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Equilibrium, by Leah Maltzman

Updated: Mar 24, 2019

The world was created through Light and Darkness. They existed in harmony, living through eons of creation.

Light burst forth into the ether, his father leaving the world at his feet. There was nothing but his light and energy, swirling around in the nothingness of the universe. He brightened the void of before, warming the landless mass that was the moldable infinity.

But then, Darkness slid into the shadowy depths of the light. Like ink in the water, she spread her power like her mother had taught, letting her dark energy steal from the light. She had one mission: never let the light through. Through what, she did not know. Why—she did not know. She only knew of this need chipping away at her as if it were the most important thing in the barely created world.

Light, feeling his power disappear under this strange new energy, confronted the new power. He moved through the world, always one step behind the foe seizing what he had already claimed for himself. Always one step behind the Darkness who lurked in the shadows of light, waiting for her time to strike.

After waiting for the perfect moment, she attacked. With a war cry, she hurled through her darkness and sprung into the shining nothing.

For a moment, one beautiful moment, she felt peace. She felt perfect, light surrounding her darkness. She felt balance unlike she had felt with her own power. She had finally reached tranquility, without the burden of her mission.

Then, it began to burn. The light began to make her scream. She cried out in agony, genuine agony, trying to shield herself, protect herself. Nothing helped. She continued to shrink away, slowly dying in her own power, suffocating from the darkness but burning from the light.

And suddenly, it stopped. The burning ceased. Her screams drowned away. When she looked up, she saw him in all his glory.

Light had shielded her from his own power—the power she had attempted to take away. His hands gripped hers as he poured his heart and soul into taking away her pain. She was out of the light, out of the pain it caused, but he had hurled himself into the dark.

He felt like daggers were twisting and turning and slicing into his skin. Every thought flew from his mind as the pain took over. The air was ripped from his lungs, leaving him gasping, but all he could see was her face, and all he could remember was her screams.

With a shout, Darkness tore away from him. She never wanted to bring him pain. His expression had made her feel like nothing else mattered. She retreated into her shadows, far away from Light’s blaze. She watched and waited for Light to recover, his own power blanketing him in radiance.

With a shuddering breath, Light looked up, seeing her face one more time.

In seeing his face, his painless expression, Darkness retreated farther into her shadows, her power hiding her from sight.

“Don’t go,” Light said, reaching forward again. He hesitated before the end of light and the beginning of darkness. The scar between his power and hers.

“We hurt each other,” she said, falling even further into the blackness as her voice floats through the light. “And I do not wish to harm you, nor do I wish to take what is not mine.”

“Please, do not leave me.” Light took a step forward; shadows curled around his feet. “It is so lonely.” He was not afraid. He was not afraid of her or her power, but he was afraid of the complete isolation he was destined to have. He would do anything to not be alone.

“May we meet again, fair rebel,” Darkness smiled back at him with a teasing air in her voice. She too was not afraid of the pain or his brightness, and she too was afraid of the loneliness of the dark. “And may we never hurt one another.”

“We need each other!” he exclaimed before she could let her power envelope her. “I cannot exist without you, I know that now. Even if the universe wills it so, I will not stay here for eternity without you.”

The shadows stilled, contemplating. Silence filled the void between the all-powerful beings afraid of solitude. “All I know is death and destruction,” Darkness said, her shadows beginning to fade away from her face to reveal her whole self.

Light chuckled to himself, “And I know birth and regeneration. We cannot go on without balance.”

She appeared before him then, her dark silhouette barely visible from her power behind her. They each walked to the edge of their territories, neither wishing to cross. Neither wished to feel the pain once more, the agony accompanied by crossing through the blemish of the universe to face their other half.

After another moment of hesitation, Darkness smiled once more. The smile was that of willingness, acceptance, and most of all, courage. She extended her hand into the light. She let it burn, beginning to get used to the pain she had feared. “Then balance we shall keep, rebel.”

Light’s lips turned up, mirroring that hopeful smile. He gripped her forearm, his hand surrounded by darkness. He, too, began to adapt to the feeling of daggers being drawn through his skin. “Balance we shall keep, my thief.”

And with that promise, the world came into being. Everything formed around the two ancient beings. The dawn of the universe began with light and darkness always in balance.

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