- January 14, 2021
The Hound of the Night Sky and the Rabbit Moon
With the turn of every day the sky changes. The people see it go by and take it for granted. They never think to thank those who make sure they aren’t blinded or deafened by the infinite white or consuming darkness. They do look up at the sun and thank it for its rays. The Lion of the Day knows that the sun is him, and takes such thanks as his own. He forgives the mortals for their naivetes. The Hound of the Night Sky never receives such thanks, but believes that he desires none because they all sleep during his reign, and they ask him for no other favors.
During each period of time, the Lion and the Hound switch between themselves. One taking its rest during the service of another.
During both the day and night, another watches over the people. She is blind to them by day and ignored at night. She gives them sweet dreams in their sleep but they only think about how they can’t remember them when they wake up. They grovel and rage when they cannot all dream well. Some must be privy to nightmares.
The Rabbit Moon, she doesn’t care for it anymore. She hates it, she hates feeling sad and feeling terrible from going unappreciated.
The Rabbit Moon must surround them, doing nothing but watching. She wants to go and do something else, to be loved and appreciated, or maybe love and appreciate something herself.
One day, while the Lion of the Day shines throughout, while he coils around the world, he misses sight of her. He misses her escape. The world does not see the moon during the day. She is always there but they rarely see her. The Lion shines her out.
When she leaves and crosses to the Great Expanse, the edge of everything, where nothing lies in wait. She turns her back, and wonders, “Why haven’t they noticed? Why haven’t they noticed that I am gone?”
They never saw her when the light shines so bright, but she thought that maybe, just maybe, when the thing they never thought they’d need goes missing, they’d notice. The dreams of the day are nothing to do with her, but she still thought they would miss the Moon.
She stands on her two legs with her rabbit mask on her head, and wraps her arms around her shoulders. So white she is that she blends in with the Great Expanse.
She takes a step, and she feels the pull of the world hold her back.
“Uhhhh!” she groans as she fights, fights to lift her right foot, and fights to place it forward.
“Damn,” she curses as she tries to bring it down. The world pulls and her foot falls back to place, away from the Great Expanse.
The Rabbit Moon lifts her foot again, and fights against the pull of the world, again cursing, “Damn you.”
She moves her foot forward, her fists looming, eager to help motion her along.
She whispers, “Damn you, gravity.”
With all her might, she fights! She fights and fights, she won’t let the world pull her back, pull her back to doing what she has always done and never been appreciated for!
Her foot hovers over the white of the Great Expanse, and she wonders, does gravity fight to keep her safe? Will she fall into Oblivion if she ventures further? Is such a thing real, and if so will she risk it?
Yes, yes, she will.
And she plants her foot.
Her foot lies flat, as if the ground were there like with everything else. She lifts her heel, and forces it back down again and again to see. It works like everything else. Then without a second thought…
The Rabbit Moon runs, her mask safely on her head, her white hair flowing behind her and her feet moving faster than any ellipse. She runs and she runs, screaming at the top of her lungs, “Damn you gravity! Damn you, damn you, Gravity! GODDAMN YOU!”
She is gone, gone into the Great Expanse.
When the Lion of the Day senses that the time for the night has come, he looks out at the universe around him, where the dead worlds lie, the ones who’ve had their time. He holds his body wrapped around the world as if it were a cub, and he hears the Hound coming, the wolf that darkens the world.
The Hound of the Night Sky skulks and saunters, he dips his head as if he has gone without any rest as he laid by the Great Expanse. As with everyday that came before this one, since the Dawn of the Beginning, the Lion of the Day uncoils from the world…
But doesn’t feel that bump.
Not just any bump. Like the bump one feels when they rub their elbow, when one places their hand over their knee. They don’t think of it when they feel it. The bump is natural, the bump is always supposed to be there. Why wouldn’t it? No one feels the bump to check and see if it’s there, they only do it haphazardly, as if it were simply nature running its course. The Rabbit Moon is that bump for the Lion of the Day. He is supposed to feel it whenever he coils and uncoils around the world, yet, he did not feel it.
As he uncoils and releases the world, the Hound of the Night Sky coils around it, and doesn’t even notice.
The Hound only sighs, and rests his head as the world goes to sleep.
He closes his eyes, trying to get some rest. He can’t sleep when he’s around the world. The beating of the mortal hearts always keep him from that perfect second of falling asleep. That silly second that looks at one exhausted, and holds them one moment away, right before the alarm goes off.
