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Oliver: Dusk Falls, Dreams Ensue

by Storybook

Storybook We’ve passed the first day now, and dawn has faded slowly into dusk, the harshness of the sun wilting into a soft cascade of darkness. Most creatures fear darkness, but evening has another side, that of awe and wonder and the spinning of dreams.
It's Dusk.

Ollie's first night. An entry for a contest.
Edit: Oh, yes, and his nature is Quirky, while the two characteristics are Somewhat Stubborn and Impetuous and Silly
We’ve passed the first day now, and dawn has faded slowly into dusk, the harshness of the sun wilting into a soft cascade of darkness. A lot of people fear the dark, the ugly, the crude, the unknown, and the reason for this is justified and clear- we don’t know what is out in the dark. We’re afraid to be lost in the dark. To be frozen. To die. To be alone.

But I’m not too sure that the dark is something to fear. It shouldn’t be something to curse, or to shun. I’m a little confused in that aspect- why do I defend something so chilling, when the sky is a blank face and the trees sneer, curls in their bark twisted into frightening, malignant facades?

Perhaps the answer is that darkness holds a certain magic. The unknown can be unnerving... but also enchanting. When it’s night, the moon is a ghastly orb of magic, and the stars wink in the coldness of space with shuddering iridescence, and the world is bathed in a silken weave of shimmering threads, manipulating the plain and the normal into wonder and awe.

Whatever it is, the dark will always be where we grow- where we learn, change, and discover ourselves and others. Dawn is a being of purity and bliss, of new life and new beginnings, of the slate wiped clean for another stage of creation. Dawn is a creature of the beginning. Dusk is a being of enchantment and wonder, who twists the world on his fingertips and manifests raw, crude awe. Dusk is the enchanter- a creature of inspiration. Dusk is a being of courage- the creature of a darker beginning, and the painter of dreams.

It is he who inspires a journey as he wilts the sky, shrouding the world in maleficence and wonder, even if we’re not quite ready to leave the dawn.

There are other stages, too. Night. Day. Evening. Morning. Those last two might sound like Dusk and Dawn, but they are the other faces of the soft and the wily. So, too, do Night and Day share twins- those of Midnight, and Midday.

But we’re not here to talk of the other stages, the other beings that come to thwart, to hinder, and to help the journey of life and death.

How could we?

Me and Ollie- we’ve yet to experience anything but the Dawn. Soon, though, that will change. Innocence and purity give way to the other side, now. The quirky and the queer, the enchanting and the crude.

The time has come to discover the other side.

It’s Dusk.

A low whine accompanied the fall of the sun as its fingers strangled the horizon, dripping murmuring shades of pink, red, and orange into the bath of the sky, tinting its edges with dark pastels. The whine, eerie and disturbed, was followed by a growl, louder, tainting the air in uneasy aggression.

The growl was being emitted by a small, misshapen, and queer little creature, the edge of his star-shaped tail waving in the breeze, lighting the air around it in a weak shower of faded sparks that grew more confident the farther the sun fell. There wasn’t much you could see of the creature, what with a blanket tossed over the hunched form, but his tail waved free, and above the curved ridge of his snout, which poked out of the purple cloth, was a sort of hollow where two yellow eyes resided, their gaze flicking, and worried. One ear, it seemed, had poked its way into the outside world as well, and it was covered in a mass of fluff.

He was a sort of geometrical creature, body and fur resembling masses of triangles, squares, rectangles, and polygons with sharp, precise corners and jagged edges. It was a great contrast to the girl beside him, for her form was simply ovals, narrowing at the points like dripping balls. The creature, when looking at her, had an intense feeling that her form was shaped by wisdom and experience, not quite full but dripping and wise. She, when looking at him, felt his form was a sort of collection of anxiety, curiosity, silliness, and wonder, all sort of jumbled into one confused form, everything battling for a place. The Shinx's form was a little messy and unsure of itself, each shape jostling in a jagged and queer sort of mess, but it created the creature all the same.

His attitude thus far seemed to fit the jumbled, messy creation that he appeared as, the hours of his first day spent in sporadic bursts of randomness, for he could be burying a pebble at one moment and then throwing around snow in the next. It seemed, the girl pondered, he acted before thinking, actions created in a sort of silly, childish manner. Whatever it was that the boy decided to do, it was always rapidly, jaggedly, and she was sure his head ran on spurts of utter nonsense, so silly and queer were the actions. Just an hour ago, for example, he had ripped a branch off of a bush and planted it into a tree, then immediately turned around to shred the needles off of the tree and throw them in the air like glitter. She rarely got to see him out of the blanket, too- the woven fabric was always with the boy, and at the push of a button he would be beneath it, cowering, afraid, seeking the comfort of the dark and the known.

There was another thing, too- earlier today they had met a traveler and the Shinx reacted rather… strangely, in the girl's opinion. The traveler had been travelling with two Pokemon- a little Emolga and a rather intimidating Gabite. Ollie had immediately run up to the Gabite, nudging it playfully, but at the sight of the Emolga practically careened off a cliff in fright which, might she add, he had been perfectly fine sitting right at the edge of moments before. And, now that she was thinking of the Shinx's odd nature, the ovular girl recalled that ten or so minutes before they had come upon the traveler she had passed by an abandoned coat tangled in a bush, as if the bush had been cold and some traveler decided to leave it there to keep it warm. Yet, when the girl showed it to the Shinx, Ollie practically screamed, cowering in terror in such a way that she was afraid he might faint. AT A COAT.

