MUSED
BellaOnline Literary Review
Eagle Landing by Albert Rollins

Fiction


Sewing Together Earth and Sky

Ann McDermott

It is said that there was once a time when Day sought to honor the moment of birth he shared with Night. He had been a little unavailable, of late, passing eons of time decorating the heavens with supernovas and stars. Although Night had not protested, Day thought a nice present might please her and appease her, if she should be miffed and not immediately overjoyed at his homecoming to Earth. He found many changes, upon his return. Night had been busy with her crew of assisting Elements. There were many faces he did not recall, new plants and animals he’d never seen.

“What shall I give her?” Day asked. “Have you any ingenious ideas?”

“Well,” Wind replied, giving it some thought, “I happen to know she’s currently crazy for insects. All kinds. Of course my favorites are ones that can fly, and a great many of them do.”

Wind spent time with both Day and Night, dividing himself between them, so he was aware of the projects they each had going. He had no problem with swirling up either cosmic dust or Earth dust and was vital to the plans of both primary creators.

“Insects,” mulled Day. “Six legs--head, thorax, abdomen--isn’t that the basic plan?”

“As a start,” answered Wind, shaking his head. “You really have been away for a while, haven’t you?”

“Yeah, but that’s exactly what I don’t want her to think about, so help me out here, will you?”

“Sure, Boss,” agreed Wind. “Whatever you say.”

“So you suggest something that can fly?” prompted Day.

“I do,” said Wind. “Dragonflies are on her agenda today. They’re cool. You’ll like them.”

“But will she like one of mine? That’s the point.”

“I guarantee it, but you’ll want to surprise her with something a little unique, won’t you? How about a variation on the general theme that’s all your own?”

“Such as...?”

“Something smaller, more delicate, that shows her how you feel.”

“That’s the ticket,” Day said excitedly. “Exactly what I’m looking for.”

Wind began with a reconstruction of the dragonfly mold he’d seen earlier. He tweaked it here and there, creating a long, thin abdomen, but keeping the double-winged format. The wings were held perpendicular to the body when at rest and were clear, but marked with veins throughout, making the wings appear paneled. In the leading edge of each wing, out toward the tip, he darkened a tiny panel with black, Night’s favorite color.

“Trust me,” said Wind. “She’ll love the wing-mark.”

About two-and-three-quarter inches long from stubby antennae to tip of abdomen, the creature, still the color of dirt except for the wings and wing-mark, began to buzz its wings.

“Wow,” said Day. “Already?”

“Yeah,” answered Wind. “They’re designed for flight. In fact, they can’t walk. They rest by perching, but their legs are all up front on their body, so they can’t walk. They use their legs for snatching insects right out of the air and holding them while they devour their prey in mid-air. I’m not surprised it’s trying to fly already. I’ll get started on his mate while you figure out how to color them.”

Day started with the very large eyes. He made them the same blue as Sky during Sun’s reign. The thorax he left brown. The long abdomen was his special delight. He created a beautiful mosaic pattern of browns, blacks and blues.

“Very impressive!” admired Wind. “The colors almost look braided together.”

“A melding of Night’s Earth and my Sky,” explained Day.

“Good thinking!” raved Wind. “A sewing together of Earth and Sky. She’ll have to love that. Here’s his mate. What are you going to do with her?”

“Same pattern, I think,” said Day, searching his palette for just the right color combination. “But how about green rather than blue.”

“Nice,” agreed Wind. “But you know what would be even more appealing to Night?”

“What?”

“If you let the female choose for herself. Let her decide how much green or blue she’ll have in her abdominal mosaic.”

Day whistled. “You are absolutely right. Night will go for that.”

The two creatures sat side by side, their eight wings eagerly buzzing against Wind’s restraining hand.

“Stand back,” came an announcement from above. With that, a bolt of lightning split the air, unleashed by Sky out of his clear blue. “I couldn’t let you two have all the glory. I want to impress Night too.”

Now each insect sported two blue stripes on top, and two diagonal stripes on the left and right side of its thorax. They were profoundly gorgeous. Off they raced to become the predators of the air they were meant to be.

“Oh how beautiful,” Night exclaimed later, watching Day’s gift sport amongst her new dragonflies. “I love them. Such a fabulous blending of Earth and Sky, of both our realms. And I adore the wing-mark. What are they?”

“They forever sew together Earth and Sky,” quoted Wind importantly.

“They’re Darners,” declared Day, smitten with inspiration. “Blue-eyed Darners.”

“Darners, huh? Wonderful. Let’s make some more.”

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