The Hound of the Night Sky continues his shift as he has for many days and days, and eternities and eternities.
The Lion of the Day, he combs over the Hound of the Night Sky, inspecting the stars and the constellations and galaxies that cover his fur coat. The Hound opens one gleaming white gem, only to see the Lion pestering him, but he lets it go.
The Lion can’t find the Moon, he wonders where she could have gone. He moves away from the Hound, leaving the Hound be. He calls to the dead worlds and the guardians he made to maintain them, in the chance they flourish again.
The Cherubim come to the Lion of the Day. As he walks, and from the All of the Universe, across the dead stars and planets, the Cherubim come to him.
Tiny lights, nothing more than circles capable of order and movement, except for one, one Cherubim.
The Lion of the Day, he asks for the Cherubim to answer his question, “Where is the Rabbit Moon?”
The Cherubim, all together, they try to remember, and they cannot. They never noticed her move and go, and they never noticed her face nor her pain. They all just let her go, never thinking that she would not be there.
The Lion of the Day, he wonders and he fears what the mortals may do without their dreams, that they might go mad without their good sleep. He knows the Hound of the Night Sky does not care. He knows that the Hound’s nose is the only way to find her.
The Lion dismisses the Cherubim, the zillions upon zillions of little lights that are mere specks in the light of the Lion’s mane, they all separate and fly away.
The Lion waits, and he rests. The world turns dark with the Hound, allowing the Lion to close his eyes without any distraction until his time has come again.
To the Lion time moves so fast, as if it’s nothing, and when he goes to meet the Hound he summons one Cherubim to him, Ceb.
Ceb can hardly fathom how the Lion sees him, the Great Day that expands over the beyond sees him, and speaks to him.
The Lion of the Day orders him, “When I cover the world, tell the Hound to look for the Moon.”
Ceb has been given a task, a task that no other of his kind receives. In a day, he has gone from looking over the dead to speaking to the Greats. He thinks that maybe he should thank the Rabbit Moon when the Hound finds her.
Then he realizes something, something so very strange and profound.
As the Lion of the Day takes his sweet time to relieve the Hound of the Night Sky, Ceb wonders, “Why don’t you use your voice?” Ceb has never spoken before. He thinks and the other Cherubim hear, but he’s never the speaker. He was chosen for this by pure chance and proximity. Ceb likes the sound of his voice, even though he speaks very fast.
He wonders if he made a mistake though.
The Lion of the Day turns its head to the light that is too small even to taste. He tells Ceb, “I do not speak to the Hound.”
And that was that.
When the Hound of the Night Sky recoils from around the world, he does so eagerly. He recoils and he allows the Lion of the Day to take his place, without noticing the moon or trading a word with the Lion.
The Lion coils around the world and sees the mischief the Hound did not care for. The mortals endured a night with no Moon, and no dreams.
With the Lion, the world is ablaze.
The Hound of the Night Sky walks away, and the Cherubim chases after him. The Hound is as encompassing as the Lion, but his fur coat is the night sky, and Ceb learns his size.
Ceb moves to its ear, and ask, “May I have a moment of your time? I don’t mean to be a bother of any kind, it’s just that, well you see… Oh Great one we have a problem. A very, very, VERY big problem. Like, the Lion told me to tell you, that the problem is so big only you can fix it.”
The Hound turns his head, and its white gems stare at Ceb. Ceb wonders why he was so afraid of the Lion, the Hound would eat him and not care how he’d taste. The Hound only wants to sleep.
Ceb doesn’t wait for the Hound to speak, the Hound of the Night Sky has never spoken. “I’m so very sorry, the Rabbit Moon is gone oh Great one, and the Lion said that only you can find her. Please find her, please? I’d rather not see what happens if the Lion finds out I told you, but you didn’t go, or you didn’t find her. I’d rather not be his next meal-”
The Hound turns his back to Ceb and begins his long trek to the edge of everything, the Great Expanse. Ceb mutters to himself in a low voice, not so that the Hound doesn’t hear, but so that the Hound doesn’t care.
“I’d rather not be his meal more than the other guy. There’s so little that these, oh so great ones, give us to do, and yet they never treat us with respect. You’d wonder why neither of their mothers come by and say hello.
“Wait, do Great ones have mothers? I don’t think they do now that I think about it. I don’t think I have a mother either. Oh well.
“What do I do now?”
Whatever the Cherubim does, the Hound of the Night Sky doesn’t care. He wanders to the edge of everything, to sniff out the Rabbit Moon when he’d rather be failing in his attempts to sleep.
