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Sketched Worldsa variety of

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Fabrice SchombergFabrice Schomberg
various writersvarious writers

by Fabrice Schomberg

It was a dark world, occasionally lit by a moon.

  Only when a full moon would fall upon the sky and the weather was right would there be enough light for people to view their world and even meet. With time and under the brightness of each full moon, people would gather in a set place to discuss their matters and matters not.

  One thing that mattered was to meet more often. They did not feel that only once a month was enough, especially as this was also dependent on the weather being fine.

  It was on a spring full moon that a person arrived and told of how the moon came to be. The person said that in fact it did not shine its own light but reflected it off a much brighter light called the sun. According to him, it was just a matter of getting the sun to rise and shine its light so that the people could meet more often.

  But how could they get this sun to rise? the people wondered. The person replied by saying that they could ask the sun, but because it was so very far away, the sun wouldn't be able to hear them unless they all asked together.

  Most of the gathered people liked the idea of the sun's shining light but some of them could not accept that the moon did not make its own light. Because they had never known any other light that could shine so brightly, they thought it was pointless and perhaps ridiculous to try to even talk to the sun, even if it did exist. However, those that were persuaded by the sun story thought it was still worth trying to call up the sun.

  So they got together and asked the sun to rise. Unfortunately, there was no answer. A few unlucky months passed and the people did not meet up due the rain and clouds that hid the moon's shine. Towards the end of the summer, a great bright moon shone and the people could once more meet to talk about all things and the only thing that mattered to them was getting more light and having the sun rise so they could meet more often.

  However, they still could not all agree on whether the moon was the source of its own light or if this sun was real or not. After long discussions, the people all decided to put aside their differences, get together and try to ask the sun to rise and shine.

  “Dear Sun,” the people said together, “we would like to have more light.”

  Suddenly, they all heard a very loud and clear voice, “Hello. It is I, the Sun.”

  Now, even those who had been uncertain of the Sun's existence knew this was the Sun.

  “My light is already very bright,” said the Sun. “Why do you ask for more?”

  “So that we can meet whenever we like,” they replied. “Could you not shine your light upon us?”

  “I could,” replied the Sun. “But know that if I rise there will not be one person or place on earth that I will not reach. Therefore, I will only rise if you all agree to be under my light. Are you sure you all want this?” asked the Sun.

  “Yes, yes!” said the people. “We all want this.”

  And the Sun complied and started to rise over the horizon. Hence broke morning. People witnessed morning for the first time and felt as if they'd just woken up from darkness. They could see new colours and a horizon which was further away than they had previously perceived. They experienced the freshness of the air. Birds started to twitter and the Sun shone orange for a while. The people were so happy that they could now meet anywhere, in parks and in forests and at the beach. Gatherings didn't have to be so large in only one location. Fewer people, just two or three, could meet up under the Sun's light, anywhere and anytime.

  Then, as the Sun continued to rise and changed its colour to become yellow and brighter, the people could no longer look at it. This became midday. It started to get hot, so they swam in the sea to cool off and in the lakes and the rivers, and the Sun shone strong for hours. This went on for days and for weeks and months.

  The air was very hot. The earth became dry and water sparse. The Sun did rise as they had requested but would not set nor cease, nor let them sleep. Now, for people to meet, they would no longer look for enough light to discuss their matters, but look for places with shade where it was a lot cooler, out of the Sun.

  What mattered to them now was how they could stop or dim the Sun's very bright light, for there was too much of it and it was very hot. They called out to the Sun but there was no answer to their calls. Unless they all got together as before, the Sun would not answer them to dim its light. Therefore they decided to gather together once more, somewhere in a place with enough shade to harbour them all.

  The only place they found was at the foot of the largest mountain. In spite of the Sun's shine and heat, all the people managed to gather in the sheltered shade of this large mountain and asked for the Sun to set.

  "Set?" exclaimed the Sun, “after I've just risen! Do you really expect me to rise and set and rise and set whenever you so desire? I can't just continuously toggle between the two! Oh no, dear friends,” continued the Sun, “you've asked me to rise and that I have done. However, I won't keep on doing so up and down, up and down, over and over again.”

  Disappointed, and in the shade of the large mountain, the people thought and thought about what they could do. Someone came up with the idea of walking up to the top of the mountain and pushing the sun away. But how would they reach the sun, and even if they could, would it not be too hot for them to even approach it?

  Nevertheless, they attempted to do this, and walked all the way up to the top of the great mountain under the bright light and heat to push the Sun away. However, even though they got to the top of the mountain, it did not seem they were getting any closer and they could not reach the Sun at all.

  This expedition was so hot and tiring that by the time they had got down to the bottom of the mountain they were all exhausted. Another person then came up with a bright idea and said, “If we can't get the Sun to budge, nor move it, how about we push ourselves away from it?”. Then he got up and said, ”Look at me!” and started to push the mountain from the ground in an attempt to avert the Sun's light. This seemed, to some people, to be as useless an activity as walking up to the top of the mountain to push the Sun away. As he pushed and pushed he said despairingly, “I can't push the mountain alone.”

  Out of desperation to get away from the sun, a few people chipped in, then more and more, pushing and pushing, and it was not long until a whole crowd of people were pushing upon the mountain from its base. Eventually, all the people were pushing together and even the animals joined in until, suddenly, a movement could be felt, even from afar.

  It seemed that the ground had started to move and turned away from the Sun, and the Sun appeared to lower. It gradually dimmed its light to the orange of that first morning whilst lessening the intensity of its heat. The birds sang their dusk song as the temperature began to fall. This was evening.

  The people were so tired from all they had gone through - months of not sleeping well, the heat and sun, up the mountain, down the mountain, pushing the mountain - they were all truly exhausted and fell asleep at the foot of the mountain.

  As they slept, the thrust of their collective effort had given the Earth just enough momentum to move away from the Sun. It turned out that the Earth had certainly moved but had merely revolved, continuing and maintaining its spin round and around, not only on its own axis, but also around the Sun, until, once more, morning broke. The people awoke and were suddenly afraid the Sun would not set again and they would have to go through the whole ordeal of pushing the mountain once more. But, in turn, the Earth carried on its momentum and occasionally hid itself from Sun's gleam, with just enough time to cool off from the heat before then bathing in the sun's rays at dawn.

  This light time they called day, which lasted for a day, and the other half turn of time, when there was no sunlight, they called night. Occasionally, the full moon still shone bright in the night, as this was its time, remembering when the people long ago had united and called on the Sun that continued to rise and set as the Earth revolved.

And that's how we turn around the sun and the sun doesn't turn around us.

edited by Janet Cartlidge, copyright © 2010 Fabrice Schomberg

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