As accompaniment to my latest Rant, have this snippet, which comes to you from the first draft (ooooo! scary!) of the prologue of Earthbound!
Pine for me, and I will return from the moon to love, brown earth and green leaves and the flowing water. Pine for me, but that means to remember my name.
Tell me, beloved, how do you forget what you cannot remember? I have been drawn to you from the beginning. Timeless, I am still enamored of time, and all its passing shadows…you are those shadows.
What lives in them is a man, and a woman. You and I, beloved. Shall I tell you their story? Once, it was for her, not the world, that he would have done all things, any thing. And so it was for her, not for the world, he shot the sky. His arrow past the moon, white-shining in a world made clear as glass by the fall of night.
The sun rose. The sun rose. The sun rose and rose and rose and rose until the face of the earth heaved and flame rode its curves and settled in the hollow throat of the world and cried out from the curled and hidden core, hidden at last in its own petals.
“Enough, enough, we can bear no more!”
He heard. You heard. Hou Yi, the archer. Did you know then? No… But the price of heroism would be steeper than the mountain, steeper than the curve of the sky. Nine times, you lifted your bow to heaven. Nine times, slew the sons of the brightest light. So that the fire fell, gleaming, bolts brighter than lightning piercing heaven and earth together…and not to be undone.
Your reward was your punishment. To put on the robe of heaven is to forget the world left behind, and you, you forget even now what you have done that was forbidden, even in the name of saving the whole of the earth. I remember, what you do not. That is my punishment.
To slay a god with mortal hands…
But this is not the first time I have told this story. This is the last, because you do not understand it, do not hear me, and you are the one it is for.
What speaks the shadow to the one who casts it, what speaks the shadow to the sun? Ages of ardor and ages of agony, and they were mine – as I was like you, doomed from that first stretch of the bow.
Now I must acknowledge having planted temptation in your path – but in the manner of all good things, what I give is no more, no less than I sought. Whatever you suffered in the light, yes, all those eons in which I begged and you did not listen, do you suffer more in the darkness?
What are the thousand woes of your new existence? Are you still the lord of frigid stars? Are you still my darkest king?
What are you?