There had at one time existed a sun, just as there had once been sanity –the diminishing vestiges of which only exist purely in evanescent fairytales. The diurnal star took with it in its departure the concept of truth and reason, allowing reality to corrode away into the insanity lurking underneath in the cognitive depths of the mind. With no rhyme or reason, madness was able to bare its wicked fangs unchallenged. And so began the worldwide phenomenon that came to be called the mass Lunar Effect.
Narcissa leaned back in her three-legged chair to peer out the window so shaped as to suggest the devious grin of a Cheshire cat. In the hours that had once emanated the illumination of a diurnal star now but a legend a pale blue disk of light named Anesidora had usurped the throne, its halo-like ring dancing around it with maddened glee like a circling parade of bluish phantasms. Pensive, she watched the undulating motion of the ring as she ruminated. Never once did the balance of the curious chair betray her regardless how far back she subconsciously leaned.
"Excited?" cooed the voice across the table. "….Or….perhaps frightened? It's delightful, isn't it? I myself chose the Mad Hatter."
Her brows furrowed as she slid her heterochromic gaze to the gnarled old face of the man sitting across from her. Through his broken, crescent-shaped spectacles he studied her with a countenance that radiated a state of mind somewhere between maddness and a madman's ingenuity.
"It's so delightful," his creaking voice spoke again. "I guarantee you'll go mad."
"Wouldn't doubt it," Narcissa retorted flatly.
At this he gave her a toothy grin, knowing full well the trepidation concealing itself within her deadpan articulation.
Funny, she thought sardonically, just how shrewd he can be underneath his lunacy.
Her green and silver eyes lowered with vehement distain to what his spindly finger tapped upon rhythmically as he quietly hummed a strange tune that seemed to her a bizarre patchwork of various tunes –as if he suddenly forgot one at the same time he began yet another. For Jantus, since his participation in the Purgatory Wonderland, he had become madder than what was the norm in the world long since abandoned by daylight. The line that separates one's nightmares and sweetest dreams had become blurred for the old man, allowing for the two to meld together. His cloudy, reminiscent eyes were upon the flyer now as well, announcing the upcoming drawing for the participants of tomorrow's biannual Purgatory Wonderland. The paper practically spewed forth color in its grotesque, flamboyant cheer over the approaching bloodbath.
"Which shall you choose?" the half of Jantus's mind not in his own demented wonderland was present to inquire. "March Hare? White Rabbit? –Cute, agile little creature. Or perhaps," his simper widened as his voice hit a higher, squeakier pitch, "the Mad Hatter?"
"Cheshire Cat," Narcissa replied without a second's hesitation, as if the choice were as obvious as the nose upon her fair-skinned face.
"Elusive little devil," he quipped, breaking into soft laughter and returning to his odd patchwork of shifting tunes.
Relative silence muted the passing moments that followed. Without recollection of at what point she had done so, she found her eyes back on the blue phantom of a star, thinking back to the childhood years when she had been told of the deal the moon made to banish the sun from the heavens in an archaic era.
The moon made a pact with the dream named Amaranth to kill the sun. From the depths of the Dream came the star Anesidora, which swallowed the solar star after a course of four long days, during which the moon remained in the apex of the sidereal heavens. By the time Anesidora emerged and devoured the hidden sun, the mass Lunar Effect had reaped the sanity of the people, creating a world of madness in the darkly embrace of perpetual night. How the lunacy came about is debatable. Some believe the moon's bleached luminescence had exposed the lunacy beneath the shadows of the mind –like shining a light on a monster's face in the caliginous dark. Others say it was done by phantasmal flowers birthed by the moon's tears of joy, their fragrance infecting the world with madness. Still others claim the moon had sung a continuous song those four days so beautiful all the world was plunged into insanity by her haunting cadence.
But in a world where everyone's mad, where is the truth to be found when the validity of the mind's warped reality is no longer reliable? Sanity abandoned the world to evanesce with the sun. The moon, mistress of illusions and lunacy, -she whose pale illumination encourages our imaginations to meld fantasy with the reality we perceive –had free reign in the absence of the bright star that once brought enlightenment and dispersed the disillusionment the nocturnal hours cast upon our sight. The moon made a deal with Amaranth and so became herself amaranthine. The world now dwells in rayless shadow pierced by the eyes of nocturnal light –a reflection of what had once been and now is but fable. The reversed side of a looking glass where everything is backwards to what should be. This world became a hellhole whose ethereal beauty masks the nightmares scurrying deep within its many alcoves. The mind finds no comfort here. Only deeper madness and torment.