Dusk & Dawn - Short Story

A small competition piece I did. I want to write their full story one day, but this is how it started:

My heart is pounding a staccato beat in my chest as I scale the concrete wall that connects the bridge to either side of the Divide. The wide river that separates the Nightwalkers from the Sunkissed is dancing to a deceptively calm melody—but I know the hidden currents that wait to pull me under, and the unforgiving rocks below the inky black surface.

The sky has turned from charcoal to a bruised purple at my back, but the dawn isn’t what worries me this morning, it’s what I’m about to do. I balance my weight on my left foot and stretch up with my right arm for the rusted steel guardrail just barely within my reach. I grip the rough, frigid metal and bring my other hand up to gain purchase. The calluses on my hands protect me from the decaying steel as I haul myself up, using the horizontal rungs like a ladder.

I swing my feet over the top and keep hold of the rail to maintain my balance, making sure to avoid the train-tracks humming with electricity mere inches away. I step carefully around a barrier and up onto the service walkway that runs parallel to the tracks. The clanging of my steel-toed boots on the walkway is a familiar sound. I have walked these same steps twice a day for the last year; since the dawn I met Cadence and she stopped me from jumping off this bridge. My brother’s death wasn’t my fault, I know that now, but that night I was beyond reason and ready to follow him to his watery grave.

My family thinks I’m crazy, coming out here every dusk and dawn to meet a Sunkissed. They don’t understand that for these twenty minutes twice a day I feel the most like myself, I feel whole . I don’t care that the sunlight that poisons me is the only thing that keeps her blood flowing. I don’t care that I can only see her for forty minutes a day. I don’t care if no one ever approves of us being together. I have to try.

My palms begin to sweat as I see her slight form appear on the opposite side of the bridge, her bronze skin and hair of spun gold glowing as the sun turns the sky a violent shade of red. I can feel the burn of dawn sinking into my exposed skin and I fight away my instinct to run for cover. It’s the same every morning, and I know my limits, as she knows hers every evening. Eighteen minutes left.

We meet halfway and sink down next to each other with our feet hanging over the edge. We talk for sixteen minutes and then I have to go. As she lifts her hand to wave goodbye I capture it with my own. A shiver runs through me as the sun’s burning poison seeps from my fingertips and into hers. A shared smile. Everything has changed.

"There's no such thing as 'destiny,' Abigail. Just becoming. Choosing to become what you were created to be, or choosing to walk away from it." - In the Forest of the Night by K. Hamilton

I'm an Artist, A Writer, A Designer, A Musician and A Dreamer. Try and keep me in a box, I dare you.