Black Sky Hallows

Dear diary,

I can’t remember a more fun Halloween! Maybe it’s because for the first time in my young life I had a charming girl to share my holiday with! What? Me? Go out with a girl? That’s right; my time has come at last!

My holiday started out well enough, even if it was rather ordinary. Under the bluish light of Earthshine I stretched out and roused myself to wakefulness in my cottage with some coffee, bacon, eggs, and (like any self-respecting spaceman) quinoa bread as I listened to the news I’d missed overnight, with particular emphasis on holiday celebrations to get me into the spirit of the season!

It worked, since I was in a pretty good mood as I strutted out to my one-man trolley outside my cottage, a charming red car that wouldn’t have looked out of place in some Old World university town at the turn of the 20th century, the feel only reinforced by the rustic leaves clinging to the trees and piling up on the ground, the trolley line outside my house looking like a tunnel of flaming red leaves; you’d think you were on Earth until you looked up and saw a black sky with the face of the planet looking down upon you.

Today it was a chilly day, so befitting of the holiday, with some frost covering the ground; overnight it made me sleepy coming in through my windows, but when I went outside and started up my trolley car I stuck my head out the window the whole time, the chilling windstream invigorating me as I went through wood after wood, line after line branching off in exquisite rails barely visible under all the leaves on the ground.

At last I came to my destination and turned off, the place where I was to meet Adlartok for our morning ride; we usually share a morning ride as his way of mentoring me in my work, but today there was to be no discussion of Western esotericism, universal esotericism, ancient Greek literature, new discoveries in the classics, or anything like that, only fun and recreational diversions.

Indeed, when we mounted our moose and started out on our morning ride there was barely any discussion at all, but later on we broke the ice by discussing our holiday plans and the beauty of our surroundings, every little twitch and quiver of the surrounding environment; although we were on a space habitat, and a relatively small one at that, the whole ecosystem if anything seemed to have more life and vitality to it than the wilds of the mother planet.

Man and beast alike thrive in these places; some say it’s the radiation, but I lean more toward the view it’s the sheer thrill of being off-planet. Popular opinion holds that plants and animals don’t know the difference, but I think they do.

After we rode for a few hours we had our fill of each other for the day, and we wished each other luck as we parted. I knew just the place where I wanted to go next, and dismounting my moose I took my rather tired body and plopped myself down under a tree on top of a big pile of leaves, whipping out my tablet computer and surfing the Web for a while, making sure to peek through the fiery red branches above me to earth, sea, and black sky rotating above me in time with the habitat.

Stretching myself out and resting for a while, sinking so deep into those leaves I felt like I didn’t want to come out, I realized it was approaching time for lunch, but I needed not to hurry, since I had wisely chosen the very place me and my friends had arranged to have our picnic for my resting spot.

They were a bit early as I heard leaves rustling and boys and girls talking; my suspicions that it was them confirmed when I started to make out the unmistakable sounds of an Inuit language. I’m able to pick up some of it, but as much as Adlartok has tried to get me to learn his own Inupiaq language and as much as my other friends have tried to get me to learn their own Inuit languages I just haven’t had enough motivation to bother with any of it beyond the barest basics; I always joke that it was hard enough for me to learn ancient Greek, so I’m all “second-languaged out” for the time being.

Anyway, I peeked my head out from behind the tree trunk, waving and saying “Hello!” to the approaching group. Their eyes widened and they laughed as Atuat, one of the girls, giggled and said “Wow, Denali, you’re already here!” Tulok, one of the boys, commented “That was some good thinking!”

As it turned out our picnic group consisted of myself, Atuat, Tulok, Aua, Tapeesa, and Arnaaluk; all of my dearest friends all in the same place for a good filling meal. How nice that was! Two of the girls, Atuat and Tapeesa, looked so fresh and happy today, the Earthshine coming from above flattering their cute little faces.

They looked especially feminine and pretty since they had their hair and makeup done up especially nicely, all the girls did really; everyone, all the girls and all the boys, was dressed to the nines in full traditional Inuit style, the pretty patterns and colors all over them evocative of the autumn leaves around us. I really appreciated that; they did it all for me, since none of my friends really do Halloween, but they know it’s an important day for me.

After chatting them up (in English!), we settled into the wooden picnic table and chair set my friends’ robot brought with them, digging into a pleasant holiday meal of seaweed salad, scrambled eggs, and muskox meat, all washed down with some particularly fine cloudberry wine (watered down so as to not make us too drunk, but still!) we had all been saving for a holiday meal.

