For my final fiction assignment this semester, I was to choose between various elements and forces in the Universe (i.e. Fire, Water, Air, Earth / The Seven Deadly Sins / The Seven Virtues / The Four Humors) and create a story in second or third person P.O.V. I've always liked the contrast between Fire and Water so I wanted to focus on the two in respect to Astrology (Fire = Leo, Water = Cancer) and the relationship between their ruling planets, the Sun (Leo) and the Moon (Cancer), as represented by two individuals. As a preface, there are several Astrology concepts at play in this story, some of which have been altered in a slight way (i.e. the Cusp) to fit my vision for this story. For anyone who does not know what a Cusp is, "if you were born within a few days of the Sun's move from one zodiac sign to the next, this means you were born "on the cusp," and you'll feel the influence from both zodiac signs".
Her lustrous golden hair flows in the forceful summer wind; eventually, it slows down into a gentle breeze, allowing the strands to loosely fall down against her strong, arched back. She stands tall on long, gazelle-like legs, overlooking the grassy field that she has called home for centuries. The air is warm and arid, cooler now though than it was in the afternoon, as the beaming orange sun sets on the horizon, painting the sky a vivid and fiery assortment of reds and yellows - the colors of her soul. Her body soaks in the sunlight, creating a warmth only she can appreciate. She places her foot sharply in front of her, her slender body patiently waiting to strike and take off running.
A cool hand presses against her right shoulder, sending a sharp chill through her heated body. She shivers for a few seconds and then turns around, her gentle ember-stained eyes meeting his nebulous aquamarine blue eyes.
“You’re here?” It’s more of a question than a statement.
“The cusp,” he answers poignantly. His hair is wet, matted and stuck to his forehead. When he wipes away the loose hair with his long, thin fingers, he reveals a tiny cluster of freckles above his right eyebrow that look like the constellation of Cancer in the night sky. “I've missed you.”
“Me too,” she whispers and shifts her body to face him. His skin glistens with the water droplets from the sapphire sea that cover every pore on his body. She presses her hand to his cheek, warming the saltwater droplets until they sizzle into oblivion and his cheeks are left with a tinge of pink to them. Embarrassed, she draws her hand back. “Sorry,” she mumbles, looking down at her bare feet. He grabs her warm hands into his cool ones; he brings them to his lips and presses tender kisses onto them slowly. She is overwhelmed with a tidal wave of his love coursing through her entire body, like that of a tsunami - she has missed this so much. She has missed him so much.
Water pools around his feet and his wet clothes cling to his lanky frame to the point so that she can see the outlines of his collarbones and hipbones jutting out into the fabric. “I saw you running on the shore some time ago,” he says, still holding onto her hands.
She nods slowly, keeping her eyes locked on his the whole time. His eyes: they are the most sparkling of blues, like tiny azure crystals that pull you in closer and closer and closer, until you are left breathless, gasping for air. Perhaps what's most beautiful about them is how they change their level of blue depending on his mood; when he's happy, they can be a clear-cobalt, but when he's frustrated or sad, they turn into a deep, dark indigo color. She can always tell when he is upset, whispering "It's in the eyes, darling. The eyes never lie."
She brings herself back to the present moment, running his comment over in her mind. “It was the only way I could see you without getting near you before the Cusp,” she explains and he presses his lips against her hands once again. He leaves another kiss, another kiss, and another kiss on her wrist. Goosebumps form on her arms. He is the only one who makes her feel this nervous and this alive.
“You were graceful as always,” he recalls the memory vividly and fondly. The golden girl had been running alongside the cliff at speeds of fifty miles per hour, leaving dust spiraling off the ground in her wake, as her feet stomped over the clay-colored path. He always sensed her when she was near, the feeling emanating from the back of his neck where his sign was etched into his skin of a pale, grey crescent moon. The tattoo would send shockwaves up and down his spine, which in-turn would force his eyes wide-open and him pushing his body out of the water.
The figure moved swiftly in front of him on the edge of the cliff some fifty feet away. It was breathtakingly beautiful. Despite her running at such high speeds, he always had a way of slowing her down in his mind. The golden, sleeveless dress that adorned her body ended just a few centimeters above her knees and had openings around her navel area; so as she moved, so did the dress, revealing several beauty marks alongside her arms and lower parts of her back, where her hips curved into her toned legs, the ones that went on for miles.
