• Throughout the city, one could hear sounds that reverberated throughout every building and down every street. Every few minutes, there would be a loud flash of light, immediately followed by a darkness that dominated and engulfed the street. Atop a building, a boy clambered up onto a ledge, overlooking the cityscape. About three blocks away, the child saw the source of the noises that should have sent every person out to the streets, curious and mystified, but at the same time kept them prisoners inside their houses, chained by fear and the prospect of possible death. In the center of large plaza, there were two large figures, one surrounded by a radiating aura of intermixing white and yellow. This being inspired hope and safety in the boy, while the other one struck him with fear and that feeling that someone was watching him from the shadows. The boy whipped his head around, but only came face to face with a gargoyle on the ledge, an artifact from a time when people might’ve believed that such creatures existed. He shook his head, and turned back to the conflict in the plaza to examine the opposing aura. This one was shrouded in black, even darker then the night sky, but had occasional pinpoints of light. The white aura began to convulse inward and outward, at which the form inside it began to speak.

    “I don’t see why you continue to return here. I have protected this city for ages. It is my domain!” At this cry, a beam of light shot from the center of the aura aimed directly at the form graced in black.
    An orb formed around the black figure, completely enveloping it. As the beam of light approached it, the orb stretched towards it, capturing and devouring every last hint of light. As the attack dissipated, the black aura and orb faded, revealing a woman wearing completely black clothes, with a black hood and cloak hiding most of her features. Inside the cloak was nothing; not even the light from the figure opposite her could penetrate the darkness.
    “This is the last time I shall come here. This city that you ‘protect’ will learn what lies beyond its walls. It will recognize that it has been secluded from the rest of world, and will relish in its freedom,” she said in a whisper that somehow echoed all the way to the child’s ears. Her voice made the boy feel restful, but longing for the warm and bright tone of the voice that had protected him and the rest of the city for so long.

    The white aura faded, revealing a man draped in yellow armor, almost mechanical in nature. This was the first time that the boy had ever seen his hero as he really looked. Almost completely machine, the boy was filled with feelings of suspicion and safety. He shuddered and huddled closer to the gargoyle.

    The man began to scream at the black figure. “A woman dares to attempt an attack on my city?!?! What ever made you feel that you could possibly make this city better than I have done? I have protected these people from the world and creatures like you. They have never had to be paranoid or afraid because I have been to protect them. I am their god and hero!”
    The women walked towards the light-god. “You have not protected these people from anything. You have denied them from a part of the world that is essential for every animal and part of nature. You have denied them half of the world by sealing them in this bubble of light that you call a city. By sealing these humans in here, you have left them ignorant of the outside world. They must experience what every other creature does. They must experience fear, confusion, and wonder. These are unavoidable emotions that define every creature; without them nothing is whole.” As she walked forward, black ribbons stretched out from her cloak, enveloping the ground beneath her. The tendrils snaked towards the buildings, swallowing the unnatural sheen given to them by the light-god. As more and more tendrils came out from the cloak, the city became darker, matching the night sky that was slowly beginning to creep through the city ceiling. Ribbons extended towards the god himself, wrapping around his feet.

    The boy had his arms around the gargoyle’s neck, practically leaning off the edge of the building, trying to get a better visual of what was happening between the two figures. The dark shape seemed to get larger as he watched, completely dominating his hero. Eventually, there was only one orb of white light left, completely surrounded by blackness. Finally, this last orb was extinguished seeming to wink out of existence. Unknown feelings began to creep through the boy. Looking down, he began to see people creep out from their houses, seemingly lost, almost like they had never set outside their houses before. When he looked back at the center of the city, the women had disappeared, leaving no evidence of the battle that had just taken place. The boy looked around for any indication that the hero had survived, but there was nothing; even the statues of him had disappeared. As he tried to imagine the hero’s form in his head, he felt like something was being taken from him. He couldn’t remember ever seeing any hero, or that there had ever been a hero of this city. The boy looked over his shoulder at the gargoyle, shook his head, and got up to stretch. He started to walk back to the entrance to begin his climb down, wondering what had ever brought him up there in the first place. As he climbed down the stairs, he felt something brush against his back. He whipped around, but saw nothing, only shadows cast from the gargoyle. The boy left the gargoyle to his roost and went back down to the city to join the rest of his neighbors.