The moments I or one of the other boys and girls looked up and recognized the landforms and seas Earth was showing to us in the course of our orbit were particularly fun, but the most fun of all was when our polar orbit swept by North America, and we could all see our native lands pass by, all visible in the clearing above the trees!

We broke out in smiles and pointed to where we each came from; for some Greenland, others northern Canada (the snowpack looks thick and hearty on Baffin Island, all the better for the skiers patronizing Atuat’s family’s resort), and for me Alaska. The slopes of Denali, my namesake, where I was born and raised, looked particularly clear and sunlit today, which I took as a good omen.

Parting was such sweet sorrow after lunch was over, but I mounted my moose and it made its way back to the nearest trolley line, where I summoned and hopped onto my trolley car, making my way to my next destination, and my first proper holiday festivity: a costume party, and not just any costume party, but a dance party held in a module at the centerline of the habitat, detaching from the habitat and freeing itself to spin in open space, altering the gravity on the outer wall that is the dance floor, transparent to the surrounding space.

I found my costume waiting for me in the dressing room as arranged – a dark wizard outfit, pointy angular black hooded robes with medieval-style trim – but I confess getting into a bulky costume in zero-g isn’t something I’m accustomed to, so it took me a while to get ready! Lucky for me my outfit was simple, so it wasn’t terribly long before I could join all the other revelers in their costumes out in the module, which was starting to spin up, giving us some more gravity on the floor.

To music as spooky as it was epic, much of it from film scores but danceable all the same, I danced around the module to the shine of the Earth rotating around us, up, to the side, down, and to the side again, and to the shine of open flames they had near the centers of the circular walls at either end of the module, which because they were in zero-g the whole time had that peculiar bluish-to-golden spherical glow about the flame source common in outer space.

Passing around from partner to partner I had a fun time and got myself all hot and stretched out, giving my body over to the music, incorporating some flair and creativity into my dancing, acting out the part of an evil sorcerer, complete with hand gestures and expressions at moments where the music paused.

But then, in one moment, I saw a face peek out in the shine of the earth’s oceans, one that caught my eye at once in a way that felt so, so good, but also made me so, so nervous: I beheld in the distance a fair and lovely face framed by raven-black hair, and what I could swear were sparkling blue eyes.

At once my goal became to work my way closer to the little darling, and at last I held out my hand and, with her apprehending me and my costume, giggled and floated into my arms (it was one of the times we were in lower gravity before the module spun up again).

She was so cute, wearing a schoolgirl outfit with a knee-length red plaid pleated skirt, a red plaid girlish necktie, a white blouse with ruffled cuffs and collar that hugged her modest yet adorable hourglass figure, and a plum purple colored schoolgirl jacket that had gold trim outlining it; atop one of her small breasts, defined by the curve on her body it was hugging, rested a golden crest with a Russian-style double-headed eagle.

Her hair looked so wavy and shiny, practically bouncing with every step, even every breath, even when we did have full gravity, and it was so long too, kept loose down to classic length, tapering off atop her cute little buttocks. Her dance shoes were in matching red, high heels with red bows attached to them, her legs shown off but encased in white thigh high socks. Her lips, though more modest than luscious, were painted in an appealing red, as were her nails. But her most enticing physical quality was her eyes, those big blue eyes, like two pools of water sparkling in the light.

One time when I put her into a cuddle position, something she really seemed to like (as did I!), I asked her “My name’s Denali. What’s yours?” She replied “Fate”, which struck me as being rather unusual, but also beautiful, and somehow suited to her. I complimented her on her costume, but she giggled and said that’s actually the kind of fashion she always wears, but she wore it here because it also makes for a great schoolgirl costume.

We talked about dancing, about our costumes, and about what she likes to wear, how she likes to style herself (I think it’s just adorable!), and about the holiday. It was like a breath of fresh air, being with her; I love talking to her. Heart-pumping like no other girl I’ve ever talked to in my young life, but so gratifying when she gives me those big blue eyes of rapt attention at something I say to her, how she sometimes looks like she’s thinking when I tell her something she finds genuinely interesting.

It was like my heart sung whenever I danced with her, and I could tell her heart was singing too. We danced and danced in round after round, but after a while she suggested “Shall we switch? I really like you, but I’d like to dance with some other boys while I’m here. I’ll give you another dance later, I promise.” Dejected for a moment but then perking up, I said “Sure!” She then said in the cutest sing-song voice “Thank you”, blowing me a kiss and giggling as she skipped away to dance with someone else.