The Hound of the Night Sky stands on all four legs at the edge between All in the Universe, and the white of the Great Expanse. He sits with his head up, and stares into it. He sniffs once, then twice, but on the third sniff he catches the scent he recognizes, but does not know. Then he howls and it rings throughout the cosmos.
The Lion of the Day lifts his head from across the universe to growl, “What is that damn wolf doing now?”
With the scent of the Rabbit Moon, he takes off after her. He has no need to fight against gravity, gravity has no desire to hold him, not that it ever could. The Hound of the Night Sky plans to come back, but plans to do so with time to spare.
The Rabbit Moon dalliances across absolutely nothing, trying to force herself to feel cheer at being free, but there is nothing around. She wants something.
She stops to sit with her legs crossed, and crosses her arms as she frowns like a child. She’s so miserably bored.
She looks all around her, and sees nothing but the blank Expanse. How so, this place would improve if something were here.
Maybe something can be… if she put it there.
The thought takes root in her skull, where it makes more roots. Within seconds it sprouts as an idea, so the roots grow. The roots take the nutrients of her brain and begin to grow larger and larger. It develops leaves in the form of complexities. The leaves synthesize the light that is mind power, and its trunk expands to form a solid foundation.
She knows what she is to create.
The Rabbit Moon takes the mask that sits on her head, and moves it over her face. She sees the dreams though the eye holes of the rabbit mask. She sees the Dream world, and nothing is there because there is also nothing in the Great Expanse.
The Rabbit Moon can place things in the Dream world, she is the Moon, and if things come to exist in the Dream world, they can come to exist in the Great Expanse.
She holds her fingers before her, and begins to weave.
The Moon creates her dream, a place her own. It all starts with a spring. No, not a springboard, a spring with water, seemingly falling from nowhere. A spring that is not beholden to water or the colors blue and green. A spring that tastes like chocolate when the Moon wants it, and cherry jelly beans when she desires a change. She even adds a hint of green apple in the aftertaste.
The spring should fall from somewhere, why not a wall of rock. Of course no simple grays and browns. A rock that’s gold.
Then she sees a problem, it’s too bright, anything too bright blinds her from view. No, she won’t have gold, maybe the grays do have their place.
A rock wide enough that she can’t see the ends for a mile, but not too tall that she can’t climb it and safely jump into the deep spring.
But she doesn’t want to see the white expanse surrounding her, sometimes that can be scary, distracting.
For a mile along the wall, and several miles out, she weaves a forest of pure green leaves and red tree trunks. They are nimble and light when she wants to walk through them, but when she wishes to climb and pear overhead they are as sturdy and stubborn as a lion’s head.
She needs something to look at from atop those trees. Not the white of the Great Expanse, but a sky that’s pink in the morning, and a dark blue at night. She will never be blind in the dark or in the light. She will have a sweet feeling when she wakes, and a pair of sleepy eyes when it’s time to sleep.
The Rabbit Moon realizes that she’s all alone, with no one to hold with all of these space.
The Rabbit Moon can’t have that, she can’t be alone and she panics. She brings her hands to her cheek but she hits her mask, her rabbit mask.
She slaps the forehead of her mask, realizing her silliness, and knows exactly what to make.
Dolphins, yes, dolphins make perfect sense for a rabbit.
She fills her spring, which she needs to make larger, home to a family of five dolphins. One pink, one blue, one red, one green, and one that’s clear because she can’t think of another color that she likes.
She realizes that she doesn’t want to swim all the time, so she makes a few rabbits to hop around the place too.
The Rabbit Moon thinks all is fine and dandy and ready for her, so she takes off her mask and looks at the Great Expanse instead of the Dream land. The pink dolphin waves for her to come into the water, for now it tastes like chocolate on one side, a cherry jelly bean on the other, and leaves the aftertaste that hints at green apple.
She jumps right in. She has the time of her life. The dolphins, they never not pay her any attention, they will never forget her, and they would notice if she were gone. They play and play, they talk about what to add, of the world she could eventually make, and maybe adding a few more creatures because dolphins and rabbits don’t make up a quality ecosystem.
But for now, she need not worry. She has everything she desires, everything she could possibly want.
Eventually, the pink sky turns to a dark blue. She can see where she can go clearly as the night beckons her to sleep. This will be the first sleep she has had, ever. It is her turn to dream.
After a day of walking and play, she snuggles up on the beach with a dolphin having moved to be her pillow and another to be her teddy bear. They may be beached for now but they can hop and slide back to the spring in the morning. Now was their time to be free.
