AN: Yay! My ninety-first fanfiction! I hope you all like it! But okay, so, for those of you who married the Harvest King, do you remember the line he says once you get to twenty hearts? It's something along the line of "When you are gone, I'll love the things you once loved, and I'll sing the songs you once sang." I love the Harvest King, so once I saw that line, I just had to write this. I hope you all like it!
Disclaimer: I do now own Harvest Moon: Animal Parade. I can't remember the name of the company that does, but it's not me.
Sometimes, when the sky was clear and the sun shone brightly, the people living on the island could hear the world singing.
Spring has returned, oh spring has returned,
Tell me my darling, what have we learned?
Awaken the city, awaken the sea,
And awaken the heart that beats just for me.
It was a soft tune, one that the wind had hummed constantly throughout the years, so much so that, by the time a child could talk, it was common that their first words be a line or two from the song. Although annoying at times when they found themselves speaking in beat with the lyrics, their voices rising and falling perfectly in tune with the notes that had become as much a part of them as the wind and the rain, they had come to also accept it as one of the many quirks of the aptly named Harmonica Town and its surrounding area.
Oh summer, oh summer, you cannot hide.
It was for you that spring had to die.
With my darling, together, we will go
Out through the heat, to where nobody knows.
The song was childish, to say the least, as if it had been thought up on the spot by a person who had had the tune stuck in their head but no words to go with it. Some, those who were more interested in the history of the song, believed that it had once been a work song, something sung by the farmers of old while they worked to make the time fly faster. Others believed that it had been sung by the Harvest Goddess once, as both a blessing for lovers and a calling of the seasons, though everyone knew that it wasn't the goddess that sang it now. The voice was all wrong for the song, a man's voice where it should have been a woman's or a child's, one that dipped too low and never raised itself high enough to hit the proper notes, but that was pleasing all the same.
Whoever it was that sang, the song resonated from the highest peak of the mountain, which had been unreachable for hundreds of years due to the storms that constantly surrounded it, and, despite the distance, could be heard the clearest of all in a small clearing that connected the town to the east, the farms to the west, and the northern mining outpost together.
History told that it had once been the prosperous farm of a courageous young woman who had once saved their town. But now it was nothing more than a home for an untended fruit orchard and fields of wildflowers.
Fall is here, fall is here,
It's time to keep my darling near.
Bound by a feather, together we'll be,
Always, forever, my darling and me.
In part because of the song, fall had always been a popular time for weddings, almost every day every few years scheduled by the mayor for the young couples to exchange their rings made from blue feathers and vows of loyalty and love. It was the season most waited for, for the large harvests that needed very little tending to grow often brought riches to the town and promised an easy winter to come. Celebrations were common as friends and family gathered to give thanks for the fair weather and wish the newlyweds luck in their new lives together. Almost as if in response to their joy, the voice too would rise, growing louder and stronger with each day that that passed as they neared the festival that would be held in the Harvest King's name.
But once the festival had been held, once more the voice would turn mournful and quiet, departing the words of the end of the song with enough force to bring tears to even the most hardened of eyes.
Winter is near, winter is near,
On my darling, it's just as we feared.
It's time for me to go far away,
But, I promise, I promise, I'll find you someday.
Every winter, when work dwindled to an almost halt, it was common for those who were no longer needed in the fields to head out towards the city, leaving the town a ghost of its former self. For those that remained, braving the winter freeze to tend to their shops and the animals that roam amongst them, it was a dreary place, somewhere that constantly spoke of the ones that had left and that was already waiting for their return. It never helped that the voice that sung for them, that had always been in the back of their mind, keeping them safe with its words, faltered during the winter, finally becoming hoarse and harsh as it forced out each of the words. If one was to actually wonder, was to take the time to think about the disembodied voice that had always been there for them and think about its tone, one would have to think that it was a voice in mourning.
Some thought that it was the mountain crying out for its missing children, but in reality, it was something much simpler and much more heartbreaking.
High up on his mountain, as the winter sun rose once again to mark another year without her, the Harvest King bowed his head and, with tears still streaming from his closed eyes, began to once again sing the words the love of his life had left him with when she had died.