Once upon a time, there lived a poor farming family. They lived in a small, isolated hamlet, but their land fell within the boundaries of a large, and very rich duchy.
Rarely did the meet anyone through the passing of days.
The wife bore a set of twins – a boy and a girl. The boy, blue-eyed and fair haired, stood stark contrast to his sister, a girl of olive skin and hair as black as a raven’s wings.
They came together into the world, one right after the other. He first, and she behind him, clutching his ankle tightly in her newborn fist.
They named him Day, and her Night.
Each year following, the two were inseparable. Time spent roaming the vast expanse of the farm and the nearby forest was filled with laughter and mirth.
But when the sun settled, and a deep darkness spread over the land, Night would bid her brother goodbye and climb out of their bedroom window, into the black.
Every time she’d leave, she’d remind him to keep the window open and unlocked, so that she may return.
Every night, Day would watch her slink out beyond the frame, ensure the latch remained open, and then crawl back into his bed.
He would wake to the sound of a soft tap at the glass and he would get up and open the window, helping her back into the room.
One day, the two were out in the orchard picking apples, when they heard the heavy hooves of a fast approaching horse.
Night ran out from the shade of tree, eager to greet the riders, while Day scrambled to keep up.
It was the Duke, riding one of his hunting steeds, with a party of other noblemen.
Startled by the small child, his horse reared, striking Night in the head.
“Peasants!” shouted the Duke. The party did not stop and continued on its way.
Day ran to his sister, who lay still and pale on the ground. A small trickle of blood ran from her temple to her eye; she looked just as though she was asleep.
He and her parents buried her the following afternoon.
That night, as Day struggled to fall asleep, he heard a soft taping at the window.
“I’m hearing things,” he thought, and ignored the sound until he fell asleep.
The next night he again heard the noise, only this time it was louder. Still convinced he was making it up, he put his pillow over his head and tried again to fall asleep. Eventually, he fell into a restless slumber.
On the third night the sound was no longer a tap, but an urgent knock.
Day could no longer pretend it was inside of his head.
He slowly got out of bed and walked towards the window. The pane rattled slightly with each rap.
He reached out and undid the latch. The window swung open, and the cool night air rushed into the bedroom.
A darkness, and nothing else.
Day paused a moment, before making his way back to his bed.
He took a deep breath and closed his eyes.
As he did, he felt a small hand wrap its fingers around his ankle.
And in the morning, when his parents came to wake him, he was gone.