Maybe she was naive, maybe she’s always been so, but she didn’t expect the face she sees now.
The Rabbit Moon wakes from her sleep alone, her dolphins gone to hide in her spring, and the rabbits have scurried away too.
She feels a shadow, a monstrous one that looms over her. She looks forward towards the trees with their red trunks, then turns her head up.
The Hound of the Night Sky looks down at her, with his gem eyes.
The Rabbit Moon pushes herself up onto her hips and looks around to find the dolphins cowering and the rabbits hiding.
She looks back up to the Hound who merely stares down at her. She stands up, nearly the same height as his shoulder, but not nearly as wide.
The Rabbit Moon looks up at the Hound and asks him, “Are you here to take me back?”
The Hound doesn’t answer. She takes his silence as a yes.
“But I don’t want to!”
The Hound growls. “I like it here! I made it! Isn’t pretty and perfect?”
The Hound turns silent.
The Moon turns and runs to hop into the water. The Hound follows slowly and she splashes at him. “Here, taste it!” she chimes.
The water gets onto the Hound’s lips, prompting him to lick his chops. The Moon asks him, “Do you like it?”
The Hound remains silent.
“Then let’s stay!”
The Hound growls.
Her shoulders slump, and she thinks of what to do. She kicks her foot in the water and thinks about how terrible it would be to go back.
“I don’t want to go back, they don’t need me,” upon which she moves her eyes to the Hound to see if he’ll growl. He doesn’t, so she continues, “they never appreciate me,” the Hound is silent, “I bet they didn’t notice that I was gone,” the Hound is silent. Then with an accusatory finger, the Moon goes, “I bet you didn’t even notice I was gone!”
The Hound growls and bares his teeth.
“You noticed I was gone?” she asks, full of surprise and bewilderment. She never thought the Hound of all things would notice.
“Did you care that I left?”
The Hound stays silent.
She grows angry and demands to know, “Well why not?!”
When the Hound only continues to stare at her, not willing to answer. The Rabbit Moon grows angry and restless.
“Why didn’t you care? I spend every night on your belly, watching the mortals, giving them dreams, giving everyone their heart’s desire!”
The Hound growls and takes a step to her, baring his teeth right before her face. She can feel the breath of the Night Sky. It burns so cold.
The Moon is confused. She wonders, “Whose heart didn’t I fulfill?” She wonders and looks at the Hound with worried eyes. “Did I not fulfill yours?”
The Hound grows silent, and moves back.
When the Hound of the Night Sky tries to move back, the Rabbit Moon leaps forward to hold his nose in her arms. She rubs his wet nose and apologizes, “I gave everyone their wish but you, what did you want? What dream did I not let you have?” As the Hound stays silent, she presses her head to his snout, and rubs it fondly.
When she lifts her head, she ask the Hound, “Will you tell me what it is you want?”
The Hound growls quietly.
“Why not?!” the Moon whines. “I can’t help you if you don’t tell me!”
The Hound whimpers.
“Huh? What’s wrong? Don’t move away, I’m sorry for yelling! Oh, that was yelling, I’m sorry.”
The Moon clings to the Hound, rubbing his snout, and telling him calm and soothing hums and motions.
She presses his snout to point to the ground. “Come now, lay down,” she instructs it. The Hound whimpers but the Moon won’t have any of it. “Lay down, and go to sleep, I’ll know what your dream is, and I’ll make up for not helping you after all this time.”
The Hound of the Night Sky lays on his stomach, and the Rabbit Moon climbs on top of his nose to force him to lay his head down. When he finally does and looks up at her, she’s climbing up his snout. When she’s on top, she turns around and puts on her mask to see into the Dream land.
She pretends to pull down on a horn and exclaims, “All aboard! We’re on a return trip to Dream land, first stop, the deep dark and silly desires of the Hound! Not just any Hound, but the Hound of the Night Sky.” The Hound seems confused, but allows her to go on. She leans over for him to see her.
She reminds him, “You can’t sleep with your eyes open you silly puppy, close ‘em!” That is what the Hound finds difficult to do. After hesitating and a final gaze forward, the Hound closes his eyes.
“Finally,” she groans sarcastically. She moves her hands in front of her to mime driving a steering wheel. “What does the night sky dream about? Let’s find out.”
In the Hound’s dream the world was black. Not to be menacing, just to be dark. No light, nothing.
