The Creation series is a series of short fictional pieces exploring creation and mythology. It was inspired primarily by travelling in Egypt in 2018.
Only the sun can bring the sun.
At first there was the moon, her face silvery and sweet.
She found her footing on the dark sand, her way lit by the glow emanating from her navel. The sleeping beasts were quiet and still. She wove a blanket of air around them, to protect them. A pang of envy touched her breast – how fragile they were, how unaware of what lay over the next hill, or under the next rock.
The nearest to her stirred. His muscles flexed underneath his smooth skin. So vital – so alive. She could hear his heart beating and she wanted to possess him there and then. But he was her charge and she was avowed never to touch him. She blanketed him and let him sleep.
Tired and full of ennui, the moon climbed to the top of the craggiest mountain where she could watch. And wait. But waiting was the last of it, the finality of her power.
Because only the sun can bring the sun.
The moon was the first to witness the sky change. A colour she didn’t recognise – birthing bright and warm. It gave way to a harshness that was new to the world. She shielded her eyes against it as it expanded, enveloping the lands she thought she knew. Making the beasts shine.
Then, from the rolling lights of the sky he appeared. Tall, dark, burning with intensity. He stood beside her on the mountain, admiring all that was outstretched before them.
I have brought the light, he said. But you have taken the darkness, she replied.
He turned to her, eyeing her up and down, his gaze lingering on each curve. Of course she had been waiting for the light, waiting that long eternal night. As he would soon hunger for the darkness.
I have brought the sun, he said.
Only the sun can birth the heat and the passion and the burning fury that courses through your veins like molten lava, turning your head towards the sky and screaming until the sound buckles in on itself and you fall deaf and shaking back to the desert sands.
He reached his hand out and slid it down her torso. It felt like fire, like a thousand burning hands, blazing for eternity on her skin. But she couldn’t resist. Because the moon craves the sun, and always has.
And always will.
– Creation I and II by Jenna Cosgrove
Enter the universe of webs, where the great spider sits spinning its thread. The woman twists, her lithe body stretching between the strands, picking her way through the maze. She shivers against the waves of frigid air that crest and crash against her skin.
Every time her breathing becomes more ragged with pulsating fear she stops and clamps her hand over her mouth. Her life depends on not being detected, until she makes it to that spot of light in the distance.
She stretches one foot between the threads, pushing and pulling her whole body into that inch closer to freedom. She dips and turns back as she pulls her other leg through.
Time both speeds up and stops. She can see it happening, her foot nudging the thread ever-so-slightly, but it happens too fast to stop it. She falls to the ground and looks up.
The thread quivers. The quiver catches to the next. She can see how every thread is connected, as the entire universe convulses. Her head whips back and forth, desperately seeking refuge. But there is nothing except the mocking paroxysm of the threads.
She wills her body to stand, to continue her flight, but she is exhausted and defeated. Then, a shadow looms, blocking the light, that last speck of hope.
The great spider’s legs appear, tall as columns, undulating over the web with ease. The legs fall on either side of the woman, caging her as the spider’s face extends towards her.
Its eyes consider her for a flicker of eternity.
You have escaped, it says.
The woman shakes her head, but can not speak.
There is no escape from this web, it says.
I crave freedom, the woman says, finally finding her voice.
The spider’s eyes blink.
You do not understand freedom, it says. You can not see the larger web, the way the threads weave together. You will destroy the web with your cravings, and the web is not yours to destroy.
The great spider raises one of its legs, lifting the woman, wrapping her tightly in a new thread.
I will take you back to your place, it says.
And the spider carries her back to her place, connecting her back to the threads, back to the dream and the universe of web that she knows she can never escape.
– Creation III by Jenna Cosgrove
She opens her eyes to the harshness, the glare of sun on water. She is the first. A title she did not want, but she is the first nonetheless.
She stands on a high cliff, toes stretched out, curling just over the edge. Wind whips the salt towards her, branding the soft skin of her cheeks.
There is no end to the water in this world, the waves stretch their lithe muscles, undulating off into eternity.
He appears behind her, footsteps soft but sure. The footsteps of a god, she thinks. Or just a man come home. She doesn’t turn.
The monster sleeps, she says.
Aye, he says. But the monster always wakes to feed. That is the nature of beasts.
You would know, she says, her voice like fire.
He steps towards her, his breath on the back of her neck. She feels him, as her body was designed to. Despite what he is here to do.
Still, she does not turn.
Across the water, something brews. The waves twist and leap out of the way of what is speeding towards the shore. She watches, resigned. She is the first.
It is nothing to fear, he says.
Now, she turns. He glows in the sun’s waning light, skin like liquid gold. Like a god, she thinks. Or just a man come to destroy her.
She allows him his closeness. It is her closeness too. She feels his breath on her skin, the masculine warmth of it making her hairs stand on end. She could drown in this feeling—and she does, for a moment.
But she hears now the monster near the shore.
It is time, she says.
You are the first, he replies. You will be remembered as such.
I’ll be remembered as a hero, or a fool, she says.
You’ll be remembered as the tides, Amphitrite, as the waves and deep roar of the water, he says.
She stares into his eyes, their blue even deeper than the ocean. He is not here to destroy her, she understands. He is here to witness her destruction.
She steps back, until her feet edge off the cliff. Then, she jumps.
– Creation IV by Jenna Cosgrove