Standing in a Library of old, a young girl with long white hair chooses her favourite story, and hobbles to her mother to have the story read her. Her toddler legs are slow, and she slips before she makes it to the doting parent at the other end. Laughing, her mother comes over and cradles the girl in her lap. Her calming voice fills the room as she turns the pages of the tale.
"Long ago, the earth was warm and bright. Every place was kissed equally by the sun. The flowers grew, the soil was soft, and the people were warm all the time."
"Mama-" the little girl started, but she was quickly interrupted.
"Hush child, let me finish reading," replied the mother, gently resting her free hand on the girl's head. She flipped the page and continued to read.
"But the people living on the earth were selfish, and some wanted the light all to themselves. They went to the goddess of light and killed her, stealing the light from other parts of the world to add to their own. The parts with no light became cold and desolate, and the people soon grew pale and sickly from the lack of warmth. The plants all died, and soon many people died of hunger."
The little girl's eyes welled up with tears.
"Now child, you mustn't mourn them. You would make them feel bad about leaving the earth, and if they stayed they would have suffered."
"I guess so..." the girl wiped her eyes and flipped the page for her mother.
"In the place with all the light, there was too much warmth. The soil dried to a hard, cracked mess, and the water was gone. The plants dried up and crumbled away, and many people died because of the heat."
A breeze blew the pages at just the right moment.
"The world soon grew a boundary between these two vastly different places, and it became apparent to the villagers that neither could live without the other. The people of the cold could not live without the warmth, and the people of the light could not live without the water. At first, the kingdoms only traded, but later on they realized that it was not the land that the light was attached to: it was the people."
The little girl put her hands to her face, feeling her own flesh. The mother gently flipped the page, careful not to cut her child's soft cheek.
"To solve this problem, the two ruling families of their respective kingdoms set up arranged marriages to help even out the field. Even though the land was brought back to the green state, the cold land was always colder, and the warm warmer, so they were still separate, those kingdoms. Every child bourne to the families would have to marry into the opposite kingdom. But children could never be bourne between the two, because they would have the power of balance so coveted by the others and live a life of temptation."
The mother closed the book, but the little girl as not satisfied. "But Mama, the children would be just like what the earth was before, and they would make the world happy again!"
The mother put her hand on the child. "People are greedy. When they see something they can't have, they'll do whatever they can to make sure no one ever gets it. The people thought that if the majourity couldn't have it, then no one could."
"But people did have children, Mama! You read the rest of the story to me before, remember?"
"Yes, and you remember what happened to them, do you not? They were scourned. Come child, let us take you to bed. You'll meet your partner tomorrow, and I want you well-rested."
As the child hopped innocently along, the mother stopped at the doorway and looked to the library. She gently held her stomach, already round with the weight of a purely snow-bound son. "Some day, I hope you will bring an end to this suffering, little ones." And with that, she shut off the lights and followed her daughter into her bedroom.