The Rabbit Moon sits on a ball of cheese and drives it around, making car noises she flies through the darkness. She reaches for the stars, but they’re so far distance away that not even the Moon can hope to reach them.
And the light is so dim, no one could possibly worry about being woken up.
The Moon searches for the Hound of the Night Sky in this dream, wondering exactly what this place is. She doesn’t feel any danger coming, no malicious intent, and this certainly isn’t a nightmare of isolation, so she can’t help but wonder what this dream is supposed to be.
The Moon keeps searching for the Hound with her mask on and a moon made out of cheese to drive, but she can’t find him.
She decides to cheat, to manipulate the Dream land with her own weaving. She makes a compass that always points to the dreamer. It’s the best way for her to find her way out of the dream when she stoops on the mortals’ dreams.
The compass points her in a direction and she zooms off at the speed of sound, which isn’t fast enough so she moves faster to the speed of light. She follows the compass for light years and light years and can’t fathom why the Hound is so far away.
Eventually, she sees something big heading her way.
No, she’s heading its way. She’s heading in the way of this humongous object, which means it’s pretty big if it’s bigger than the Rabbit Moon and the Hound of the Night Sky. She wonders if maybe that’s what the Hound wanted.
When the Moon comes really close to the object, she pulls up, and flies over its black surface. She thinks it might be a planet, but she flips her cheese moon over and runs her hand against its surface. The surface is quite soft and she delights in feeling it against her skin.
As she flies upside down across its dark surface, she sees light ahead and speeds up to see over its horizon. As she sees the sunlight coming closer and closer, she grows excited to see what the big wolf has always wanted to dream about. She passes the horizon and moves into the light, only to realize one thing.
Dim, gentle moonlight. Not the harsh sun that burns and blinds. The light of the moon is quiet, it soothes and allows for one to watch and count sheep before slowly falling asleep.
The Rabbit Moon looks up and sees herself, or really the platform she sits on. The rock that revolves around that other rock with all the humans.
“Is that what I look like? I’m pretty,” she mumbles to herself. She begins to look around, to see why the Hound wants such a thing here.
Without much effort she finds him, laying on the ground, coiled around nothing. She flies to him and wonders what he is doing. Is he protecting something, hiding something, watching or stealing something? The Moon just has to know.
Once she’s hovering over the Hound, she sees nothing. She scratches her head as she goes, “Huh?” She notices something else, his eyes are closed. “He’s not…” She notices something else, he’s breathing in and out rather softly. “He is…”
Then it makes sense. The lack of light, the dim moon, the dark skies, the soft ground, and absolutely nothing to distract him.
The Hound of the Night Sky just wants to sleep.
The Rabbit Moon remembers. She too always found it difficult to sleep, not that she needed it. Great Ones don’t need to sleep but they want to.
When the Hound is coiled around the world, she needs to work, which means she can only sleep when the Lion of the Day is coiled around the world. She never realized that the same is true of the Hound.
But they could never truly sleep, for when the Lion coils around the world, the world is so bright and blinding, how can they?!
The Moon doesn’t really need it as much as the Night Sky. She rests when she’s in the Dream land, but the Hound…
“You poor thing,” she says as she lands her cheese moon.
She slips off to the ground, feeling the soft world beneath her. She moves to the Hound’s sleeping head, and rubs it and its constellations. “You just wanted to sleep, and you can never do that with that pesky Lion around. Can’t really sleep in the Expanse either, all that white is weird.”
The Rabbit Moon takes off her mask, and is back by the spring, holding her hand on the Hound’s head. She’s still sitting atop of him, with her hand on his forehead this time. She holds her hand there, making sure to place firm locks on his mind. She wants to make sure his dream comes true, and stays with him for awhile to make up for lost time.
As she does this, the stars shine bright in his fur coat, moving as shooting stars across his hide. They all combine into one mega-star on his forehead. They shine so bright that they make one pure white star. The symbol of one who is dreaming.
Having given out this gift, the Rabbit Moon rubs the fur atop his head. “Sweet dreams Sir Hound, you’ve earned it.”
A sweet dream, the Hound of the Night Sky most certainly had.
Ceb races across the Great Expanse as fast as he can… which isn’t a lot, he’s very small. Honestly, if time worked the same way in the Great Expanse as it does in the normal universe, he would be flying for far too many years to count.
Thankfully, there is no set time table, only that which revolves around the Great Ones so Ceb is a very lucky Cherubim. Still, he has been flying for a long time and will continue to fly for many more.
