The steps of Midnight fell on the street softly like seconds rushing by.
It was an otherwise silent night and the houses of the sleepy town turned their eyes discreetly, while the stars hid their face in the dark drape of clouds. The girl pulled her sorrow-red cape tighter and hurried towards the castle where her older sister, Prima was waiting for her impatiently. Midnight didn’t feel like going home, her heart rang like an empty bell inside her chest, and the memory of an unsure kiss lingered in the corner of her lips.
She met him in the masquerade; he wore a silver waistcoat and a dark blue mask. His hair was fair, almost white, like the rays of the midday sun and his smile would have melted even the most stubborn snow .When they danced, his fingers felt so light on her waist as if they were just passing thoughts. When he stepped closer, Midnight could feel the smell of summer mornings on his clothes. He moved with the ease of an expert dancer and for once in her life Midnight didn’t need to be in control, she let him lead. Their feet flew on the black and white marble as the music pulsed inside her, running through her blood.
She knew that this one night full of music was the only thing they would ever have. The cello cried when their hands parted and Midnight only realised that she was clutching his glove when he had long disappeared in the crowd of dancers. She held the ethereal material against her face, it felt lighter than hope, and she hurried out of the hall. When Midnight stepped into the trembling light of street lamps, it dawned on her that the boy was Daybreak, the eldest son of the Morning. Rumour had it that he ignored the strict rules of their people and had broken countless hearts. Maybe Midnight would also end up like that, with her heart ripped out and shattered to pieces like shattered glass. She didn’t care about the future though, she lived for the few minutes in the day when she could be herself. Nothing else mattered.
In the silver starlight Midnight seemed so young, a debutante, an adolescent girl sneaking home after her first ball. But when she stepped into the shadows, the long years of eternity painted wrinkles in the corner of her eyes.
The cobblestones purred sympathetically under her feet as she turned the corner leading to the high wrought-iron gates of her abode. Prima let out a relieved sigh when the clock struck twelve and Midnight arrived home with blushing cheeks. The older sister set out to enjoy the sixty minutes that was her due, an hour full of dreams she would mourn in the remaining twenty three hours of the day. But if she was lucky, her heart would also be touched in the masquerade and she would have the burning memory of a stolen kiss to keep her warm in the cold hours of boredom.
*Previously published in Enchanted Conversation in 2018.
Fanni Sütő is a writer, poet, translator and the proud owner of a growing number of novels-in-progress. She publishes in English and Hungarian and finds inspiration in reading, paintings and music. She writes about everything which comes in her way or goes bump in the night. She tries to find the magical in the everyday and likes to spy on the secret life of cities and their inhabitants.