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Day one of the 1000th summer

A man sat in the desert. He was alone.

Day one hundred and twenty of the 1000th summer

A man sat in the desert. He was alone.

Day three hundred of the 1000th autumn

A man and a larger man sat in the desert. The larger man played a pan flute, rather poorly.

“You can’t brood forever, you know.” The larger man said.

The man continued sitting.

Day four hundred a forty nine of the 1000th autumn

As it turned out, a man cannot brood forever. The two set out on the road, due east. The Court awaited.

Elsewhere, in a different desert, a different man with boar's tusks grabbed a young man by the scruff of his neck.

“Your presence is needed, godling”.

Day four hundred and sixty two of the 1000th summer
The palace towers stuck up from the horizon.

“I don’t see what I’m expected to do, cloudsinger.” The man said.

“You have the knife,” the large man replied “You know what to do”

Elsewhere, the man with boar’s tusks and the younger man sprinted through an endless corridor of bookshelves, pursued by formless things that thought like wolves.

Day four hundred and sixty five of the 1000th summer/
That night, the man led a charge against the gates, accompanied by a man in a green mask, and the very winds themselves.

Their charge carried them through the palace, cutting down any who would seek to impede them. The man fought with a simple stone knife he had found in his hand many days ago. They then spilled into the courtroom.

Summer sat on their throne.

“Harmattan. I’ve been looking for you.” they said, in a voice like a burning forest.

“And here I am” the man replied.

At that very moment, lightning struck the palace out of a clear blue sky, and a man with boar's tusks and a younger man found themselves standing in the courtroom.

Summer was stunned, for the first time in their life.

“Hello father” the younger man spat.

“Seco, how is this possible?” Summer asked, rising from his seat.

The younger man did not bother to answer, instead pulling out a simple stone knife.

Summer reached for their own knife, but found it missing.

The man turned to the younger man “I assume you’ve been filled in?”

“Indeed I have.”

“Right. Let’s dance.”

The two strode towards Summer, blades in hand. For the first time in their life, Summer felt scared.

Summer turned to his solstice, who had fled, and then to his daughter, also gone. They were alone.

“No. No no no!” Summer screamed.

Seco and Harmattan stood mere inches from Summer. They nodded at each other once, and then each drove their daggers into the body before them. Seco’s pierced the heart, sending a spray of orange blood to the floor. Harmattan though, delivered a powerful strike, right between Summer’s eyes. The blade had shorn the metal, stabbing through to the darkness behind.

They pulled back. Summer, for a beat, stood silent. And then he laughed.

“Did you honestly think that-” he was cut off, as a third blade sunk into his throat. Spring lowered his arm, and spat on the floor.

Still Summer persisted, grabbing both men by the throats, lifting them into the air. As their grip tightened, Harmattan began thinking that perhaps he should have stayed in the desert.

As the world was fading around him, he heard a crash.

A great black mass had broken through the ceiling, and had driven yet another knife into Summer, severing their spine from behind.
Enough” Winter said, pulling its knife from the wound.

And then Summer screamed. A sunset poured from their chest and neck and back, while inky blackness oozed out of their punctured face. The dark fluid began steaming, and then boiling, and it engulfed Summer’s shining golden mask.

In moments, the black fluid was melting through the mask, allowing more to pour out from behind. Screams of fury had turned into anguished cries, which then again turned to sputtering.

In a few more moments, Summer was gone. Where they once stood, a black stain lingered on the floor, slowly evaporating away.

Day one of the 1000th autumn

Spring spoke up. “Here lad, she’d want you to have it”.

He held out a simple wooden mask. Harmattan took it, and walked towards the throne. He placed the mask on his face. It fit perfectly.

Harmattan, King of the Fall, sat on the throne. He was not alone.

-Excerpt from Mónos’s 'Chronicle of The Last Summer'

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