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How She Gave Light to the Trees

by Mea

When the world was new and ley lines were just forming, the Moon did not shine and there were no stars. In the day, the Sun rose high over the land, a king gazing down on the subjects he gave life. But even gods must rest, and every night he faded over the horizon. The sky honored his passing with colors that faded in the face of a night that was blacker than tree-rot. Even still, the dryads slumbered peacefully, for there was little to fear then, and they knew the Moon watched over them as they slept.

But as the days grew shorter and the nights grew longer in the natural passing of the year, the trees the dryads loved spent more and more time without the light that gave them energy. Soon, only the strongest could be shaped with song. The weakest faded slowly, leaves going limp and falling before their season and their bark paled to a deathly white. The dryads tried to use their magic to help them, but in the young world their connection to the Well was shallow and they understood little of their powers.

They knew something had to be done. They argued for days in large councils, but came no closer to the answer. Until, on the fifth day, the oldest, wisest dryad with skin the color of a hawthorn branch and just as wrinkled, stood up to speak for the first time.

“The problem is simple,” he said. “The trees will die without sunlight, and so need a way to bring sunlight to the night. This is something far beyond our power. We must petition the gods; we cannot solve this alone.”

There was much murmuring at his statement — one did not petition the heavenly beings, those forces of nature that caused the wind to blow or the tides to flow. “But who shall we ask?” a brave dryad ventured.

The oldest dryad thought a moment, and the lines around his face deepened. “We must ask the Moon. She is the only one powerful and clever enough to bring us the Sun’s light even when he is resting. The Wind and the Rain cannot do it. Their jurisdiction is not over the heavens.”

He led the prayers, begging the Moon for help. They prayed all day and even into another empty night.

And the Moon heard. The Sun did not care, but the Moon looked down on the dryads and the trees and wept to see their weakness, for she truly loved all living things. She knew the sun did not rest when it faded from view in the evening, that it had only moved on to light another portion of the world. But when the sun could not be there for them, could she? The sun’s rays always fell on her — could she give that light to them?

So the Moon took the sunbeams that fell upon her and tried to bend them to her will using her own deep magic. At first, she was too harsh, and many of her sunbeams shattered into useless shards of light. But in time she learned how to cast them out over the land, after the night’s shadow had fallen. The dryads rejoiced, singing praises to the Lady of the Night and holding feasts in her honor. The Moon wept again to see their happiness.

But as the days passed, she found her strength and the light she could bend waxed and waned, and there were some nights where no light shone at all. She knew that each time it happened, the dryads spent the night in apprehension, waiting to see if she would return again, or if their light-giver would fail them and the trees would be left to weaken. The Moon yearned to tell them she would never abandon the trees. She needed something to give them a little bit of light, a little bit of hope, on those nights when even she could not give them the sun’s rays.

She cast her mind about, weaving many powerful magics, but none could reach the earth below. The goddess was close to despair when she remembered the sunbeams she had shattered in her inexperience. They shone with a faint but constant light, and the answer came to her with blinding force. She gathered up the pinpricks and cast them out across the sky, each one a tiny fragment of the sun. The dryads saw the sign and were comforted, saying to one another, “The Lady must rest even as the Sun does, but she gives us a candle in her absence.”

Even now, the shards hang in the sky, unfailing, and that is how the dryads know our Lady will never leave us. Even when no light shines and she cannot be seen, the stars are a promise she will return and cause light to shine in the darkness, as she has always done.

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49 Reviews

Points: 2507
Reviews: 49

Tue Jun 07, 2016 1:49 am
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DragonWriter22 wrote a review...

Hello, sorry it took so long for me to get to this!

Anyway, first of all, I'd like to say that you have created a very fantastical myth here. As others have already mentioned, you've captured the tone and style that can be found in so many myths and legends in our world, yet you still managed to make something unique and wonderful.

You also were able to add a poetic tone to your writing and many of the lines I found carried a poetic cadence to them. The beginning started a bit slowly, but that's hard to work around since there needs to be some manner of introduction. The ending also left me speechless at the level of your creativity and filled me with a sense of wonder.

It's difficult to pick too many things out about this. Mainly some of the vocabulary such as "ley lines" and "the Well" can be confusing for the reader. This isn't a mythology for our world though and the young dryads who'd be listening to this would understand it just fine.

The sky honored his passing with colors that faded in the face of a night that was blacker than tree-rot.

