05/02/21 Snippet, LE ROI EST MORT.

This one actually is almost done. I really mostly just need to put in another five hundred words or so and format the rest properly.

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But small or large, powerful or weak, all who choose to shelter under the Emperor’s watchful eye are here tonight. Flutes pipe as dancers gyrate in reflected torchlight — the Fellows set their mannikin to dance, too, and is it not droll! — and in the clear night sky a light appears on the horizon. People gaze upwards, amazed. It is a comet! A glorious golden comet, where no the savants of Earth would say no comet should be. As you look up, you feel a new emotion stirring beneath your breast. You decide that the emotion is hope, and smile at the thought.

No.

You smile, you chortle, you laugh, you keep laughing until the coughing begins. You caper and dance, leaping up your heels at the sight of the majestic comet! You cheer and huzzah, holler and hoot! Your joy fills you with wildness, filling the dark with your shouts and revels! No words! No thoughts! Only the comet, come for the Golden Emperor!

It comes to kisses and blows in the crowd, but only for a few moments. Everyone remembers their purpose, tonight, and retreats from the glorious, bestial freedom herald offered by the sight in the heavens above. But the relief you feel now? It is real, and it is welcome. Not just by you: the throng now feels less grieving, and more alive. You even see Sam Clemens himself straighten his back, wipe the blood from his hands, and gaze upon the comet, shrugging away Bob Stevenson’s gently offered arm. “Well, Halley my son,” he says with a flash of his oldest wit, “better late than never.”