This one was an entry to one of Sakky-chan's contests at SSC (sailorastera dot com). I won first place, too: )

Very dark. But then, so's the main character. And if you're an SM fan and can't figure out who it is, I shall poke you with a spork. Mmkay?


Day came to the Dark Moon. Or, at least, it was as close to day as it ever would become. A pale, eerie glow flowed over the land, throwing buildings into sharp relief, deepening grey shadows to black, revealing and fabricating grotesque forms. Hutches large and small rose from the gloom, but still the shadowed palace towered over all.

Jutting as a wart or scab from the fortress face, a miniscule balcony, barely recognizable from below, was starkly lit by what little light would reach it. Its sable drapes were drawn apart, but the interior of the room remained black as coal.

A curtain twitched, though no breath of wind had stirred it. A figure stood there, just inside the opening, just outside the light. An ebon dress flowed from shoulder to floor; odangoed hair of pale rose fell almost to meet it. The rouge eyes gazing from her pallid face held no emotion.

Strange, thought she, that a place called the Dark Moon would be so illuminated, pale and cold though it may be. We fight against the White Moon and all it stands for—why then do we also depend upon the light? Her eyes travelled over the dark beauty of the kingdom spread before her feet.

But why? Why would we wish for more than that which we already have? Our kingdom is vast; not even my pathetic mother would dare strike us here. She felt a pang. What of—anger? jealousy? remorse?—she could not tell. Mother... The girl's eyes narrowed. Filthy white witch—how dare she defy the Negaverse? Why would she destroy the beauty of the havoc we wreaked a thousand years ago?

Unbidden, another thought wormed its way into her mind. 'We,' I say. We. Yet not. Why will they not let me fight? Mother is weak. One look at me, at what I have become, and she will crumble. I have a power no other here has: the power of sorrow, and of guilt. For a moment, her thoughts paused. But what of it? she thought next. What else have I? My powers are wild, unfocused—Wiseman is right. I am no more than a worm. Mother would break, but the others—I doubt it. I have no more than a dagger for my mother's heart, not yet the sword that would pierce all in line.

Ah, the senshi... A smile twitched at the corners of her mouth. What a laugh. Mercury, Venus... she mentally ticked them off. ...Neptune, Plu— She stopped, another pang tearing at her heart.

Absentmindedly, she pressed a finger to the symbol upon her forehead: an inverted crescent, jet as the kingdom it stood for. Is this right? she thought suddenly. Should this mark not be gold? Why do I fight for the Darkness when I was meant to fight for the Light...? Looking up, she took a tentative step into the pallid white glow.

It hit her like a slap in the face, burning her fragile skin and searing her wide eyes. She leapt back, hissing through her teeth, and digging her nails into the curtains ripped them shut across the way. Backing away, she shook her head fervently. Never, she promised herself.

She spun on her heel and stalked unhindered through the darkness, searching for Wiseman or one of his servants to take comfort in.

She's not my mother anymore. I'm never going back.