Once upon a time a king and queen lived in their castle, and tended to their selves, while in their gardens the peasants slept in tents, and tended to their trees.
In the spring an ill wind blew, and the castle closed its gate, and while those within the castle waited quietly until it had passed, those outside were left to fend for themselves.
Autumn came, and the fruit fell from those forgotten trees. In the coming weeks it rotted in the sun, until the whole land choked beneath the stench of putrefaction. But by then there were none to smell it, and all was silent, except for the rustling of the wind in the leaves.
Or so the story goes.
1. Written in March 2020__________patreon. Subscribers get not just early access to content and also the occasional gift, but also my eternal gratitude. Which I'm not sure is very useful, but is certainly very real. Thank you.