your own to go with it. No word limits. No genre demands. Go where the inspiration takes you.
The stars burned as brightly as they could until, one by one, tired by their exertions, they tucked themselves into the darkness for a deserved rest. They had stood watch over the night and now it was the sun’s turn to guard the daylight hours. Back and forth they took turns, passing off and taking on the responsibility seamlessly. Theirs was a well-worn routine.
Occasionally, battalions of clouds would storm across the expanse of sky to thwart the efforts of those who brought the light. But, their efforts were always overthrown eventually. And, hope was never lost in the interim. The stars continued on and, in their multitude, would shine the brighter through any breaks in the advancing masses. The sun would do the same and thus the world below would maintain heart and faith that the clouds would be defeated eventually.
Sleeper agents, embedded within the world, have bubbled out of their hiding places to explode into the fight. The manner of their attack sends dust and ash skyward, blotting out the sun and stars completely. In the long, dark, years that followed, perhaps only then was hope lost for those below as they withered away without the light. Even then, however, the stars and sun remained and fought on, eventually regaining control of the heavens to once again gift their light to the world.
The light is there, always, fighting for us. It is there whether we seek it or not. It is there whether we understand what it does for us or not. It is there because that is its purpose. It is the because it loves us.