The Twilight Sister of Knor; or, Sleep Interrupted (With Apologies to Coleridge)

The origin of Knor came at night, buried deep betwixt the witching hour and cockcrow. It was formless then, its definition comprised of not but mist and smoke.

Throughout its making, Knor layered exponentially, both in science and fantasy. A virgin planet cloaked in nocturne seas and coated in technological nature. That the trees weren’t biodegradable meant nothing to the windsong of a sleepy comet sailing by, but that shouldn’t suggest that the tending to of the forests lacked importance. Manufactured is rarely a synonym for immortal outside of Shelley, after all.

Though it was only after the Sisters Three arrived dressed in remnants born of The Dreaming that action begat reaction. (Arrived because they certainly couldn’t be counted among Knor’s evolutionary structure.)

Eunoia, eldest, smiled then:
“Upon this fragment, set are We,
With open sky and narrow fen,
For it is not beyond Our ken
To dance in robust symmetry.”

Anthizo, secondborn, while not always given to her first-sister’s ambitious nature, assessed Knor with a keen eye and practiced summation. If it were to be their home, this world would need educating.

“There’s sentience in the circuitry,”
Anthizo noted beneath a tree;
“Or near enough as might well be,” she ran her
Fingertips along a rough collection of
Synthetics aping a leafy banner;
“Should We claim Our own this labor of love?”

Lyric was the youngest, and, as is sometimes the case with siblings, felt like her opinion was not weighted as evenly as her sisters’ were. She compensated for this feeling by advocating for the wild things, those chaotic of heart, unkempt in their mannerisms.

“Amongst yon shadows do shining eyes betray
Their host, the denizen of Here would Us know.”
Then Lyric, dirt gripped between bare toes did say,
“We come as unbidden curiosities,
Mete against infinitesimal cosmic flow.”

And the Darkness was aware then of ideas beyond itself (as it knew not the architects or reasons for the makings of Knor.) For the first time in its existence, there was a Them, these sisters; measured consciousness housed in brilliant displays.

Eunoia gazed at the Darkness in wonder
Puzzling absent light and silent thunder
“Ho there! formless void,” she shouted loudly
Toward the shadows hidden in the green
“Converse with we who would know you better
Answer, please, those who would be your debtor.”
The Darkness, in response, collected itself
Into a dark mimicry of Eunoia;
Shadowed featureless face, voiceless mouth, and absent eyes
Sought to appease the request before it
In the same manner Eunoia saw fit
A dark queen well met under burgundy skies.

Anthizo, unaccustomed to discovering a higher level of sentience on the sisters’ travels, stepped toward this new form, this Twilight Sister, defensively shielding her eldest sibling.

“Stand well back frightful shade!” Anthizo cried
Among whispering wind and mewling tide.

The Twilight Sister stood confused — Malice was as foreign a concept to her as was driving or drawing. She cocked her head quizzically at Anthizo, miming her bewilderment until finally keying in on the planet of Knor’s song; the natural losing her the attention toward the new.

Around them, all the sounds of life rose
Matching the altercation
Until Lyric, the youngest chose
To mark the transformation
“Sister, but wait!” she bid, hand raised in pause.
“Once silent rock seems quite against your cause.”

And the Twilight Sister did begin to dance. Slowly at first, with a sway to the left. Then a sway to the right that would not go unheeded. Her hands rose to her side, feeling their way, unknowing but learning, toward the sky.

“It seems we missed our guess today,”
Eunoia admitted there.
“This home is meant not for remaking,
Only our part in its waking.”
And, seeing her empty hands,
Gifted the Twilight Sister
An empty violin.
Anthizo stole a nova’s glister
(Shamed of what had almost been)
To string well the instrument
And then present a rosined bow.

The Twilight Sister stopped her dance grudgingly to accept the sisters’ gift but gave an empty-face approximation of a smile when she felt it in her hands. Driven with renewed purpose, her fingers traced the strings, the bow.

Lyric smiled at the pure joy
Brought about by their cosmic toy.
“Now for tricks for you to employ,”
Lyric taught of chords and bars
Of notes and songs both clear and coy
Of concerts that the trees enjoy
Beneath a symphony of stars.

With that, the Sisters Three abandoned Knor, leaving their Twilight Sister to dance and play beneath the heavens a song of her own making.

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