There were too many people in the nighthouse. Sometimes, a daywalker would enter the tower, swinging a beam of soft light around. Usually they were on some kind of dare. The darkseekers were encouraged not to interfere with trespassers–unless they were the enemy. But it wasn’t always easy to tell when a flashlight was made of soft light or hard. Darkseekers panicked, swarmed, attacked. Quick movements. Flashlights were batted away. If the daywalker was lucky, a broken flashlight was the worst they would receive. Often, they were speared by a blade of hardened darkness, or clawed to ribbons by blacker-than-black knives. The nighthouse’s landlords had to work hard to keep people away–especially police.
Darkseekers were afraid of lightbringers–those who could manipulate, shape, and harden light much the way darkseekers could mold darkness. Lightbringers often came during the day, even though the interior of the nighthouse was black as pitch–a heavy darkness, a palpable darkness. The polar opposite of the lightbringers’ lighthouse.
One day, a woman entered the nighthouse, sometime after midnight. The darkseekers observed from their black corners, darkness collecting around them even in the blackness of the tower. But they refrained from attacking. This was clearly another daywalker–an innocent. Foolish, but innocent. She carried a small lantern, illuminating little more than her own body. It masked her form from the darkseekers, who could not see anything illuminated by light, but they knew where she was by her absence in the darkness. Like a daywalker would observe a shadow. And the darkseekers were once like her. Living in light. A faraway memory now.
She seemed hesitant, but unafraid. She climbed farther up the nighthouse’s spiral staircase than any other daywalker before her. But if she was a lightbringer, she would have attacked. She would have an army with her. And she wouldn’t enter the nighthouse at night, at peak darkseeker hours…
Unless she knew that darkseekers left the nighthouse at night. That they only anticipated attacks during the day, and that most nighthouse guards slept at night. Despite being the darkest hours, night was when the many residents of the nighthouse were weakest.
The darkseekers grew nervous. They were unrested, and many were not present. They were warned not to cause any more daywalker deaths, so they had to remain hidden. But this woman…
Her name was Joanna. And she shed her coat to reveal dozens of tiny lights wrapped around her body on a wire. The darkseekers didn’t know they were there until she turned the lights on.
Spears of hardlight shot from her body, impaling several wary darkseekers. The nighthouse lit up like a lighthouse. Darkseekers rushed to attack Joanna, but the lights around her body made her like a balled-up hedgehog, with a nearly-impenetrable defense. And since the darkseekers were blinded, they had no hope. Their blades of darkness clashed through some of the hardlight beams, but none penetrated Joanna’s shell of spiny Christmas lights.
There were too many people in the nighthouse. The woman decimated their numbers in one night. She left the tower unscathed, having crippled or killed most of the nighthouse darkseekers. The survivors called her “the midnight star.” She was the monster to those who dwelt in darkness.
Today’s three prompt categories were, “The tower,” “Too many roommates,” and, “The star.”
Another fun little world here. I think I’ll keep it.