Happy Hogswatch!

“OH, THERE HAS TO BE SOMETHING IN THE STOCKING THAT MAKES A NOISE, said Death. OTHERWISE, WHAT IS 4:30 A.M. FOR?

Terry Pratchett, “Hogfather”

Happy Hogswatch, fairy folk! May the 24th be with you.

For a bit Hoggy atmosphere, a bit Halloweenish tale :> I am the Grim Mal, you remembered, hmm?

Glass Eye

Teatime was sitting alone. He was always sitting alone. There was no adept who would like to be friends with him, they didn’t even want to even approach him. The tight lampshade formed around him, a bubble, through which no student could pass. The more mature ones knew that this boy shouldn’t be in the Guild. Younger ones also knew it, but subconsciously. Nobody ever told them what was wrong with Teatime.
*

Teatime was standing over the cat. The cat was not in the best condition. It just burned. Soon the pedagogical body will appear and of course, it will cover it up. It wasn’t the first time, rather… eighth? The cats looked hilarious, burning. He was surprised that others didn’t find anything funny about it.

*

It was a normal day. The day when he lost his eye. The young adept, a kid still, mocked Teatime. And Teatime was like a fury, like an angry natural element. They knew that no one should approach him, but the adept wanted to have fun at his expense. Teatime started to bite. He was small and agile, smaller than other boys, but he knew WHERE to bite, in addition to his education in the Assassins’ Guild. He bit deeply until the adept bled. And with skill, as if he had done it before. And now Teatime didn’t have an eye. He won’t have it for quite long.

*

Time pours in an hourglass. Another spring. Another summer, lush, beautiful. Autumn. And winter, spirited, cold. Teatime is no longer a child. He’s devising plans. Relaxes, enjoying the future inhumations. He knows that he mastered his assassin’s skill. How can someone who loves what he does, not do it right?

*

This ball, the fake eye. The Unseen Academy student told him it wouldn’t do anything as long as he didn’t poke it too often. And, surely, if that other student didn’t come up with the idea that it could be magical, Teatime wouldn’t be interested in it. But now he sees. Clearly. The eyes of the adepts run away somewhere far away. Again.

*

The first serious commission. Already after graduation. Dreaming about blood, dreaming about killing. Dreaming about the small letters that make up his name in the hall of the most famous assassins. Not Jonathan. Someone better, someone else. What about the sleds? It must be the Hogfather…

*

His body is lying on the floor. He can’t believe he is dead. And the tentacles of the unknown world, to which he goes, reach him, try to mute, the world looks devastated and destroyed, the red sun grows bigger the longer he looks at it, the deserts look abandoned but the monsters are looking at him from under the huge monoliths. And he doesn’t like this world. He doesn’t like it at all.

I DON’T KNOW WHY IT’S NOT OBVIOUS, says Death, I THOUGHT YOU WILL KNOW IT FROM THE VERY BEGINNING.

*

Another spring. And summer, lush, beautiful. Autumn, all in yellow leaves. Finally, winter. But Teatime is gone. There is only a glass ball from a student of magic and emptiness in a place where once was someone. The small letters were written under a small trophy. But it isn’t the trophy he worked for.

*

The desert screams. The monsters hunt. The other world is breathing vermillion. Death walks under the red sun and ponders. Why humans are so unpredictable?