Two things about this statement,
First I just many to say how brilliant the use of "tree-rot" as a description is here. As the story is being told by dryads, that is a logical description for them to use. At first is sounded odd to me, but then it made so much sense.
Secondly, "with colors that faded in the face of a night that was blacker than tree rot" is a bit of a mouthful. It might be simpler to change it to "with colors that faded to a night that was blacker than tree-rot."

The weakest faded slowly, leaves going limp and falling before their season and their bark paled to a deathly white.

This isn't a big deal, but this line may work better as "The weakest faded slowly, leaves going limp and falling before their season and their bark paling to a deathly white".

Besides that, some of the sentences were a bit long. This felt like it was part of the poetic part of the story, but also was a bit difficult to transition into at first.

Anyway, I hope this was helpful. It was really tricky coming up with things you could do better and some of my suggestions I was hesitant about since they could potentially mess up the cadence of some of your lines. Keep up the good work though! As a whole this was very creative and a joy to read.

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16 Reviews

Points: 114
Reviews: 16

Mon Jun 06, 2016 4:39 pm
DoormanDan wrote a review...

It's been a long time since I've read a short story on a writing website that I absolutely loved reading every line of. This story is strong, that's for certain. The imagery and atmosphere you've crafted for it really works with what you are gunning for with the story, you descriptions are solid, and I feel that the story had just the right amount of pacing and length to be as effective in delivering as it can be. As a character, the moon really grew on my quickly because of her compassion and empathy for the Dryads and the dilemma they were facing. As a writer myself, I will admit that I'm a sucker for wonderful figurative language, and I can say I got a completely satisfying amount from this! You've successfully written a story that can really pull the audience in. Great job! :)

My score: 100/100

Mea says...

Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it so much.

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471 Reviews

Points: 125
Reviews: 471

Sun Jun 05, 2016 3:02 pm
Lightsong says...

I love this. You're good. I'm jelly. ;-;

Spoiler! :
Remind me to review this later.

Mea says...

<3 I'll do that.

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Points: 490
Reviews: 2

Sun Jun 05, 2016 1:31 am
writetheworld wrote a review...

I too am finding amazement and some level of stupification from your story, caused by both your beautiful writing and the concept itself. I'll begin with the writing.

I really have nothing bad to say about it. It's elegant and conveys the somewhat simple and yet deeply thoughtful point of your story in a brief and elegant way, elaborating just enough to give the necessary details, but you don't have unnecessary information that could muddle the main storyline. I'd also like to mention that you did a wonderful job keeping the tone of a mythology story, if that makes sense. I feel that while each writer has his/her own style, certain types of writing have different sentence structures, vocabulary, etc. that are typically employed, and the way you wrote this piece is just so reminiscent of the tone in all the other mythology and creation folk stories I've read. Sorry if that made no sense and is just kind of rambling, but what I'm really trying to convey is simply that the writing in this story is amazing!

The other thing I am finding myself very impressed by is the fact that you came up with this. I feel like there's a hundred different myths for everything... it shows an amazing level of creativity that you were able to come up with this entirely original one. And it's not original in the sense that it's so random or wacky that no one else could have possibly come up with it. It makes sense as a mythology story.

This is the kind of story that I could see people making little plays about, or the type that ends up in a collection of similar myths that are read by families in the evenings...

Great job!

Mea says...

Thank you for the review! I'm glad you liked it.

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38 Reviews

Points: 1769
Reviews: 38

Sat Jun 04, 2016 1:52 pm
writer1204 wrote a review...

You just left me speechless, you know.... Dang!

Hey there, MeandBooks, Writer1204 here for a review!! Soooo, damn, where do I start?

I mean, this was beautifully written!! At first, I was a tad lost since I knew nothing about dryads, but once my best friend Google--and lord, I'm thankful for his knowledge--helped me with the definition, I thought this was brilliant! The image you painted in my head was simple, neat, and yet captivating enough for me to see it all perfectly clear without the need to use a whole bunch of adjectives or so.

Story-wise, the content was INCREDIBLE. That ending left my mouth open, and I'm living for it!! Seriously, you have so much talent!! And the way you portrayed the Moon and the Sun as beings with feelings and personalities of their own drove me insane!! (In a good way--if I may add.) This all just had a poetic feeling behind it and it was truly refreshing!

And, also, I'm living for the fact that you came up with such an ingenious way to speak about stars... Who would've imagined? Like, there's nothing that I can find to criticize here. You did a marvelous job!! Congratulations!

Sincerely, Writer1204! :)

Mea says...

Thanks for the review! I'm glad you enjoyed it so much!

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