QUARTET


A/N: A drabble for each Horseperson, prompted in order by Malkhos, Wormwood_7, Curiouswombat and Gogollescent.


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Exegi Monumentum

aere perennius

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Why humans ever write on bronze, she doesn't know. They used to hammer it into weapons and armour, back in the day. Sure, bronze is out of fashion now, but it still seems a waste not to give it sharp edges.

He died for freedom and honour. Four hundred and fifty tonnes to send a pretty coin to every grieving family. It makes her think of poets writing bitter things, but not on bronze.

The things poets say. They think their words will last forever. Her latest monument comprises three words only. Let them write on this:

The Great War.

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Contagious

I thought the past would last me / but the darkness got there too...

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Here's the thing.

It's not that Famine misses Pestilence. Famine spreads hunger, he doesn't dabble himself. What do they say, these humans, a dealer shouldn't sample his own wares? There's as many kinds of hunger as sentient beings and Famine knows them all. So no, it's not hunger he's feeling. (Anyway, the old guy's only retired. He's not gone.)

But the new boy's got a head full of oil-slick rainbows. Nice enough, but how do you work with that? And working alone's just not the same.

Time to branch out, then. (After all, he can always come back to visit.)

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Summer

fell winter

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Seasons surprised Pollution, when he was new. Perhaps that should be 'young', but young's a word that belongs to mortals, who live and age and die. Pollution wasn't born. He isn't alive. He just... exists. It must be strange, he thinks sometimes, to change with the changing seasons, as humans do. He said as much to Famine once. "I like summer best," he added. "Things rot faster."

It was summer then. Foam bubbled up round Pollution, sprawled out dreamily in a rock pool. He thought summer might last forever this time. Why not?

But winter fell anyway. It always did.

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Here and Now

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This is the desert. The stars stretch out from end to end, not that you can see ends here, but you can see the blurred horizons where sand meets sky and the midnight glitter mixes with the glittering dunes. There is no wind. The air hangs still and warm and very dry. A hundred thousand ghosts are passing through, each of them walking alone, together. In the middle of the desert, there is a table where Adam Young sits playing chess with Death.

Nearby lies Dog, dreaming of summer afternoons. Sometimes he chases the ghosts heading home over the sand.