We met in a dream.

I had just lain down among the wondrous rocks of my home, beside my family, when I met you. You were walking through our home, confused and alone. I did not know you; you were a pinkskin, and we had only once seen one of your kind, and that was so many years. He wore a big white shell and a glass helmet, and he marked our land with a symbol of your planet.

I treated you as a dangerous thing, yet we spoke the same language; we could understand each other. We spoke and I said I would tell my father, for he was our chief and he would know what to do with you. And then I woke up. You were not there.

Do you remember returning, several nights in a row? I was frightened at first, but gradually we became friends. We would walk along the underground shores, and talk; do you remember what we talked about?

We spoke of a great many things. Of your world, of mine; you told about the Incredible Hulk, and I showed you the solar shores. Do you remember when we would sit in the darkness of the Dkar caves and whisper to each other the secrets of our worlds?

We were children then. You came to me every time I went to sleep, and you were my secret friend as I grew up.

You grew up too, didn't you? From a young boy, no more than seven cycles, into a handsome young man. Yet you kept coming, and we would speak. I have always had feelings for you: as a girl, curiosity; as a woman, love.

Then you left, and never came back.

I felt a sense of loss that I have never felt before. I did not know what had happened to you; you simply never came back. The rocks were no longer comfortable, they became sharp and rough; the Dkar caves and their darkness became oppressive, no longer a comfort in times of need. I was empty. Lost. I tried to be happy, but I never was truly joyful.

I grew. The Great Mother taught us how to visit your world in dreams, when the Moon — for that is what you call our home — rose every night. I would go to you, did you know? I saw you in your bed, copulating with a female of your kind. I would stay until the sun rose, and I was pulled back to my home for we cannot exist with the sun; it is one of our agreements that has stood since the beginning of time.

I saw you at the tavern, with your friends. You were happy, yet you had a haunted look in your eyes. You chose to drown your sorrows in drink.

Did you know I was there? I was watching you, quietly, from the corner of the room; I saw your friends, the boisterous ones, who meant you well. It was your hatching-day, and you were celebrating. You were happy, and I was happy. I had found you again, and I could feel your joy in me through our bond.

You left your friends, and I followed you. You could not see me; your kind cannot see our kind when we come to your planet.

You entered the horseless chariot, singing. I sang along, although I did not understand the words, because I was so happy. You started to move with it, still singing, and I followed. You moved faster and faster, up the winding mountain trail, and still I followed, still singing. I thought this was natural.

And then you missed the bend.

I saw your chariot fly off the edge of the mountain, suspended in one timeless moment; and you were no long singing, you were scared and frightened.

I knew you would not live to see the sunrise.

I watched as your chariot crashed into the trees below. I went to you. Did you see me? Did you feel me?

I wept. You were crushed, half by the trees, half by the chariot. Your face was cut and bruised, and you were no longer handsome. I kissed your eyes, your nose, your mouth, your ears; I wept all the while, wept until the sun came and I had to leave.

I kissed you one last time before I left. I thought you called my name, just once; and then you spoke no longer.

I wept at home. They did not understand. They asked me, Sleeping Sun, why do you weep? I did not say, so they let me be.

For the second time I felt a loss, but this was far worse; this time I knew I would never find you again. I wept until I could weep no more.

I watched as your friends, teary-eyed, speak to your family; I see that woman you copulated with, crying even though you were no longer together. I heard the whispered condolences, the grieving murmurs.

They put you in the ground. You never rose again. I waited by the headstone until the sun rose.

Did you think of me, your secret friend, as you fell to your death? Did you remember me, in all the time we did not speak? Did you ever wish that our night-time would last for a lifetime and beyond? If it had been in my power, I would have given it to you.

I am the Great Mother, now. I am an old woman. I teach the young how to fly to your world and discharge the duties of our kind; I teach them about our pact with the sun, with the planets and time; and I will choose, in the years to come, the next Great Mother.

I still miss you.

I wish for this night-time
To last for a lifetime
The darkness around me
Shores of a solar sea
Oh how I wish to go down with the sun
With you

- "Sleeping Sun", by Nightwish