The Suns & The Moon, by Kristina Marie Darling, is a haunting and romantic collection centered around a couple who are surrounded by the supernatural. Darling creates a world that struggles with fire and ice, romance and heartbreak, and ultimately envelopes the reader in an enchanting world of her own making. Below I am happy to share some of her work:
You began as a small mark on the horizon. Then night & its endless train of ghosts. You led them in, one after the other. They took off their shoes, hung their coats & started looking through the drawers. By then I could hardly speak. I realized the lock on the door must not be working. The floor was covered in ash. There was nothing I could do, so I kept trying to tell you goodnight. You just stood there, your hands in your pockets, that small army behind you. That was when they started polishing the knives.
In this collection these ghosts come to stay and ultimately cause trouble for the couple in their home. The idea of ghosts hanging their coats and then hunting through the drawers is an unusual sight to imagine, as most ghosts have no need to do such things. The polishing of the knives sends the ominous signal that these ghosts may mean more harm than good and are here to stay.
Even when they became unruly, tearing at the floorboards & our furniture, I never expected the ghosts to drive us apart. The change was slow at first. You started sleeping with your eyes half-closed, watching the window for signs. Then sleep came upon me like a breath of winter air, & I woke to an empty bed, your magnificent suit in pieces on the floor. I realized you weren’t my husband any more than I had been your wife. That same day, I saw you standing in the vestibule, but even the light around your eyes was gone.
A marriage can be tested in ways no one anticipates. Here, Darling has ghosts that literally tear the house apart and ultimately the marriage. Throughout the store there are peculiar events where it is as if the husband is in charge of the ghosts but seems driven away by them after introducing them in the first place. I think it is a testament to Darling’s skill to portray a couple’s complexities in such a phantasmagorical manner.
the key hidden somewhere
the curtains scorched & the floor smudged with
would watch me straighten my dress, my veil &
start those small fires in the vestibule. I
did what I could to keep the house from
The fire grew smaller but
that’s what I loved about you.
As true to her form, Darling deconstructs her prose and creates new meaning and visuals with her work. The fires that burn the house leave their ashes behind in the home but yet the house grows cold, just like the love between husband and wife in this story.
If you enjoyed this sample, please purchase a copy of Kristina Marie Darling’s The Sun & The Moon for $16.00, published by BlazeVox Press:
Thanks always for reading…