The reason he is racing is to find the Hound of the Night Sky and the Rabbit Moon.
When Ceb told the Hound that the Lion of the Day wanted him to find the Moon, the Hound seemed to have understood. Now Ceb logically thought maybe the Hound simply hadn’t found her yet, or maybe was having a hard time bringing her back. That was not what the Lion thought.
The Lion specifically thought that, “I’m dealing with idiots and fools! One simple task, one simple request. Tell the Hound to find the Moon. Six easy words, and you’ve screwed that up.”
The Lion gazed towards the world with worried eyes, as his time had run out and the night was supposed to come. Without the Hound, there is true darkness. It won’t kill the mortals, but they don’t know how to acclimate. If they don’t learn they’ll go mad, and see all the dead worlds instead of those living in the Hound’s fur.
Ceb was caught up with a different fact. “Um, sir, Lion sir, that’s seven words you said to me.”
The Lion turned his massive head to the Cherubim, and brought his eyes level with the ball of light. Ceb is literally smaller than his pupil, and was severely terrified. “I didn’t say anything. That was somebody else, somebody else much stupider than me. I would never think to correct a Great One. That must have been some other complete and utter idiot. Not me I swear I-”
“Find them, the Hound and the Moon, and tell them to come back here.” He turned back to the world, and solemnly muttered, “Or else there won’t be anyone left to praise the sun.” He looked at the world with such fondness and fear.
“Yeah, because the sun needs more praising,” Ceb commented. The Lion turned back his head, and Ceb nervously rambled, “I won’t let you down, oh Great One! I promise I won’t come back without them. Yes sir, no sir-ee, I will find the Hound, and the Moon, and I will tell them how needed they are, how appreciated they are, and why we will never let them out of our sight again because that would be a bad idea. All that crap.”
“Yes, and know this. If you come back without them, You will cease to exist. Understood?”
The Cherubim made a high pitched squeal and flew sporadically around before flying away screaming, “Yes sir!” Only once he was very far away did he begin to complain, “Crap, crap, crappity crap! CRAP!!”
Now that he is very deep into the Great Expanse, he’s still screaming the word, “Crappity crap, crap, crap! I’m so dead, I’m so dead, I’m so dead. Damn Ceb, why were you so eager to be recognized? It got you two things, death stares from the Great Ones and your name on the endangered species list!”
As he flies through the Great Expanse, seemingly avoiding the madness of the pure white around it, Ceb eventually sees what seems like trees. “Are those trees red? Why in the hell are those trees red?! Please let that be their artistic style, please let that be their artistic style, don’t let that be the blood of the Moon after she likely but understandably annoyed the crap out of the Hound and he tore her to smithereens! Please let that not be blood!”
It still takes him some time to reach the Rabbit Moon’s forest, and when he does, he once again learns how small he is. The leaves alone make him look like an ant.
“This is a real blow to my ego, and I only just got one!”
Still, as he travels through the forest, it doesn’t seem as if they are red because of blood. Just that they are red which goes a long way to calm the Cherubim.
“Now I just have to find a wolf that’s larger than planets and a girl a fraction of his size. Should be a piece of cake!” he exclaims sarcastically.
He begins to hear the heartfelt playing of a girl wandering through the woods. Not by any sounds she makes with her mouth, but by the footsteps that sound normal to anything her size. Said footsteps sound and feel like earthquakes to the small Cherubim.
Ceb races from the leaves of these humongous trees, to the grassland floor to follow the stomping. In this final stretch he sees that the grass is perfectly clean, infested with nothing but more grass. No bugs, not even ants, and no bacteria. Only rabbits, rabbits that are also much bigger than Ceb.
When he finally passes the clearing to the spring, he sees exactly what he wants to, along with some strangely colored dolphins. He swoons, “Oh my god! This was a piece of cake!”
What he sees is the Rabbit Moon, in all her pale white glory. He sees her with her rabbits in hand. She holds one specifically by the stomach, bringing it close and far away from her face, back and forth while making silly faces at it. “You’re just a silly rabbit aren’t you? Yes you are, yes you are!”
She does all this while laying against the stomach of the Hound.
The Hound of the Night Sky is laying down, front paws crossed, letting the Moon smother herself in his fur. He seems content, yet he makes no sound, no expression, no movement, not even a roll of his eyes. He simply stays and blinks now and then, allowing himself to become her pillow.
There is one change that Ceb notices and won’t ever forget. The giant white star on his forehead, because, “Pretty sure that wasn’t there before, not a hundred percent sure, but pretty up there.”