We spent some time apart, but it wasn’t too long before we were reunited. We switched occasionally but we spent most of the rest of the party together; toward the end of the party she let loose from those cute little lips “You’re cute!” with a girlish smile. I practically blushed at that – never before had another girl been so…enthusiastic about me; it was intoxicating for it to happen to me today – and replied “Thanks. So are you!”

Verbalizing a thought I had held in my head since I first met her, I asked “Would you like to be my girl today?” She thought about that and asked “Like, spend the rest of the day with you?” I nodded yes, and she sighed in pleasure and answered “I’d love to!” Pumped up by that I put in my best dancing when I passed myself and my newly-minted date around from dance partner to dance partner.

When our module docked with the center of the habitat once again, permitting egress, the party was formally over; though some were still dancing, I had something different in mind. Taking her dainty hand in mine, I floated us off the dance module and back into the habitat, where we saw the autumnal woods and Collegiate Gothic buildings that dominated the habitat before us in a ring.

She rested her head on my chest, hearing my heartbeat, and sighed in pleasure as I hugged her; it all felt so good. She just melted in my arms, commenting “It’s all so beautiful, isn’t it?”, followed after a moment by a question: “Where are we going next?” I answered what had been on my mind for a while: “We’re going for a walk. Come!”

So we floated down, making our way down into the habitat, to the pleasant park-like walking paths that wind their way through my little world, passing by thick rusty-leaved woods and Gothic buildings. Admiring the buildings, the flora, and the wildlife we walked hand-in-hand through the fresh chilly air, lit by the sun and earth above us rotating through the black sky, barely visible through the layer upon layer of fiery tree branches.

We spent the afternoon getting to know each other. Aside from being cute as a button and liking schoolgirl fashion Fate is a sculptor; she took out some digital paper from a pocket on that darling schoolgirl blouse and showed me some pictures of her work, and some pictures of her working on it. I really like her art; she apparently works with marble in the classical style, making busts and statues of people and scenes.

She told me all about the special pleasures and challenges with working in marble, and I really had no idea there was so much to it all. It gives me a new appreciation for what the sculptors of classical antiquity, not to mention the Renaissance, accomplished; she says it’s hard work and she’s only made a few great pieces in her career as a sculptor, but it’s her big passion in life and she loves it, so she just chips away a little bit each day while thinking about her next move. She says it’s so calming and relaxing for her, that time almost every day she spends in her studio, when she can really clear her head and be one with pure creativity.

We have quite a bit in common it seems, since I was not only fascinated by her story, but she was also fascinated by my story; it probably helps that both of us have an interest in classical antiquity. But in my case it’s much more academic, with my big ambition being to write a book on Western esotericism, the universal esoteric tradition, and how all religions are actually one united whole understanding of spirituality when properly understood, how that could provide a path forward toward the religion of the future amid the great questioning and metaphysical hollowness of modernity.

None of that is really new, but my really original insights will be focusing on ancient Greek literature and, for the first time in any such text, incorporating new discoveries in that field that have been made in recent years. I’m about the first and only scholar analyzing these newly-discovered works from an esoteric perspective.

I’m really still in the research and study phase of my work, but I have a pretty good idea of how my magnum opus will go, and it’ll make quite a splash in the field. She didn’t take too well to how I compared all faiths, including the one she grew up with, to the parable of the blind men and the elephant, but I reminded her of the mystical tradition that recurs in all faiths, including her own.

More importantly, though, she listened with rapt attention at all of my insights as we walked hand-in-hand, genuine enthusiasm at absorbing all my ideas in those cute blue eyes of hers. Her voice is like music to my ears, and she said mine was to hers; she said “I love listening to you!” with that girlish smile.

It was such a rush – a real girl, and a cute girl at that, loves me for my deepest and most profound intellect! That’s never happened to me before! I felt like the luckiest boy in the world! Maybe I was!

After a while our course was completed, and it had been a couple hours, so I took both her hands in mine, and gazing down at those adorable eyes told her the next thing I had planned for our day: “We’re going to some more holiday festivities now!” She lit up and I added “A little game, some thrilling action on a party ship outside our habitat. We’ll be taking a space pod to get there. Come!”

She practically skipped to my beat as I hummed one of the spooky Halloween songs that had stuck in my head from the party, and before long she was humming it too; her humming voice is just adorable, it almost made me melt. Before too long I found the hatch to a space pod we could book, and we took an elevator (hidden in the woods under the ground until we summoned it to come up) down into it.

Detaching from the habitat, the transition to zero-g was sudden, prompting her to cling to me for dear life as she gasped, followed by snuggling with me even more deeply. I blushed so much I could hardly concentrate on where we were going; good thing the pod had automatic pilot!

