It's Three Past Midnight

Posted 3 months ago :: Last edited 3 months ago by pixdoodles

It's three past midnight.

[ Recommended listening. ]

Bellacoste is quiet. Fog rolls into Obrille from the Ebony Wreath. Small amphibians croak in Marshgrave. A storm brews off the coast of Citremery. Light snow falls in Snowhurst. The world sleeps.

And it dreams. It’s five past midnight.

Wall guards call the minutes in Chrysanthos. Five past midnight, all is well. A new family rests after a busy day in Fluorspar. Summer’s harvest has begun to sprout in Goldfair. Six past midnight, all is well.

Roseacre socialites retire for the evening. Night owls study their texts in Riddlelock. In Asterfall, a sleepy mage wipes his eyes before turning them back to the sky. It’s six and a half past midnight. The storm off Citremery’s coast rumbles. Obrille is swallowed by fog.

It’s seven past midnight. All over Bellacoste, it’s denizens sink into the quiet, a deep ache pulling at their teeth. Orphans in Chrysanthos, in Banelaire wake at once, alarmed, unable to go back to sleep. Caretakers rush to care for the fussy children, but they can feel the sensation as well. A building pressure.

It’s eight past midnight. The queen comforts her daughter. “Mom?” the princess asks. “I know, Fi, I feel it too,” Nouvel murmurs, pulling the child closer to her. Beyond their room the others living in the palace felt the same. Pressure, like static between their teeth.

It’s nine past midnight. Amaryllis’ Ichigato bounces off the walls of her cabin, eyes wide as it knocks over a kettle, so startled it bolts under her bed to hide. The sleepy pouflon opens her eyes, heart stuck in her throat.

Vespires all over Banelaire wake, disquieted, shuffling into the streets. Song starts with one, spreading throughout the city as more emerge, joining the chorus to comfort themselves and others. The wind whispers accompaniment, and almost as one, they turn their eyes to the sky peeking through the crags.

Deep in a Snowhurst den, the patron saint of winter awakens from his spring hibernation. The pressure builds, the static almost like a roar. Groggy, the ursuki braces himself against his burrow, emerging into the snow.

It’s ten past midnight. At once, the pressure abruptly stops. All across Bellacoste a sound like crackling ice or tinkling glass echoes. The sleepy mage watches from his tower, jolting back from his telescope as if bitten.

It’s eleven past midnight. The sky, clear, swallowed  by storm, obscured by fog, swirling with snow…

It fractures. A hairline crack works its way from the horizon upwards, splintery silk that shimmers only from the right angle. The pressure builds again and children cry all over the world as the fracture crackles and splits.

It’s twelve past midnight and Bellacoste no longer sleeps. The crack in the sky spreads rapidly, the looking glass shattered. Then, as abruptly as it began, it stops.

It’s ten past three past midnight. Guards shout to one another. The princess buries her head in the queen’s ruff. The vespires stop singing. St. Veti stares past the night’s colors into the beyond. Nothing was the same.

The sky was coming down.

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