It was like a sun rising.

From behind the sun in the east, a second sun — a sun rising at night.

Most people didn’t wake: they slept through that strange double sunrise. Perhaps they opened their eyes, briefly, felt the shadows in the room twist for a moment, but then they sank back into sleep: it was too hard to wake, they were tired, they needed to rest, and besides, they felt sure they knew what the next day would bring.

And for them, it was true, the day brought what they expected.

You have to be lucky to witness a miracle: lucky to open your eyes at the right time, to be in the place the miracle begins. To keep your eyes open as the change develops. To follow the flow of the shadows, and track down the source of the light.

The next day, when the sun rose in the east, there came no second sun. And most people went on with their lives, aware only that, during the previous night, there had been a faint shift in things, like a settling of cargo in a ship’s hold — a slight settling, but still, one the crew couldn’t quite understand.

Such tiny tremors. The brief kick of a foot inside a womb.

The ripple a tadpole makes as it crosses a pond.

Most people went on, that next day, just as they’d been before.

A few people, though, had woken up: they’d seen the hidden sun, rising at night — seen the ordinary moon blotted out by an alien dazzle. They sensed the arrival. They recognised the change.

Now there is a stranger among them. And because of this stranger, they, too, become strangers.

Like a new sun, a greater sun — like a sunrise at noon, blotting out the lesser light of the old sun.

Like old thoughts — old, small thoughts — when a brilliant new thought rises.

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