Tiny stared into the midnight sky. Something felt different. A grim despair hung in the air. The stars appeared to tremble, and the moon hid behind the darkest cloud.
Tiny called out. “What’s the matter Mother-the-Moon? Is something wrong?”
“Take shelter, child,” she hissed, as she—and the stars—shrank out of view. “The battle is about to begin!”
Tiny’s heart-bird whimpered as the lights went out over Treetops.
She sat in the shadow of Rock, and waited. She felt the deep boom-boom in her chest—heard the soft tick-tock from inside. Through thin bleary eyes, she saw the darkness stir.
Huge black globules were forming up above. Tiny gasped, her hand flying to her mouth. They began to swim in the darkness, writhing, and twisting, and growing in terror. In a flash, a dozen jagged yellow eyes snapped open, with edges so sharp, she was afraid they might pierce through the blackness.
She squeezed her small fists, willing the shadow-monsters to go away. Instead, they swooped and dived, their gaze sweeping the earth like searchlights. She wondered how much more she could take, and cried out for Mother-the-Moon. But she was nowhere to be seen.
Tiny held her breath. In that moment, she heard the faintest crackle coming from the east. She turned to see a sliver of bright gold rising on the horizon. It was Mother-the-Sun! Tiny’s heart-bird sang out. She watched as hundreds of miniature pinpricks of light burned through the dense blackness. The shadow-monsters swirled in protest, and let out a bone-chilling scream. The pinpricks continued to grow, eating away at the dark, growing larger and brighter until only the dazzling light of dawn remained. Mother-the-Sun emerged over the horizon; the battle was over.
Tiny crept out from behind Rock, relief flooding her senses. The shadow-monsters had gone. In their place, a fine gold mist ran down the mountainsides, hovered in the tall grasses, and floated in the summer air. It was the dawning of a new day.