In the beginning there was the Maker. The Maker had two daughters, who spent much time in the pursuit of scientific discovery, and were keen inventors. The Maker’s two daughters were lovely, each in her own way, and they were clever, creative, and ambitious.
These are fine qualities, but excess of even a fine thing can lead to trouble. Each dedicated herself to the improvement of her mind, and the besting of her sister. As the girls grew to womanhood the qualities they shared began to rub against each other, so each chafed against her sister like a shoe she had outgrown.
They argued over string theory. They fought over the uses of multiphase hydrosonic transmissions. They failed to share their laboratory equipment courteously. The Maker sighed, and was troubled, but hoped her children would work out their differences.
Lucia, the younger child, was fascinated with light and sound. She played with lasers and sonic booms. She delighted in decibels; she frolicked with photons.
Her elder sister was of a more contemplative nature. She studied small, close things; delicate, quiet things – the crystalline architecture of snowflakes, the dreams of hibernating bears, the structure of darkness itself. Leila found her research greatly disturbed, indeed endangered by her sister’s investigations. Lucia’s instant-bonfire matches melted Leila’s snowflake farm. Lucia’s sonic safety net woke up Leila’s bears. Lucia’s photon fomenter infiltrated Leila’s deep pools of darkness.
Leila grew frustrated. She developed sound dampening devices and darkness generators. Her bears ate all the instant-bonfire matches. When Leila powered up her darkness generators, night fell all across the land, and people were afraid.
Lucia retaliated with more light, and the world startled awake to daylight that lasted for weeks. The people grew more afraid still, even the other scientists.
The Maker could stand by no longer.
“Enough! I am disappointed in you both. You have selfishly disturbed not only each other’s research, but the entire world. I expected better manners from you!”
“But her darkness ruins my light!
“Her light undermines my dark!
“You are each doing important research, which you should pursue, yet your work is incompatible.” The Maker considered. “Since you cannot work together, you must work apart. Leila, you shall have the winter months of the year to explore snow and ice, darkness and dreams. Lucia, you shall have the summer months, for light and life.”
And so the world has been divided ever since. This longest night we have just passed marked the peak of Leila’s experiments, for each day now grows longer, and Lucia’s time is come.