Outside, the sky was clear, stars gleaming in its ebony vastness like celestial fireflies. It was bitterly cold, and Hywel's every breath trailed after him in pale puffs of smoke. The glazed snow crackled underfoot as he started towards the great hall.
For, he (The Devil) observed, the issue of the great battle of Good and Evil had been otherwise settled, as he would presently show him. "It wants but a few moments of night," he continued, "and over this interval of twilight, as you know, I have been given complete control. Look to the West.("The Legend of Monte Del Diablo")
We who are so lucky as to be born into the light—who see it every day and never think about it, we’re blessed. We could have been born
shadow souls who live and die in crimson darkness, never even knowing
that somewhere there is something better.
Don't be amazed if you see my eyes always wandering. In fact, this is my way of reading, and it is only in this way that reading proves fruitful to me. If a book truly interests me, I cannot follow it for more than a few lines before my mind, having seized on a thought that the text suggests to it, or a feeling, or a question, or an image, goes off on a tangent and springs from thought to thought, from image to image, in an itinerary of reasonings and fantasies that I feel the need to pursue to the end, moving away from the book until I have lost sight of it. The stimulus of reading is indispensable to me, and of meaty reading, even if, of every book, I manage to read no more than a few pages. But those few pages already enclose for me whole universes, which I can never exhaust.
Only here, long after midnight, while everyone else was sleeping, when nothing was expected of him, could Schwartz convince himself that he was working hard enough. These hours felt stolen, added to his life. The voice fell quiet.
Night falls. Or has fallen. Why is it that night falls, instead of rising, like the dawn? Yet if you look east, at sunset, you can see night rising, not falling; darkness lifting into the sky, up from the horizon, like a black sun behind cloud cover. Like smoke from an unseen fire, a line of fire just below the horizon, brushfire or a burning city. Maybe night falls because it’s heavy, a thick curtain pulled up over the eyes. Wool blanket.
On moonlight nights the long, straight street and dirty white walls, nowhere darkened by the shadow of a tree, their peace untroubled by footsteps or a dog's bark, glimmered in the pale recession. The silent city was no more than an assemblage of huge, inert cubes, between which only the mute effigies of great men, carapaced in bronze, with their blank stone or metal faces, conjured up a sorry semblance of what the man had been. In lifeless squares and avenues these tawdry idols lorded it under the lowering sky; stolid monsters that might have personified the rule of immobility imposed on us, or, anyhow, its final aspect, that of a defunct city in which plague, stone, and darkness had effectively silenced every voice.
It was nearing 9 O'clock, and the fist duck was drawing down. Behind the trees, the first star pricked out, low and brilliant. The light breeze of the day had dropped, and the evening was very still. The stream sounded loud. I walked down to the gate and stood leaning on the top bar, enjoying the scent of the roses, and straining to listen for any sound from the lane or the road beyond.
I was never afraid of the dark and I spent my youth walking through empty playgrounds at midnight, worried mothers telling girls to be careful and ”the world is an ugly place and not everyone wants you well”. But I was not afraid and I wished for adrenaline to make my veins pulsate in that way that puts them more on the outside of my skin than inside.
After the first night with you I never walked alone at night again because suddenly I had something to lose. Something to save.