In the courtyard square, on a bench, away from the street lamps that were not yet on, Jack sat. The light was fading from the sky, casting blue-grays over everything with the oncoming night. As the sun sank below the horizon and its last twinges of fire sparked in the air, the streetlamps began to illuminate. When the final lamp in the small courtyard square came to be, the long shadow of a figure was cast across the ground. Slowly it moved in Jacks direction. At first, he paid the approaching figure no mind, but it was quickly apparent that it was headed in his direction.
When only a few paces from him, Jack could feel the tension rise in him. Then he heard a most soothing voice, the soft sound of a female.
“Hello Jack, it pains me to see you this way.”
Looking up, he couldn’t make out much detail as the woman was backlight, and only her silhouette was visible. “Do I know you?”
“Perhaps. But I know you. Would you mind if I sat?”
Put at ease by the soft tenderness in her voice, Jack nodded in the affirmative. She sat down beside him. He wanted to look at her but just stared out into the open courtyard, lost in his own thoughts.
“You are sad, are you not?” Jack didn’t reply, only sat there. “I’ve come to ease your burden.”
“And what do you think that is?” Jack finally said in a somber tone.
“Oh, that concerns me not in the least. I am only here to help ease it.”
“And you are?”
“I am Nautical Twilight”
“Like the time of the day?”
“In away. Though it best to consider me as a phase in processing your emotion, as opposed to a marker of time. I represent all the thoughts, feelings, and ideas that you can no longer clearly make out. I am the last traces of light before darkness sets in. I am the first glimpse of the horizon of Day. While I am unable to provide clarity, I am the space, the transition where you can begin to let go and heal, and where you can start to make the new into the next day. I am the middle sister of three who provides order and transition between light and dark. Without us, the light of Day would come crashing into the darkness of Night. Just Day would blind us upon her sudden reappearance from Night. We are here to ease you through those moments in life.
Civil, my first or last sister, depending on where you meet her, will help everything takes shape, she will help develop clarity. And Astronomical, depending on where you find yourself, may go unrecognized as she looks very much like Night at times.”
“Are you a ghost or a spirit or something?”
“I am what you need me to be.”
“But after twilight, comes night, right? How is easing me into darkness a good thing?”
“The dark of Night is not an evil thing, just as the light of Day is not good. These are but phases of moving through your thoughts. When Night takes over, you will have moved past and beyond it. And when you are ready, I will return as the light on the horizon for the next.
You live your life in a series of concurrent cycles. Each thought, idea, and emotion has its own. They may ebb and flow from light to dark and back again. They may eventually fade into the ether or splinter into a new series cycles.”
“So why have you come to me now? Surely I’ve needed you before.”
“You have, and I’ve always been. But this time, I’ve come to tell you that it’s okay to let it be. This one will take a while longer than most. Take your time with it, don’t be afraid, because once you are ready to move beyond, it’ll fade to Night. And when that process is complete, I’ll be ready to help you find your way back to Day. But you need to let it take its course, you’ve been holding onto Civil for far too long.”
And so they sat with Jack racing over his thoughts. He kept trying to engage Twilight in the details that she was uninterested in.
“Jack, I’ve told you, I care not for the details, I am only here as the space in which you need. There are others, others who take the burden of details upon themselves. They are with you already. Rest assured, they know.”
“Then why aren’t they here?”
“Because you didn’t need them, you needed help moving to me.”
As Jack and Nautical occupied the courtyard, he traced his thought, ran it through his mind. And slowly, as his thought lost clarity, as the details and specifics faded with its light, he found himself sitting alone. Twilight had gone, Night was here, but only in spirit. Jack didn’t know if this thought would cycle back into the light, to start anew, or if he was finished with it. Yet he found himself at peace and able to rest, giving attention and time to the other thoughts that were now making their transitions — old emotions that had cycled many times before and the new ones beginning for the first time.
This piece was based on a submitted suggestion of ‘supernatural’.