Child of the Dark
The Dark gave a horrible choking noise as he spat out the remnants of the Liquorice Allsort.
The Light casually turned the crank that flicked the boot that kicked the man, that dived into the tub, that....ok, they were playing Mousetrap, you get the picture!
The yellow plastic cage zigzagged its way down the pole, trapping the black mouse.
'We, not quite, my sickeningly sweet friend, look, they’re dabbling with the Omniverse again.'
In one small speck of the 'verse, two arty ladies chatted over the interwebs. Talking of bubbles and patterns and rewriting things.
'Uh oh, this could get very, very messy!'
The Dark popped another sweet and sat back contentedly, what passed for a smile causing the Light to grimace....again!
Helen stood, licking walnut icing from her fingers, watching the unassuming American chap run out of the seventh most popular café in Brighton into the still falling rain.
She went to wipe his table down with a damp cloth and a face that could sink a thousand ships.
It wasn't that she wasn't pretty, far from it, flame red hair and a slightly punky/hippy look. A genuinely attractive girl.
She also had a beautiful smile, or would've, if she ever allowed herself to smile.
The lovely Helen was, to put it mildly, bloody miserable.
One of those souls whose glass was constantly down to the dregs, always saw the bad in every situation, expected the worst in people, and was therefore never disappointed.
Helen bent low over the table, there, amongst the cake crumbs and coffee mug rings, was one of the most beautiful things she'd ever seen. A shimmering dragonfly, translucent wings etched with an intricate pattern that looked like a map to a new world.
Stunningly marvelous, the creature spread its newly formed wings and prepared to take flight into the light.
Helen's damp, antibacterial cloth came crashing down. She glumly scooped up the cake crumbs and bits of dragonfly (along with the fractured pieces of a whole new fledgling reality) into her slops bin.
On her way back to the kitchen she stopped to pick up a white feather from the doorway, God, she hated bloody seagulls!
'Helen? Really? 'Shining Light’? I think not, mate!'
The Dark finished crushing the plastic Mousetrap parts beneath his taloned feet, pieces of sad brightly coloured plastic mixing with billions of black walnut shells and half-chewed Liquorice Allsorts on what passed for the floor.
The Light beamed as she unpacked the Kerplunk box, pointing a gaudy plastic stick, 'Give her a chance, she's almost there, a bit more growing up and she'll be fine!'
'So this miserable monkeyette is going to save the Omniverse? This, this, erm, this bloody wet weekend in Hull, is actually your choice? Huh! I've won this before we even start!'
'She just needs a little Light in her life, trust me, this Helen will be perfect! Kerplunk?'
In a dark corner of the seventh most popular café in Brighton, two arty ladies sat sipping brandy, nibbling cakes and waiting for their brogues to dry off.
On the slightly dubiously sticky table before them was a scrapbook.
Nothing extraordinary about the well-used cover, but inside, ah, inside!
Poems, sketches, photographs, old newspaper clippings, interesting feathers and fabrics, ideas and thoughts, all very artistic in their own right, but together, ah, together!
These insignificant moments of forever combined together into a glimpse of the Other; the seemingly random photograph of a feather, placed next to a poem about a dragonfly, mixed with thoughts of interdimensional bubbles.
The chances of two unassuming but very artistic ladies stumbling upon the key to unlock the Omniverse was, well, preposterous!
But they'd done it, nonetheless.
As they sipped brandy and nibbled on cakes, rifts across the dimensions opened and grew.
The Dark backed up rather sheepishly towards what passed for a bed. Flexing his mighty tail, he pushed a damp pair of lady's brogues out of sight.
'Please tell me you haven't!'
'Look, this is my personal space…!'
'You have, haven't you?' The Light flicked her blazing eyes towards a shoelace peeking out from beneath his scales.
'No sense of bloody privacy! I mean, come on!'
'Ok, ok, I was bored! Bored with you! Bored with Black Sabbath, black walnuts, the man from Delaware, and most of all, bored, bored, bored with bloody Kerplunk!'
'I just hope that poor monkeyette never finds out what she's just done!'
But this was twenty Earth years ago and hadn't happened yet in this reality, so of no real consequence.
Unless by a preposterous turn of events some idiots opened up a rift in the Omniverse…..nah, never happen!
Helen was bored.
