26.1: A Wayward Soul

The twilight: humanity’s downfall. The apocalypse that will eradicate civilization and end the glorious empire of the human race. The mystical energy created by the mixture of light and darkness will surely bring about destruction. This is what the earliest scholars believed would happen to our lowly planet.

Three thousand years later, here we are. Humanity may not be evolving as rapidly as we once were, but the twilight has yet to kill us off. But even though we have had the time to assess our ancestors, we still fear the eclipse that has become our “day” and “night.” That fear, however, is not entirely irrational. Overexposure to the twilight will force a human to be stripped of their conscience, of their coherence, of their sanity. That alone keeps us all boarded in our dark bedrooms to escape the twilight’s influence.

But other than that, philosophers and scientists of the past were wrong. Civilization continues to thrive, and we have discovered methods of “dodging” the dreaded eclipse. However, are these simple solutions going to keep us safe forever?

Leonard Lusk continued to baffle me with his strange philosophies. I understood why Keith was so fascinated by it though. His writing was very provocative, and he didn’t shy away from making any outlandish claims. Still, if he did make such a statement, he presented substantial amounts of evidence to elaborate on his point.

Then again, it felt wrong to even read a book as far-out as this. Lusk’s arguments are the exact opposite of everything I was told the Order believes in. To say that trying to separate the two celestial beings was pointless would be a protest against a cause that I devoted my life to.

What about Keith though? He was born into the Order like most of us Guardians. Our ideologies should have been ingrained in his conscience. Nonetheless, Keith found pleasure in criticizing the Order’s principles. Did he honestly prefer Lusk’s beliefs over the Order’s? Our conversation yesterday made me think that he did, but...his was quite vague when it came to what he believed in. Especially when he flipped the attention back to me.

Either way, Keith was right about me. I never truly thought about the other side of the coin. Could anyone really blame me? Dwellers terrorized Old Tenebris on a regular basis. Wyatt and I weren’t allowed to leave the house without one another’s company. Sure, my danger reflex saved us a few times, but that was rare. Every authority figure drilled such a fear into my skull.

That fear never really went away. In fact, it might have resurfaced. I knew that my Essence would guard me from Dwellers, but after what happened in Timorba, and then what Celeste said about aunt Aurelia…

If the twilight was truly some sick way of teaching humanity a lesson, then what was the lesson to be learned? We already knew that relying solely on instinct would lead to our downfall. We built civilization for a reason, after all.

I thought back to what I said to Keith in the library: Maybe we need to accept it. I only said it in the spur of the moment. Those words were weightless, just a way to cut through the tension of curiosity. To Keith, there were darts being launched at the Order. It was absurd, and even though he didn’t want to admit it, I could hear the doubt in his voice. He tried his best to conceal it, but there was no mistaking that he thought less of me than just being “confused.”

And yet, here I was, reading Under the Sun, Above the Moon in the same place I discovered it, sinking into one of the leather couches that surrounded the coffee table in the library. It was nearly IE, and rather than resting, I was trying to put the pieces of myself back together. I didn’t even think to eat breakfast before doing so. As soon as I woke up, I found my way back to the library and read through more of Lusk’s words.

I wasn’t even entirely sure what I was looking for. Comfort? Truth? How confused could I possibly be? I was searching without a purpose. How far could I get with that?

“Elijah?”

Just what I needed: someone to whisk me away from my jumbled thoughts.

The End

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