King of Endless Day

Arcing high in the sky, the sun beat mercilessly down onto the masses. Bodies lay decapitated from the previous night’s battle. Corpses covered every flagstone with sticky blood. Death buzzed and stank in the midday heat.

Every survivor was brought to the square. Forced to their knees, the prisoners waited in despair. God would not save them now. He stared down from heaven without pity. Instead, the conqueriors held his favor.

Joining his soldiers, Xerxes mounted the dais. Keeping a wary eye was not enough. Life bred hope. Men either killed hope or were killed by it. No such end would be his. Only victory awaited him. Peace under an iron rule was in his grasp.

“Quiet!” he roared over the heads of the defeated.

Ripples shivered through the weeping crowd. Squinting, Xerxes looked skyward. The sun stared back. Unblinking light gazed down. Victims readied themselves for the end.

“We are the children of the sun.” Xerxes bowed his head, gripping his sword. “You know what must be done.”

Zenith had arrived.

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