In a few moments we had docked at the party ship, another cylinder designed for partying, only this one wasn’t made for dancing, but rather for a unique sport. Still in our costumes for the big holiday, we entered the cylindrical arena and awaited the beginning of the game, which consisted of rather standard zero-g ball-game rules, but with a twist: the “balls” in the arena were pumpkins and tree branches in full autumn leaf that were cut off for just this occasion.

As it began we saw the sportsmen hurl pumpkins around, followed by the tree branches starting to move under the pressure from all the players using them as springboards. Soon we were joining in on the action, trying to catch the pumpkins, move the tree limbs, and avoid the projectiles that were hurtling too fast toward us.

The whole event, with everyone in Halloween costume, was so thrilling, perhaps because it had an air of danger about it; my date got pretty scared, but I held her tight and close the whole time, especially when some fast-moving pumpkins were approaching her pretty little head. It wasn’t all frights for her; my Fate joined in the action several times, kicking out pumpkins with those high-heeled legs.

The excitement seemed to make our hearts grow fonder for each other; as time went on her eyes took on a lusty, almost hero-worshipful, aura toward me, something I found to be the best feeling in the world. I was her hero in her hour of peril, even if it was a rather silly game that neither of us did very well in.

Still, we had a good time, and at the end she spontaneously broke out into a full-body hug of me at the end, holding me so close and so tight I felt squeezed in a feminine embrace that frankly I hadn’t ever even dreamed could feel so good. I felt her little heart beating so fast, and I just gave myself over to that sensation for a while, letting us feel each other’s affection…and attraction.

Both of us were hot and sweaty despite it feeling freezing cold in there when we started; we had gotten quite a workout. But I was in the mood for some more fun activities; so something enjoyable but sedentary was in the cards. I thought about it, with my date still hugging me tightly, for a long while before a lightbulb went off in my head!

When our hugging became less fervent, I broke it off, making sure to keep her hands in mine; gazing down at her once again I told her “Let’s go to the movies!” Her eyes widened as she went “The movies?” before deciding “That sounds like a lot of fun! Oh, Denali, you always have the best ideas! Let’s go!”

So we went back to our space pod and back to the space habitat, where the movie theater we were going to was. Whipping out my tablet, I silently reserved our seat, our theater, our time, and our movie; I wanted it to be a surprise for my date. She seemed to be practically daydreaming about what we’d be doing as I walked her hand-in-hand to the entrance to the movie theater, right in the woods under a hill, actually a hollow hill designed to conceal the dome theater’s spherical building.

Passing through a pair of Gothic-looking doors that aroused her interest – “Is all the architecture here Gothic?” she asked, to which I replied “Just about!” – we emerged into the equally neo-Gothic-looking lobby and hallways of the theater, the walls lined with statues and gargoyles that leaned a bit toward Art Deco or even Futurist style.

Passing through some more Gothic-style doors, we came into the theater proper, which was dominated by the big dome screen on the ceiling and to the sides, enveloping a good portion of our field of vision even when we weren’t looking at it directly. Looking directly at it it fills the whole field of vision, which is sorta the point. When we arrived the screen had a starfield on it moving around and rotating slowly, sort of a screensaver to avoid it being plain white when we came in, the sound being a soft ambient spacey white noise.

The remaining parts of the theater were in a subtly Gothic style, the stepped aisles granting access to the steep stadium seating having a stony texture and appearance, the railings pleasantly dark metallic in color and feel, the walls below the screen being stony, given over to medieval-style reliefs of filmmaking and filmgoing scenes, an interesting juxtaposition of the modern and the ancient.

Before long I made our way to our seat, which was walled off for privacy by two low walls that had Gothic-style scenes of couples making love and watching movies on them, couples just like us. The alcove was dominated by a dark brown leather lounge seat, sort of a bed with the head angled upwards so we could see the movie and move around a bit better, sporting big matching leather pillows for both our heads and additional pillows scattered about for our bodies. In the middle was a table, foldable at the touch of a button or at the sound of one’s voice, for our food.

Fate looked upon it and gasped, saying “A lovers’ seat?” I said “You are my girl for today!” She seemed grateful, since she jumped up and hugged me. After that, our hands still together, I plopped both of us down into our seat, the little table separating us in the middle.

We got used to the arrangements, adjusted our pillows, snuggled closely to each other, and ordered our food. Our dinner was to be at the theater, so it was a good big meal! We both decided to get the same thing: prime rib for our main course, plus a kale salad with mushrooms and quinoa with grated Asiago cheese, dressed with pumpkin seed oil, all washed down with red wine.