Sick and tired of flying and wanting to get this all over with, Ceb flies at mach speed to cover the distance. Not only does this distance take more time and energy than he thought, he does wonder how neither of the Great Ones seem to take notice.
Ceb takes the time to wonder which one should he talk to first. The Rabbit Moon, now he believes that she must really be off her rocker. He doesn’t believe there isn’t any chance that she didn’t create this place, and considering how she abandoned everything he doesn’t believe she has any reason to go back.
Now the Hound of the Night Sky, he’s been doing his job since the Dawn of the Beginning. In Ceb’s mind what else would the wolf do, eat pastries?
The Hound must simply be tired, in the Cherubim’s mind he can’t blame the Hound for that. Ceb’s tired too, and hasn’t had to deal with anybody’s antics for a while.
Little does the Cherubim know, the Hound is more at peace than he has ever been before.
When the Cherubim finally gets in front of the Hound of the Night Sky, with there being as much of a size disparity between them as with the Lion of the Day, Ceb is exhausted.
“Now if you, *ack*ack*ack* excuse me, sir Hound sir, I’m here to, *ack*ack* oh god, *ack*ack*. I don’t think you understand how hard this flight was. Worse than the flight from New York to Europe I assure you, even from Kennedy Airport. Is that the right one? I don’t know, not important.”
The Cherubim needs to catch his breath so to speak, and the Hound only diverts his eyes to stare in response. The Moon does stick her head up to see the Cherubim, but quickly decides that her rabbit is much more interesting and especially, adorable.
When Ceb finishes catching his breath, he warns the Hound, “Okay so listen up, I’m a really fast talker, so if you miss something, you miss it. You got to really pay attention to what I’m saying, because what I’m saying is only going to be said once, you got me?”
The Hound remains silent.
“Okay good. Alright, this how we start. *Deep breath* Alright, the Lion of the Day originally called for me to talk to you because he wouldn’t himself. He wanted you to find the Moon because the mortals need to be able to dream and whatnot because bad things happen when they don’t. I don’t really know what, I never asked. I assume their heads just explode or something grossly spectacular. Maybe they all start larping, that’s a possibility. Crap, I’m on a tangent.
“BACK ON TRACK!
“Okay so from there I asked you to go find her for him, probably because wolf noses are better than lion noses, don’t tell him I said that, and I thought you agreed. When the Lion needed you to find her, there was a part where the Lion needed you to also bring her back, and by the Lion, I mean me. Yes, really, if you don’t bring her back, I’m gonna be burning hotter than a hooker in church after she slept with the minister’s wife, yeah that burnt.
“Oh, and it’s your turn to coil, enwrap yourself, bust a nut, do something to the world, I don’t know. The mortals are experiencing true darkness, and that is NOT a good thing. Now this all means that I need you two to kick it into high gear and skedaddle on out of here so we can put everything right and be back home for dinner. You go back to being the Night Sky, and she goes to back to being the moon. OKAY?!
“So how does all that sound?”
The Hound of the Night Sky had come all this way to find the Rabbit Moon. He is a lot of things, the vast majority unsaid, but he’s known for not doing one thing.
Now that the time has come to take the Moon back, the Hound says one thing.
Ceb freezes in place having heard that word. “That’s a whole lotta crap in my breakfast.”
The Lion of the Day sits and waits for the Cherubim to come back. He stares at the world that he surrounds during the day. He watches as it collapses into madness and disarray.
During the night, the Hound of the Night Sky with his fur coat gave the mortals stars to gaze up to, to study and learn from, but those stars and galaxies are images of when they were alive, existing only in him.
The real universe is full of the dead stars and planets that have either been frozen or turned to dust. Without the Hound, the mortals see this, they see a universe that was once alive, now dead.
They are horrified by the truth. Now they know that they are truly alone, and that there were very many things that came before.
The Lion worries and watches, unable to rest, but able to worry and scratch at his face. The mortals, they praise the sun evermore for the protection it gave them, they need him even more, but he cannot be there all the time. He cannot be a blinder for them everyday, or even all of the day. Once the Hound comes back, and the Moon returns to bring about their dreams, all will be right once again.
And so the Lion of the Day waits.
Eventually, after many days that turn into weeks, the Lion is visited by a messenger. Not the one he sent, but a strange dolphin that swims through the deep space as if it was the same thing as water.
The dolphin is the size of the Lion’s foot, and takes much fear in speaking.