She sat, back to the seafront, preferring the grey rain-soaked traffic to the beautiful views.
Her cheese salad sandwich decided it was soggy enough and promptly fell to soggy pieces in her hands.
Helen shrugged gloomily, she was bored with it anyway, hated cheese salad sandwiches, but the caf´ had a few left over after the lunch rush and it was a freebie.
Seagulls wheeled above the melancholy girl, soggy cheese and salad sandwiches were a particular treat.
Helen hated the screeching winged rats.
Picking up a handful of soggy bread, she launched the sandwich upwards, not to feed the birds, but in the hope of knocking one of them out of its noisy circling.
Two rather large gulls swooped simultaneously, catching the bread at each soggy end.
So intent on seizing their prize, they totally failed to see the number 672 bus for Hastings.
As hundreds of slightly bloody feathers floated down, Helen sighed another despairing sigh.
God, she hated things with wings. Hated more the feather snow that now fell all around her.
Abandoning her lunch break, she trudged back to the seventh most popular café in Brighton.
Balance is all.
Without it the Omniverse crumbles.
Timelines warp, people end up marrying their great-great-grandparents, the pyramids aren't built, no-one thinks to boil dried leaves to make a refreshing beverage and reality TV stars become President of the United States!
That kind of chaos just can't be allowed to happen.
Every now and then, like anything else in existence, there are cock-ups.
Something or someone slips through the cosmic net and chaos ensues.
The Powers That Be decided long, long ago (or a week on Tuesday if you inhabit that particular 'verse) that this simply would not do.
Two inter-dimensional beings, opposites, were (will be) brought into existence to keep the Omniverse ticking over, each with the power to pick a champion or an anti-hero to weigh the scales one way or the other.
The Light and The Dark.
Constantly battling, neither side capable of victory.
'Are you bloody simple?' The Light already knew the answer.
'It's the monkeyette's twenty-first birthing anniversary creation celebration, erm, thing!' The Dark held up the most grotesque handmade card ever created, 'And, with these new rifts opening up, one handily enough where she'd works, I can actually be there, in the flesh, so I want to give her a surprise!'
'You'll give her a bloody heart attack if you appear with that, like that!' She gestured to the card, then his black scales, fanged maw and razor-sharp talons.
'Oops!' The Dark clicked three of his claws together and took on the appearance of a balding, paunchy, middle-aged accountant.
'Oh dear, that could actually frighten her more!'
The Dark gave an exaggerated wave, amused at having only five fingers and no talons, 'Time to mix with the monkeys, if I'm not back in a year or so, I've pulled!'
The exaggerated human wink was truly obscene.
'Yup, bloody simple!'
Helen hated birthdays, miserable affairs, one more year towards death. Though she would've preferred death to the party the café staff had insisted on throwing for her.
An hour of dull chat, naff presents (mostly plastic keys in the shape of a 21), boring food and she was ready to leave.
Then a rather podgy, accountanty-looking old guy came in.
There was something odd about this guy, looked a bit simple, too.
He weaved his way through the dull crowd and stood gawking at her, making a fuss about trying to find a pocket, anyone would think the guy had never worn a jacket before the way he was faffing about.
She was saved by the two arty ladies who were regulars and so had been invited (poor Helen doesn't actually appear to have any real friends, she could hear the whispers).
They smiled, wished her a Happy (that's a laugh) Birthday and handed her an A2-sized parcel.
'Hope you like it, Hel, we made it ourselves!'
Oh dear. Just what every twenty-one-year-old girl dreams of, a bloody homemade scrapbook!
'Er, thanks, but you really, I mean , really shouldn't have!' She said, deadpan, 'I'll just go and put it out back, so it's safe, thanks again, erm, yes, ok…'
Once out in the kitchen, Helen flicked through the book, rubbish, arty-farty, weird and….yeuck, they'd only stuck bloody feathers in it!
With a look of pure disgust Helen opened the door of the large wood burning pizza oven and threw the scrapbook into the flames.
Bright blue flames engulfed the paper, destroying both scrapbook and the rifts in the Omniverse.
Helen snuck out the back door, she'd had enough of her party and anyway, she really didn't want to meet that strange dude who didn't know how to use a pocket!
She needn't have worried, of the strange man there was not a trace, just a black feather on the floor where he had been standing.