She was a ray of golden light in his deep blue world.
Every time she ran, he smiled and stopped to watch her, fully captivated by the way she moved, the way she lived. To him, she was the purest thing he had ever known - she was truly the most beautiful thing to ever exist.
“Thank you, Cancer,” she murmurs into his neck, resting her head against his shoulder. The smell of saltwater lingers on his body. He wraps his arms around her, pulling her tighter into him. He’s missed her embrace so much so. As always, their bodies meld into one another as their cosmic shift begin.
A loud roar emanates from the pits of her stomach and the leaves on the trees rustle from the vibrations that echo throughout the field. The boy coughs up water, spitting it onto the grass as he ducks down onto his knees, arms propping him up to catch his breath. He rubs at the back of his neck as it’s probably stinging from the tattoo. As cusp has approached, his tattoo starts to sting, signifying to him and to her that it is no longer his season. It is now hers.
This is the part that she hates the most - the change of house from him to her - because it means that she has to watch him lose the energy of the universe and watch the moon dim; and instead, the yellow-orange sun tattoo on the back of her neck begins to glow. He looks up at her from his position on the ground, trying to reassure her that it’s okay, that's he okay, and that he can handle the pain like he always does because he knows how much it hurts her to watch; but, she still frowns anyway and her heart still aches for him. He musters the strength to stand back up, slowly, and finally he is able to get himself up off the grass. Once he's up and facing her, he pushes a few loose pieces of her hair behind her ear, brushing the golden hoop that dangles from it in the process. He hesitates momentarily and his fingers linger on her delicate cheek for just a second longer, telling her with his soul “You are pure light.” The warmth of her skin brings back memories of all their previous encounters, all the centuries that their souls have danced in this field together.
Without a second to spare, he asks “May I have this dance?”, extending his hand to her; she places her hand in his, the way she has done for all of time.
No one hears it, the music, but the moment his hand rests against the curve of her back and they begin to waltz, it begins. It’s all-encompassing, the music that is, reverberating through their bodies, a song only they know and only they will ever know, tying their love and bond together within each note. They move slowly, wanting to savor this moment for as long as they can. Her body moves fluidly with his, but then again, they have had centuries to practice after all. Midway through the dance, a mischievous grin finds its way onto her rosy lips, as it always has at this moment, and she ducks out of his embrace, taking off across the field.
He smirks and takes off after her; but, she has always been the quicker one, every single time. Moving with her lioness speed, she leaves a gust of wind trailing behind her as the boy merely attempts to even get within fifty feet of her.
And it is at this part that she is the most happiest, but also the most sad. Happy because she is running through her field with him running after her, calling her name and grinning like the young boy she remembers falling in love with. And then, she gets to hear his melodious laughter turn into a sigh of frustration when he thinks he’s almost caught her but she actually takes off faster and his hands just miss her body. Hearing him call her name has always been the one sound that she's cherished the most, replaying it in her head through their eleven months of silence.
But she is also sad: sad because this is when it begins to end. He grows weaker, his nimble body slowly starting to ache, and it grows increasingly difficult for him keep up with her in any capacity or form. The smile on his lips falters and his eyes lose their luster. And she, well she gets stronger.
Eventually, she lets him catch up to her and they fall down onto a soft patch of grass, fingers intertwined. They lay together side by side, looking up at the sky with the sun on the left side and the moon on the right side. “Cancer?” she asks pensively, knowing that their time is coming to an end.
“Yes, Leo” he turns his head, admiring the way her eyes have always glistened like two fireflies in the summertime dusk.
“Do you think we’ll ever have more time together?”
The moon turns duller with each second, and even though he isn’t looking up at it, he feels it. “No, but I wish on all our lucky stars that we did. The only wish I’ve ever had is you. To be with you.”
Leo grabs his hand and clutches it tightly, tightening her eyes shut in an attempt to pretend that it won't happen, that he won't be gone again. He clutches her hand tighter too.
Somewhere, in the not-too-far distance, several hours later, a loud lioness’s roar can be heard, followed by a pained sob.
The sun comes up.
It is dawn again.