Dark Times

Robert trudged on through the ashen snow, hugging a tattered cloak around him. Once the cloth had been crimson and gold but time had sucked the color out.

In the absence of caretakers, the land had warped. Blight spread in patches, draining life from the earth. In other places, wilderness overtook everything, including a curious and mostly abandoned house. The arena that had once housed the first (and last) annual Tournement of Comments had been dismantled.

The former lord couldn’t understand it. There had been no apocalyptic catastrophe, no exodus. Instead, it was as if his friends had evaporated overnight, leaving only untold stories.

Recently he had stumbled across a few others- a wild poetess, a high-spirited princess, a capable engineer. Where were the rest? Why had they left him behind?

Tears crawled into his unkempt beard and he let them. There were none left to witness his sadness.

In the distance people laughed joyously. Were they real or more hallucinations? Maybe the past was a hallucination.

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