The girl had spent the whole day getting to know the new hatchling and was slightly regretting it. She was glad that dusk was beginning to fall, for her eyelids were drooping with it. Time to sleep, the girl supposed, a thought striking her as she pondered on the night. This would be Ollie's first. He knew what day was, but for some reason the girl was curious as to what he would think of night. Scared, no doubt. Or not, now that she thought about it.

Two minutes into nightfall, and the girl regretted her curiosity immediately. He was growling at a sunset. What… even.

Then again… it was kind of like the sun was dying, wasn't it?

The girl leaned towards Ollie, scratching a tuft of triangular fur in reassurance. His ear twitched. Oliver was always listening, it seemed. Her voice was tight and yet loving as she explained.

"It’s sunset, Ollie." The ovular girl paused. "The sun is dipping below the horizon to let night fall. It’s going to be dark outside, and we go to bed beneath it. The sun will return in the morning, and we will wake up, and then the day begins again."

The Shinx gazed at her doubtfully, then lay down on the rock to express his faith in her words. She pondered at the purity in him, such that he would trust her even when the world was dark, and then sighed in a content manner, picking him up and slipping into the tent.

She was woken not by presence or movement, but by absence. The night was still, and the teardrop girl, foregoing a flashflight, slipped out of her sleeping bag to investigate the absence of Oliver, contemplating on the queer fact that his leaving had woken her, and yet he hadn't even existed for a single night before. Another train of thought crowded her mind, and the girl pondered that perhaps he was sleepwalking. She wouldn’t be surprised.

Her curious gaze searched for the Shinx, finding itself overwhelmed by the frozen atmosphere. She gasped, her breath stifled in the frozen air, spotting the hatchling as he flicked his ear at her surprised breath.

Everywhere around the Shinx was darkness. The darkness held a sort of charcoal texture, as if it would paint your hand in shards of gristly coal if you held out your palm, and it shrouded the mountain like a graphite cloak. It seemed that, around the Shinx, a slight shimmer edged carefully the charcoal background, and at his star shaped tail it shone with the most courage, for while the rest of the shimmer was soft and melting into the black, the star was striking and sharp. His tail's light bled into the blanket pooled at the Shinx's feet, darkness, too, possessing the threads as if willing the eye to look away from the light and back into the charcoal depths. The teardrop girl followed its call, realizing that the farther she looked from the geometric creature, the thicker the charcoal darkness became, and for this, he almost appeared… brave.

Her footsteps rattled the cold night air as she quietly joined him, staring at the odd creature intently. His mouth was slightly ajar, breath diamond dust that seemed to shiver as it floated away, elegant as it dispersed into nothing. His yellow eyes were wide and eager, and they didn’t dart but instead roamed slowly, glancing once and nodding at her as she sat next to him. Burdened with awe, they roamed over the crags and nooks of the mountain, watching as faint starlight bled into the darkness and outlined the world. It wasn’t the same world that the Shinx had seen when he was awake- it was softer, as if everything was blended together, and the light, it seemed, was elegantly fickle, shifting softly the place it chose to outline, so that every second was different than the last.

She followed his gaze, watching as it stuck itself stubbornly to the sky. His yellow eyes were rough in wonder, clear cut like gems, intent on the moon and the stars.

They were enchanting, winking in a cold, twisted light, manipulating the sky and the world with iridescent illumination. A few were bright and striking, while others seemed old, faded and dull, but all seemed to play their part on the sky’s canvas. They were the painters, the stars, and their paint was light, and it seemed to dance wherever they chose. And the moon…

The moon was grand and rotund, pale and ghostly, dimpled with darkness yet flushed with light. It was a whole different world, a dusty gem. It had the appearance of an ancient, an artifact, wise and old and mysterious, and the world around it was twisted in a spiral of dusty light. It was a waning moon, and its full, round appearance was ever so slightly shadowed, stamped out, darkened, as if to remind onlookers of its black mind as they were captured by the twisted enchantment. If the stars were the painters, it seemed the moon was their pallet, and they were painting the world with its ghostly dust.

The girl looked, for a moment, back at the odd hatchling, his mouth secured in an awe-filled gasp as he watched the painters in the sky, and gazed at the deepness of the charcoal black and the colors spiraled within it, those of dewy blue, shadowed yet pearly, and iridescent lapis, a color that seemed to go on forever, as if you were looking into the bosom of the ocean. Just on the horizon, a single, thin, wiry finger of maroon scored the canvas of night, and the girl realized how little time had passed, for dusk was still clinging to the sky.

More and more stars began to appear, winking into existence as the maroon faded, as if they had been hiding beneath light’s blanket. The girl, feeling an urge to teach, whispered an explanation of the stars and the moon, voice low and soft, as if she was suddenly aware of the stillness in the air and was afraid to break it. He listened intently, eyes stubbornly refusing to leave the sky. She considered bringing him in, afraid he would catch a cold and knowing the importance of rest, but knew that the queer, jagged creature had a stubborn streak a mile wide, so instead the teardrop girl rolled the blanket protectively over his shoulders with a sigh and let him wonder at the beginning of night and the awe of the painter's ghastly manipulation, dashing the world with a bit of the sky.

Dusk closed, fading out of existence, and stars winked into view long after the Shinx thought the sky was too full of the painters already. He hoped they would leave some room for him.

Oliver wanted to join them.

He wanted to be part of the sky.
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