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Fabric

By Richard Glover

Fabric

This was originally written Oct. 25, 2004.

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You always said that I was the weaker, more ignorant one, brother. That I was nothing compared to you. Pfft, look at you now, O mighty one, sleeping in a stone prison. Now who is the stronger one? You say that Light is the greatest, most merciful of all elements. I beg to differ. The elements are like fabric. Each feel different.

Fire. Fire is like wool, hot and itchy. Its flames lick at your skin so much that it becomes unbearable. Who would wish to don such fabric? Perhaps you would wish me to wrap a shawl of Fire around my frozen heart...

Water, it is like cotton: if you keep it dry, it will always fit you; but if you get it wet, it will bind you in a choking embrace like the pressure of the ocean bottom. Perhaps you would wish me to wear a shirt of Water to squeeze the evil out of me?

Ice, it is like leather. Stiff, cool, delicate. But it can also be constricting. Ice, like soft stone, is more easily broken, but cannot be bent. Perhaps you would wish me to wear a girdle of Ice to prevent me from growing fat off the chaos I create.

Wind, like bark. A...double-edged sword, so to speak. It could mean fair traveling one moment, but spell doom the next. Perhaps you would wish me to wear an armor of Wind to provide poor protection against your holiness.

Earth, it is similar to Fire, but a bit more comfortable. It will protect you from the cold, but it will leave you sweating so much it is as if your body was raining. Perhaps you wish me to wear gloves of Earth, so that my palms may be so sweaty that I will have a poor grip on my sword?

Stone, it is like sandpaper. Good for little more than scraping your skin raw. I'd find more comfort treading on nails mixed with glass. Perhaps you would wish for me to wear a pair of boots of Stone, so that my feet would be so raw that I could barely stand?

But Light, it is the worst. I cannot describe it like any existing cloth. It burns and stings so much it is more like a whip falling on a slave's back. More binding than chains, it cuts and pokes at you like so many hot knives and needles until you relent and bear your truth and soul out on a silver platter with burned and bloody hands. Perhaps you would wish me to wear a crown of Light, so to burn away the vile thoughts from my mind?

But Shadow...Shadow is soft. Cool. It is as smooth and cool as the finest silk studded with so many diamonds, like a cold night sky studded with stars. It has a soft, gentle touch, like a mother gently embracing her weeping baby. It presents the freedom to move and speak as you please. Yet as delicate as silk, Shadow presents the greatest defense against Light. Greater than any iron shield, It will keep cool and safe any who hate the heat and light of the Day. I would much rather wear a robe of Shadow than anything you would have to offer.

You see, brother, I am greater than you. You are just too proud to realize it. But as you sleep, I lay a silken sheet of Shadow on you. Perhaps, one day, you will realize the truth in my words. Go back to the accursed Light if you wish, brother, but you will not turn me. You will not pull me from my Shadow. In the shadows, I claim Sanctuary...

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