The Lion grows impatient for the dolphin’s silence, and deigns to give it orders and threats. “Speak strange creature. You have a message for me? Does it explain why it is that the damn Hound and the damn Moon and the damn Cherubim are not here before me? Speak before I decide that I want dinner.”
The dolphin cowers, and its breaths through its blowhole at a rate most unsteady. The dolphin releases its message, a puff of gas and stars, a message that creates words out of constellations.
The Lion reads, and grows most unhappy. As he reads, he hears the voice of the one who left it.
“You see here, boss, we have what many would call a problem. But the problem was not the problem, the problem was your attitude that caused and failed to fix the original problem. If that makes any sense, it should because it does to me.
“But you see, I was given a task because you can’t speak to the beings you have been working with since the Dawn of the start, or beginning, whatever the start button on the universe is called. You can’t speak to the Hound, but you deigned to give him your work. He didn’t like that, but he did it anyway. Then he met the Moon, and she gave him what you took away, his ability to sleep.
“You really shouldn’t mess with a wolf’s napping time, I mean really that just has stupid written all over it. Then again, I guess you can’t stop being the Day, but still, no sympathy was needed for you.
“Then when you threatened me, which was very, very frightening, please don’t come after me, well you made it pretty clear I can’t come back without them.
“Now that I found them, we get to where are, or were a few days ago, I don’t know how long this dolphin will take to get to you. I didn’t study dolphin speeds in Cherubim school. Sorry, random thought, you should probably teach us how to do our jobs. It’s awfully boring.
“Crap, back on track or else the Hound gets mad.
“You see, what we have now are three individuals who do not want to go back home. The Rabbit Moon wants to create a whole new world, and the Hound wants to go with her. I tried to explain why they were both needed, but when it came time to bring the Moon back, well, the Hound of the Night Sky said ‘No.’
“Yeah, he spoke to me, it was terrifying and really ruined my day. Hard to do considering it was already going terribly. I also don’t need to explain to you why it’s important that he spoke, or maybe I do. I guess it would fit with your working relationship.
“Besides the point, I can’t go back, you said you’d EAT me, that’s over the top. Maybe you said you’d destroy me, but eating sounds right so I’m going to go with that.
“So the Hound and the Moon are going off into the Great Expanse, and you’ll never find them, not ever. Now, of course, that means I’m totally screwed right? I get to travel alone trying to hide from you, but there is something about me that I didn’t know.
“The ladies really, really dig balls of light.
“No, not like that, the Moon thinks I’m cute and funny, and I got a first class ticket to See-you-later-ville aboard the Hound-express.
“I apologize for the terrible joke.
“Still, I’m going with them, be the physically useless but intellectually humorous guy in the group. Really spice up their dynamic considering the Hound has gone back to refusing to speak.
“So this dolphin, he’s going to bring you this message. That way you know what happened, think of it as professional courtesy.
“If you want, you can try and fix the world yourself, see if you can find another Hound, good luck with that, or….
“You could give up. Let the humans live and survive on their own, the others never got that chance. They all died eventually, but maybe if these ones lived with the truth instead of the lie you feed them, they may live. I don’t really know, I just float around, honestly, I’m probably totally wrong, but hey, what do you got to lose? Time? You have an infinite amount of that.
“We’re going, maybe create a few worlds, have some fun, and generally sleep all we want, because THAT is the motherf-.
“Oh, that language isn’t allowed, the Moon doesn’t like it. Let’s just say it’s the dream. To sleep I mean, come on, you do it, you know how awesome it is.
“You do your thing, and we’ll do ours. Hopefully, we’ll have some kind of happy ever after, and when the end comes we can meet at a bar to share stories. Or not, maybe you’ll still be pissed, I don’t want to push you to do anything you’re not comfortable with.
“Just know, we’re not coming back, this is goodbye.
“Also and P.S. leave the dolphin be. When you kill, or in your case eat the messenger, you just get less mail. Mail can be fun.
“Keep getting the mail.”
The Lion of the Day is not sure what to make this. This is the end of everything that has gone on since the Dawn of the Beginning. For the first time he has been presented with choices that matter in a way he doesn’t understand, and he doesn’t like it.
He gazes back at the world, seeing it collapse in on itself. He wonders if the mortals can evolve, or will they die out? Should he test them, or should he let them go?
The choice is coming soon, because the time of darkness is ending, and the Lion of the Day must decide.
FIN – Hope you enjoyed the Hound and the Rabbit Moon.
Check out other short stories soon to be collected together into one collection in 2021!