He’s even more beautiful like this. It’s true. I kiss him once, gently. I close his dark eyes and brush a lock of hair from his face. Slowly I take my hands from his throat, where light bruises are already blossoming on his flesh. Dead. His trembling lips form one last word, and then he’s gone. He shudders and convulses, but slowly ceases struggling, and his hands over mine go limp. I tighten my grip and watch those stunning eyes go wide. He mouths something to me, unable to speak yet still wasting precious air. His are so dark, so empty, that I can lose myself in them if I’m not careful. Our eyes meet. His hands tug at my wrists, a half-hearted attempt to loosen my grip as he gasps for air. His body jerks beneath mine as he is wrenched from sleep, gasping for breath. I slip my fingers around his slender neck and squeeze. His eyelashes tremble and I wonder if he is dreaming of me. I kneel over him carefully. He has waited for this moment, as I have waited, for an eternity. For a moment I stand over him, watching the rise and fall of his chest as he sleeps. Silently I slide from beneath the warm sheets and dress. So beautiful. The moonlight dusts his pale skin in silver and shadow. I wake in the night and glance to him laying beside me, sleeping peacefully. He is the Beloved, the one I have been waiting for, and it is time. He came to me to die.

“From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’ – which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’

– – –

In the dark of the last night the Sun stripped off his golden robes and with his shining sword cut the great white wings from his back. As he did he sang in his crystal voice,

Love me broughte     (Love delivered me)
and love me wroughte     (and love created me).
Love me fedde     (Love sustained me)
and love me ledde     (and love guided me)
and love me lette here     (and love abandoned me here).
Love me slou     (Love killed me)
and love me drou     (and love dragged me)
and love me leyde on bere     (and love laid me on the bier).
Love is my pes     (Love is my peace)
for love I ches     (and for love I chose)
to buyen dere     (to redeem you at great cost).
No dred thee nought     (So you should fear nothing),
I have thee sought     (for I have looked for you)
bothen day and night     (both day and night)
to haven thee     (in order to be your haven);
well is me     (I have done well),
I have thee wonnen in fight     (for I have won you in battle).”

Soon the wings lay upon the ground and the sword was slick with golden blood. The Sun fell to his knees, then, sick with pain and blood loss, and did not move again.

In the morning the creator mother and lunar brother came together to bear the Sun to the place of his death. They wrapped him in a robe of black and placed a golden crown upon his fair head. They gathered him into their arms and bore his body reverently to the cross. There they lifted him up and, having removed the robe, pierced his wrists with sharp nails. From his wrists and the wounds on his back, where once his angelic wings had been, his golden blood flowed in shining rivers.

Thus finished, the Star mother placed a kiss upon the Sun’s right palm, and the Moon brother one upon his left. The darkness began to descend, then, a slowly consuming eclipse, and the mother looked to the heavens above.

The Sun shall be turned into darkness,” she spoke, “and the Moon into blood.”

Grieving, she turned away and left her cherished son to face his death alone, the final sacrifice.

Now alone with his lover, the Moon stood before the crippled Sun and pulled from his robes an ornate silver dagger.

Forgive me, my love,” the Moon said softly, then drove the serrated blade through the Sun’s chest. The Sun cried out in agony, betrayed as always by the one he loved, and the Moon’s hands became stained with his hot, bright blood. The Moon drew out the dagger, then, and turned his back to the Sun. He disappeared into the growing night.

Alone now and slowly dying, suspended on the cross, the Sun could not defend himself against the darkness that hungered so for his holy blood and body. The darkness crept upon him, touched him, entered him. It tainted his blessed flesh and poisoned his loving heart, his sacred soul. It defiled him; it violated him. It flooded his mind with madness and his heart with hate; it burned his skin and spilled his blood. The Sun refused to beg for mercy from this most vile of entities, though, refused to give in to the wickedness it filled him with; he would not give it that satisfaction. He called instead to his creator and his brother, to those that loved him so, but there was no answer to his pleading. No lord grated him clemency; no lover came to give him sweet relief. The darkness consumed him, tore at his heart and his soul and his mind. Death did not come to free him; the torture was unending.

Why am I so forsaken?” the Sun howled to the heavens above as he broke. “Where is he that I love?” Still there was no answer.

In the Sun’s final moments, as he struggled for breath and the cruel darkness and agonizing pain became all he knew, the Moon returned. He came to the Sun and kissed him once upon each closed eye, where salty tears glistened, and once upon the lips, where coppery blood dripped down his skin.

Do not fear death now, darling. You will awaken again,” the Moon whispered against his cheek. “And until that moment, I shall watch over you. I shall hold vigil for your body. Go now and find peace in your death. We will be reunited.”

The Sun shuddered.

Beloved, into your hands I commit my spirit,” he answered breathlessly, and thus succumbed to his injuries and let death claim him.