We snuggled in and ate and drank our delicious meal that was brought to us as the movie played, entertaining us with a space-operatic and very spooky tale of a resurrected galactic emperor bent on vengeance and restoring his dominion over the universe, complete with the heroine being possessed by his spirit, cultists harvesting blood from magic-wielding maidens across the galaxy to fuel the dark resurrection, the threat of a galactic apocalypse at the hands of an entire fleet of planet-killing weapons hovering above his sublime throne world, and the entire rebellion being wiped out through his magical powers after he possesses the heroine even without the planet-killing fleet to help him.

Only the combined powers of every good wizard and witch in the galaxy acting in concert dislodges his spirit from the heroine and kills him off for good, along with his fleet and his cult world, and even that final victory comes at the price of the heroes expending so much of their powers the vast majority of them die, fading away into ghosts at the end, leaving only a few, the heroine included, still alive to continue the noble work of keeping peace and justice in the galaxy.

It was a thrilling tale; nothing too graphic or gruesome, but it was more than thrilling enough to keep our eyes glued to the screen, and Fate’s body clung tightly to mine the whole time. At the end we felt like we’d been through quite a heart-pumping ride; it was a really good film, and we watched it the best way we could have hoped to: in a luxurious dome theater together with someone we liked, not to mention a good meal.

By that point it was getting well into the evening, and I told her what my plans called for: “Now’s about time for me to go back to my cottage and greet the trick-or-treating ragamuffins with some candy. I do it every year. Want to come with me? I promise it’ll be fun!” She smiled and giggled “I’m sure it’ll be fun! Let’s go!” as I took her hand and led the way.

We took a trolley car and arrived at my place, which she thought was really cute and charming, practically gushing over every room she saw as I showed her everything in my little home. Putting on some low Halloween lights I had out for decorations, as well as some ghosts, ghouls, and assorted monstrosities in the front woods, as well as some spooky ambient music, we waited in costume for the ragamuffins as we munched on the Halloween candy I had stored up.

My girl looked so cute, eating and sucking on those sweets, clutching the lollipops next to her little mouth; it’s like they belong together, a sweet treat and a sweet girl. And she is a very sweet girl. When the ragamuffin children in their little costumes came to my doorstep she was just like a little angel to them, giving out that candy and talking to them with that dreamy sing-songy voice and those adorable expressions, every time a trolley car or a group of kids on foot approached throughout the evening.

At last evening’s light had long since faded and we had seemed to see the last of the ragamuffins on this spiritual night, we had decided to make our way to my bed, windows fully open to the chilly air as the big open skylight ceiling gave us a view of the stars above, where we snuggled some more.

By this point we were starting to get pretty sleepy, but I had enough life left in me to gentlemanly offer “I could take you home for tonight in my trolley car. It’s getting awfully late.” Fate just sunk deeper into my bedsheets and stretched her limbs out as she said “Honestly, I think I’d rather spend the night here with you. Can I? Please?” in the cutest most pleading tone I’d ever heard from a girl.

My heart melted so much at such sweetness I couldn’t resist it, and I said, while starting to caress her body and stroke her hair for the first time today, a kind of affection she seemed to really love, “Yes, we can spend the night together.” She sighed dreamily as she whispered “Thank you, Denali. You’re so sweet.”

I kept stroking her hair, her face, and her body through our bedsheets for a while as I snuggled under the covers myself, lovingly embracing my girl in my arms; it felt so good, so right. Then, I was seized by a thought, a feeling that became ever stronger, the perfect end of our day and night we spent together, our perfect Halloween.

I climbed on top of Fate, and caressed her face, paying special attention to her lips, making the both of us hot and ready. Drawing my lips closer and closer to hers, at last we touched in that most exquisite of place, and then, holding her face with one hand and caressing her neck with the other hand, I kissed her, exploring deeper and deeper into her mouth, finding eager reciprocation for kissing that became ever more passionate as I let what felt good be my guide.

It was the most electrifying moment of my life, and it’s all thanks to my dear date, the young woman who I can’t help but feel is the best girl ever!

As I broke the kiss, she wanted it to go on for longer, but after a few moments she got the message, and rested her pretty little head against the pillow as she savored the sweet moment we had shared.

She kept those doe eyes of hers closed as she sighed in pleasure, sinking deeper and deeper into the bedsheets as she said sleepily “It feels so good when you kiss me” right before she dozed off in my arms, me whispering “Good night” as we both drifted off into a contented slumber. Yes, today was a very good day.

Yours, Denali

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