The last rays of the shortest day were fading from bright flame to deep orange. This was the moment she had been waiting for all her life. Each year she had stood on the sacred stone, facing the great mound where her ancestors were buried, waiting for the sign that it was time. She, the last of all her race, waited for the sun to die and the night to call her home.
Winds from the north cackled and crackled in her ears, but she did not feel the cold. No night birds called, and the fox slunk silently back to his earth, but she was oblivious. Already, the evening star was shining, fighting the golden rays that sought to diminish its splendour. She smiled to herself and her teeth shone in the last light like pearls at the bottom of a midnight ocean.
In the east the turquoise sky had darkened. In the west the red light was dimming, lying like a bloody pall on the vast burial mound. The north wind held its breath, the fox trembled in his earth, and the light fled. One by one, pale stars flickered and grew in brilliance until she was standing beneath a field of diamonds. Silhouetted in starlight, the burial mound shuddered and split from end to end. She raised her arms and howled in triumph. The reign of the Queen of the Night had begun.