For ysabetwordsmith‘s commissioned continuation of Day Twin, Night Twin, after The Dark and Light Mirror.
This really needs at least 500 words more, perhaps 1000, and it would be, like, a real story.
Life in the dark was everything Ella had imagined it would be, everything the stories had told, and all of that times a thousand.
It was darker, for one. The daylight people had no concept of true darkness, true night. Their stories spoke of the shadows, the echos, the hidden places. Their stories told of a little bit of mischief, like boggins and boggarts. People who dogged their steps and put salt in their coffee, soured their milk and sometimes made easily-foil-able plots.
And maybe that was the nature of the Evil Twins. But those who never crossed over, and the land in which the sinister-born lived… that was another story altogether.
That was a story of night time, where the sun shone through only in cracks. It was a story of trouble, where goodness-to-your-fellow-beings was not a watchword but a way to get mugged. It was a story of caution, of being the strongest of the strong or the canniest of the canny.
And Ava’s foster mother was all of those things.
In her own land, she wasn’t the bumbling, easily-fooled twin that she’d seemed in the daylight. In her own shadows, she wasn’t a sketch of a boogeyman; she was the boogeyman. She was the darkness. She was, Ella found, more than a little bit terrifying.
At first, Ella thought she had been caught. “Ava!” her foster-mother shouted when she returned home, home that was an echo, a mirror, a dark-shadow of the home she’d just left. “Ava, where the hell have you been?”
“I’ve been out.” She was used to being rebellious, being snotty. She was not used to having her mother – her foster-mother, though they looked just the same – be snotty right back. “Well, isn’t that good. Come here and help me with this bomb.”
“This what?” Ella’s heart jumped. She was in the right place, all right.
Life in the dayside was so much brighter than Ava had ever imagined. It was cleaner, for one. Cleaner and sweeter, and everyone wore such lovely things, as if they were in an ancient, forbidden fairy tale, and everyone spoke so very kindly and politely. Nobody turned up their nose at her. Nobody shook their head at her pretty white dress, nobody tried to get it messy.
The nighttime people had no idea how much smoother things could go if they were only nice to each other. She smiled and nodded and tried out her pleases and thank yous, and found that they were fun to say, when people said back to you.
It was so sweet. She’d heard a rumor, here and there, of the things the Evil Twins saw. They thought the daylight was foolish, born to be taunted and bothered, born to have every step that they took dogged by the mischief of the dark. They thought that only their little petty troubles kept the world stable.
And maybe that was true of the Good Twins. Maybe that was the nature of the those that had a bit of evil in them. But those who never came near the dark, and in the land where the daylight thrived… that was another story altogether.
And it was a story Ava was born to be the star of. She threw back her head and laughed, and laughed, and laughed. She had come into her own… and she was going to rule it.
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