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A Glow in the Dark
by BlueNight
BlueNight -- all rights reserved

The room was pitch-black, and the only sound was Beth's steady breathing.

BlueNight watched her early morning slumber with joy in his heart. He had spent the night at the bar, philosophizing with anyone willing to put their two cents in. After that, he had driven two intoxicated patrons of the Blind Pig to their homes, stopped a burglary in progress, and saved a baby from a burning house. There were only four people he wanted to see at the end of an evening of acting like a lizardmorph college dropout, a living glob of water, and Batman.

One was dead. One was on the Moon. One was working late on a possible breakthrough at her laboratory.

He watched Beth, a tiger-striped rabbitmorph and one of his four wives. Only her hand and head were visible above the blankets, and though the room would have been dark to human eyes, he could see her as clearly as day.

On wavelengths below red, her face and hand glowed under her fur, like a flashlight under a pillowcase. Her long, fuzz-covered ears were twin beacons of heat, calling all in need of love. Her breath was dark red smoke, her lungs transforming air into warm vapor that twisted in currents just beyond her brightly glowing nostrils, and vanished into the cool darkness of the room. Similar warmth drifted just above her ears. The brain waves and moving eyelids indicated dreams, and as he watched, he wondered what she was dreaming.

Left. Right. Up. Each movement of her eyes indicated a specific part of the brain being used. Imagination. Memory. No clue as to subject matter. He remembered sleep fondly, a time of rest and rebuilding, of dreams of things not real. Over twenty years -had it been that long already?- since he had slept, and there was still so much work to be done.

He smiled again as he thought of her wedding ring, of vapors of her breath collected and stored and compressed inside himself during their courtship. He remembered carbon stripped from oxygen and turned into perfect diamonds, with perfect facets, and perfect flaws to refract perfect rainbows. The Breath of Love diamond line from Blue Diamondry sold his diamonds, made from carbon collected from landfills while searching for rarer molecules.

Few of the rings and necklaces and other pieces of jewelry sold by Blue Diamondry were created by BlueNight, and the unique rings of his wives were the most precious. Each was made of the finest golden alloy, chosen for strength and beauty, melted, molded, and cooled in intricate, tiny tunnels of his own "flesh" to create seamless perfection, as if they had not been made, as much as grown.

Shelley's was somewhat abstract, a pebble in a seashell, a pearl in an oyster, or a wave crashing against a rocky outcropping. Caryn's was a delicately woven Celtic knot surrounding a seventeen-sided chunk of diamond. Natalie's was the diamond bud of a tiny gold plant that had wrapped itself around her finger.

Beth's ring, visible on her hand just above the covers, was a thin gold band with highlights of silver, like a tiger's stripes.

He sighed noiselessly with a smile, keeping himself a lizard-shaped pocket of air that reacted to sound by passing it through himself, so as not to wake the woman with the sound-collecting ears. An itch shivered through him, and he suddenly felt like holding her, caressing her, feeling her every movement against himself.

It had been more than twenty years since he had last felt more than another electromagnetic field between atoms and molecules when he kissed someone, or when someone touched him. Again he wondered if there was a reason he could not have erogenous zones like Shelley, or reach orgasms like Shelley. What did an animate skeleton have that a total control inanimorph didn't?

He kissed her cheek without waking her, and left the room. There were errands to run, people to help, and the wee hours of the morning left precious little time between nighttime activities and their morning prayers.

Out on the dirt driveway, in the chill morning air in the darkness before dawn's twilight, he took a running start, and leapt into the air, a winged creature alight upon the flowing currents of frigid aether.

BlueNight, the invisible dragon, grinned at the poetic thoughts, and flapped on. No rest for the immortal.

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