04/19/21 Snippet, Le Roi Est Mort.

This one is mostly done already, but it needed a little expanding. I don’t see it needing much more work.

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But as the parade begins to slow, there is a commotion. A commotion around… you?
Yes, you. A person comes through the crowd, eyes wild and searching, and light upon your form. At first you think this is a madman, and you smile. It is a rule of the Golden Emperor that you must treat madmen gently. But you then realize, with a start of surprise, that this is no lunatic. It is the one from the neighborhood, the one who earlier… no. The past is the past, and this is the now.

You squint, so as not to see. But you can still hear the voice. The voice entreats, harangues, begs; it tells you of dangers and perils. You must leave, according to the voice; you must leave now. Before your eternal now ends.

For a moment — just a moment! — the scent of the lotuses fades a little, and you half-wonder of your plans for after the funeral. A trace thought, filled with hesitation or even perhaps apprehension, brushes through your mind, and you notice how heavy are both the pole and the banner bearing the Sign of the Golden Emperor. To your shame, for a moment you weaken.

But the wind shifts, and the smell of the lotus comes back, and with a happy sigh you gratefully abandon those thoughts. They are unimportant, anyway. The funeral of the Golden Emperor, now: that is important.

The voice continues to entreat beg, but you march onward. Behind you, the begging turns to angry shouts as some stout fellows, no doubt here to make the parade pass smoothly, escort the voice and its owner away. You feel grateful as you move onward.

After a moment, you may or may not hear something like a splash.